“RRR” is directed by S.S. Rajamouli (Baahubali: The Beginning, Eega) and stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Shriya Saran, Samuthirakani, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody, and Olivia Morris. This film centers around two men living in 1920s India who form a bond during a revolution.
Despite how a vast majority of my reviews are for films made in the United States, this post feels long overdue. I have heard the hype regarding “RRR” for the longest time. Everybody is talking about it. But for some reason I never got around to it. Maybe it is the three hour runtime. Maybe it is because it came out as I was finishing my senior year of college. Maybe it is because I thought there were other movies that were more important at the time. I do not know why I did not talk about this film when it was in theaters last year. While the film is available on Netflix now, I thought I would take the chance to talk about it. After all, the Oscars are this weekend, and this film did receive a nomination, so it is only appropriate. Granted it is Best Original Song, but still. Plus, the film is back in select theaters for some time, so I thought I would take the opportunity to check it out with one of my available AMC A-List punches.
As noted with my “Brahmastra: Part One” review I did last year, my experience with Indian cinema is limited. Therefore, I do not have a lot of material I can compare “RRR” to. That said, “RRR” is an incredible theatrical experience. One of the most immersive and engaging I have had in my entire life. It felt like a Broadway musical put on a giant screen. I went to go see this film at a regular 2D auditorium at an AMC. If I had to be real though, the sound in the theater is comparable to what I have experienced with seeing some movies in Dolby Cinema. The sound mix in “RRR” is basically “Tenet,” if you could actually hear what everyone is saying. The action is big, the music is loud, the effects are commanding. But not only does this movie sound like a good time, it is, simply put, a good time.
“RRR” is a simple premise done to the best of the filmmaker’s ability. The film starts off with a girl getting captured, therefore setting the stage for someone to keep her in mind and rescue her. It is definitely an inciting incident that has been done before. For example, every other “Super Mario Bros.” title has done something like this. But much like how the “Super Mario” video game franchise always strives to make the gameplay and design fun despite its simple premises, “RRR” takes this simple premise and dials everything around it up to an 11. In addition to the sound mix, the visual effects are some of the most polished ever produced. In fact, if this movie looks expensive, that is because it is. This movie cost ₹550 crore to make. In U.S. currency, that translates to $72 million. While the U.S. film industry has made plenty of movies that cost more than $72 million, as far as India’s records go, this is their most expensive production ever. When it comes to 2022’s film slate, few films compare visually. The only real rival I can name for “RRR” in this year of film would have to be “Avatar: The Way of Water,” mainly because almost all of the movie relies on CGI and effects. To be frank, “RRR” looks more polished and attractive than all of the Marvel Studios fare that came out in 2022, even “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which I thought is one of the better-looking films the studio has done so far.
This film is led by N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan. These two are dynamite together. I almost cannot imagine anyone else playing this duo in their respective roles. They are likable, charming, and every scene with these two is nothing more than a joy. I could watch these two actors together in a buddy cop movie if there were ever an excuse to make one with them in it. I did not know a whole ton about this movie going into it, but one thing I always saw through the marketing is this one shot where these two gravitate, and they are holding hands together. I knew from that moment that this connection would be something special, and I was proven correct. Also, having seen that handholding scene play out in the movie, I can declare it is one of the most satisfying shots, not to mention scenes, of 2022 cinema.
A lot of people might hesitate to watch this film because of the three hour runtime. Trust me, I understand how you feel. When I saw that “RRR” is three hours long, I was a bit weary. Although I have reviewed a couple three hour movies over the past few months. As far as their individual runtimes go, they led to mixed results. One ended up feeling like a snoozefest at some point, while another took me on a time traveling journey I never wanted to end. Although if you ask me, I do not care how long a movie is as long they use that runtime to tell an entertaining narrative. “RRR” did not feel like three hours. If anything, at times, it felt shorter.
There were times where I did not want this movie to end. For those of you reading this, specifically those who question why you should watch a film made from someplace that is not Hollywood, not belonging to any preexisting IP, and comes with a runtime that surpasses three hours, I hope that everything I said so far, especially the fact that it feels shorter than it actually is, helps. “RRR” is a jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, earth-shattering spectacle in every sense of the word. Is it kind of cliché? Occasionally. Is it predictable? There are times where it is. But oh my gosh, I had a supersized batch of fun with it. When I say this film has a few clichés sprinkled in, I am being honest. But I will also be honest that those cliches are done brilliantly and supplemented by other things that I would have struggled to imagine until I saw them in this project. It is hard to determine if there will be any replay value with this film given the long runtime. The runtime is not a problem, but it is a commitment nevertheless.
I do not want to give a ton away about “RRR” in this review, partially because despite the movie being a year old, I still sort of went in blind as a bat. I did not know everything about the premise, the characters, how everything plays out. But I can guarantee you that if you want an experience you will never forget, this movie is of utmost importance. Put it at the top of your must see list. If you cannot go see this film in theaters, which you can in certain markets as of this writing, sit in front of your biggest television or crank up the dials in your home theater just to let your pixels go nuts. The film is a lively, obnoxiously immersive, and pleasing story. In addition, it has a style and look to it that pops for its entire runtime. What more could you ask for?
In the end, “RRR” is an incredible three hour extravaganza of insanity. There are films out there that I have called out for relying on style over substance like the “Star Wars” prequels. There are films that have bad looking effects in certain moments, like part of the climax in “Black Panther,” but are nevertheless able to capture my imagination. “RRR” is what happens when you take style and substance and create something special out of both of them. If anything, it is like that scene in “Ratatouille” where Remy bites two different substances and finds the tastiest, most satisfying result out of biting both at the same time. When it comes to style and substance, it is not an and/or. It is an and/and. In this case, the result is “RRR.” I am going to give “RRR” an 8/10.
“RRR” is now playing in select theaters and is available to watch on Netflix and ZEE5 for all subscribers.
Thanks for reading this review! My next review is going to be for the brand new movie, “65,” starring Adam Driver as an astronaut who finds himself on prehistoric Earth. Be sure to check out that review when it drops! If you want to see this and more on Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “RRR?” What did you think about it? Or, what is the most visually stunning movie you have ever seen? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!