In RRR, scenes of glorious excess make the screen light up with exuberance like never before. Indian movies have always offered the audience taut narratives, thrilling screenplays, song-and-dance routines and terrific acting performances. But never has a film felt so much like an event. SS Rajamouli brings together the acting powerhouses of Ram Charan and Jr. NTR in a magnificent saga of brotherly friendship set against the backdrop of India's struggle for independence.
The story is fictional and the action set pieces seem audaciously impossible. Rajamouli is able to deliver with conviction some of the most preposterous scenes that Indian audiences have ever witnessed. The film does test the audience's suspension of disbelief in terms of action choreography. Yet the strong acting, the on-spot VFX and the rousing BGM, together with an emotional core make the extravaganza thoroughly enjoyable. The director never succumbs to the star power of the two leads. Instead the screenplay and the imagery take the lead.
While everyone expected the film to be about the duo's fight against the British, the crisis in the second act of the film actually arises out of moral dilemma of the leads that pit them against each other. Consequently, the villain is not as magnanimous as in Rajamouli's previous films. Alia Bhatt's role is reduced to a cameo who does not have even a dialogue in the first half of the film. However, I strongly believe that she was cast, not to cater to North Indian audiences, but to actually raise the stakes in Ram's journey. His longing for Sita, and the love story itself, gains momentum by the presence of a star in the role of Sita.
Rajamouli has always been inspired by legends of Indian mythology and he recreates moments from the Ramayana, in his own unique style in RRR. The main plot involves a mission to rescue a tribal girl captured by a British couple, just like Ramayana is about rescuing Sita from captivity.
Being a strong visual storyteller, SS Rajamouli makes every frame of his movie impeccable – credits to his cinematographer Senthil Kumar, editor Sreekar Prasad, production designer Sabu Cyril and art directors Nikolai Kirilov and Pramod Kumar for pulling off this magnanimous project. Colours, camera angles, music and everything conspire to transport the audience to a fantasy-land where superheroes hurling motorbikes or beating up an unruly mob of thousand men to pulp seem possible. The screenplay is interspersed with jaw-dropping moments of action that make the audience jump out of their seats and hoot, cheer and cry. Never losing his grip on the emotional core, Rajamouli serves one spectacle after another. The interval block where thrill, drama, action and VFX is of supreme quality requires a special mention. The scene, however crazy on paper, is breathtakingly spectacular. Rajamouli "unleashes" a super-imaginative miracle on screen. It is a sensory experience that every movie-enthusiast will remember for years to come.
During the more than three hours of its runtime, Rajamouli casts a magic spell on the viewers. He brews a unique concoction of Chinese fantasy, Michael Bay-esque mayhem, Marvel-esque superheroes and wraps it all up with Indian melodrama in right proportions. The product is a monumental movie that has cemented his reputation forever.