Full disclosure… this will not be an entirely in-the-know review; nonetheless, I do hope it will be insightful. The truth of the matter is that RRR (Rise Roar Revolt) is my first proper foray into the vast world of Indian cinema; not by conscious decision, I’ve simply never gotten around to delving in. How amusing it is that my first step in this direction also happens to be the one I feel obligated to write about, considering this is a film from this year. This will be a review written by a scrawny kid from Canada who is wholly under-educated when it comes to this country’s very large role in the world of cinema.
Keeping those expectations in mind… if nothing else, RRR gave me a judgemental slap in the face and let me know exactly what I’d been missing out on this whole time. If any movie ever was deserving of the word “epic” being thrown around in its presence, it’s this. Everything — the runtime, the acting, the choreography, the cinematography, the drama — is turned up to 11 almost all the time, and it just plain WORKS. Even as RRR bombards you in every way it can, it manages to tell a truly heartfelt story, and maybe one of the best bromance tales ever.
Clocking in with its epic (there it is again) runtime of three hours, RRR tells a fictional story of two real-life Indian revolutionaries during 1920, a time of British rule in the country. One of these men is Komaram Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.), the guardian for a Gond tribe. When a British administrator and his wife decide to abduct a young girl from the tribe for her singing talent, Bheem sets off on a quest to free the girl and bring her home. Elsewhere, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) works as a loyal and enthusiastic officer to the British Raj to climb their ranks; when the Brits begin to worry about Bheem’s quest to rescue the kidnapped girl, they enlist Raju to find and stop him.
Things are complicated, however, when the two men share a chance meeting. After a freak accident, Bheem and Raju work together to save a young boy in peril. Thus begins the most epic bromance ever, one emphasized by sprawling montages over original songs specifically about how great this friendship is. But still, each man is unaware of the other’s true motivations, and, as the song “Dosti” reminds us, “it’s yet to be seen if this will end in bloodshed.” Just an all-around fantastic setup for a movie.
Even though I’m sure not everyone will take too kindly to RRR’s maximalist tendencies, they absolutely enthralled me. If you’re into exhilarating movies that go big — really big — you will be truly captivated by this epic tale of friendship, revolution, action, and drama. It’s just what you want in a larger-than-life blockbuster.
Overall rating: 8/10