RRR (2022)
March 31, 2022 8:59 AM - Subscribe

A fictional history of two legendary revolutionaries' journey away from home before they began fighting for their country in the 1920s.
posted by cendawanita (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just came back from this one, and holy shit I'm so glad i made the effort (my side of town isn't particularly known as an Indian market so the showtimes at my nearest theatre is a little scant, and dominated by Morbius meh, and also Ramadhan starts over the weekend so I won't have as much free time to go for a 3-hour event).

It's not so much that Rajamouli outdid himself, but it's like he's getting ever closer to that perfect balance of outlandish setpieces that's within a semblance of reality. Like, he doesn't need Hollywood, but Hollywood sure as hell need him. Like, Uncharted and the last Fast movie broke physics and managed to also be uninteresting, while this one, like the best of the industry can deliver action and character and narrative beats in the same sequence.

Hell, he managed to outdo Spielberg's WSS imo in having a dance number that's actually a fight sequence.

But talking about movies that came out at the same-ish time, considering this is a historical fantasy about living/grappling with the British, it's practically a freebie if anyone wants to make a video essay juxtaposing it with Bridgerton season 2. Not just themes but the genre tropes as well.

And because it leaned so much on known sociopolitical historical references, even though it's purely fiction it's absolutely worth noting that the uncomplicated good guy of the duo is a tribal minority who's being sheltered by a Muslim family. (The other guy is Batman. No, i will not take any questions.) And it's absolutely on-the-nose that his request to his friend at the end is to teach him literacy, but yet not cringe.

Stay for the ending song credits! The director himself makes a dance appearance.
posted by cendawanita at 9:10 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]

I cannot wait to see this.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:27 PM on March 31

I didn't know this, so this is v cool to learn:

Tribal Army: Among all the things that #RRRMovie has done,the best is to introduce two unknown Freedom fighters to mainstream India

1. Alluri Seetarama Raju, the leader of the Rampa tribal Rebellion against the British

2. Komaram Bheem, the leader of a struggle against the Hyderabad Nizam. https://t.co/mPw9w2CkBA

So these are the real life inspirations, but I completely didn't have the cultural fluency to realise Ram's character is meant to be a tribal one too.
posted by cendawanita at 10:44 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

This was the greatest cinematic experience of my life. Holy shit, I don’t even have words for how much I loved it. Every fifteen minutes it gave me the most insane action sequence I’d ever seen.
posted by EarBucket at 1:52 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Btw, it's only available in Hindi, but at least it's on Netflix now! (FWIW the leads did the dubs in all the Indian languages it was released in)
posted by cendawanita at 11:05 PM on May 22

I cannot wait to see this.

ME TOO. Baahubali 1 & 2 rocked my world a few months ago, will be watching this later this week.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:14 AM on May 23

It had some fun parts. Had some boring parts too! The bros angle is the most sincere and heartfelt part of the movie. It reminded me a little bit of the Jojo that I've seen... Vastly over the top ridiculous drama that is fun but very comic book-y.

The piggy-back prison escape is a glorious high point of the movie. (Kind of amusingly there's an old French prison escape film whose name I can't remember right now that also has a stand-on-the-shoulders scene that was much loved chez fleacircus -- piggyback prison escapes! Cinematic gold!)

I don't know the whole political and cultural context, but the fashy undertones to this movie are not subtle lmao. Even if it's not aimed at Muslims, and even if there is one tiny scrap of "this Muslim family is helping us", even if I enjoy seeing the British Empire get a stick in its eye -- like, singing how every street has a man of iron, with big fashy statues and cannons while striking propaganda poses in a huge cry of nationalism is a lot; one of the R's literally wrapping himself in a 'glory to the motherland' flag while the current context of that phrase is lynch mobs and political dominance.. feels like a lot. I'm too ignorant to judge! But it feels foolish of me, on top of ignorant, to just put that squicked out feeling aside.
posted by fleacircus at 8:24 AM on May 23 [1 favorite]

This is on Netflix in the US now! Just have to find a spare 187 minutes to watch...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:14 AM on May 23

Just watched this tonight. Holy wow.
posted by Mchelly at 8:25 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]

So I’ve slept and had more time to find words , and I’m still gobsmacked, but some actual thoughts:

I loved all the action scenes, but especially how surprising every one of them managed to be. I was introduced to the movie by being told “don’t google it, don’t watch the trailer, just watch it - it’s The Fast and the Furious but in late colonial India” and I think that’s the best advice / encapsulation I can imagine, though I wish I had been warned about the level of gore. When the truck burst into the compound and exploded with animals in all directions - I still can’t describe the rush.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie with so little for female characters to do, but I still didn’t feel cheated at the end. I could have done without how evil for the sake of evil the governor’s wife was, but if everything else was over the top, I guess the villain needs to twist the mustache that much tighter.

I didn’t love this movie with anything like the passion I felt for Everything Everywhere All At Once, but it feels like a great companion piece for blow-your-mind visual sequences. Even the non-action sumptuousness of the architecture and the landscapes were worth the playing time. In general I feel like 2022 has been a great movie year.

I’m so glad that people are talking about this, because I don’t think it would have appeared on my radar otherwise (I rarely watch either Bollywood - yes I know this is technically Tollywood - or action movies), and it was so much fun. It’s only 10 am here and I already recommended it to at least a half dozen different people.

But I have to admit I also sort of feel compelled to watch the new Downton Abbey movie as a chaser. Not sure if that’s a not-all-colonialists response or just wanting to see some pretty buildings and outfits without anyone getting a fist through their eyeballs.
posted by Mchelly at 6:51 AM on June 21

Also I loved the end dancing sequence, and it really makes me want to learn more about the different groups / regions / leaders it highlighted as “embers” and the roles they played in the uprising that led to independence. It was fantastic that (from my ignorant Western perspective) it seemed that they managed to go full-on political in an irresistibly captivating way.
posted by Mchelly at 6:57 AM on June 21

This is amazing. I'm not even done yet so I'll check in more later but I want to report that the older white woman, Catherine Buxton, is Alison Doody, aka the love interest/secret Nazi from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:04 PM on July 16

Vox: RRR is an incredible action movie with seriously troubling politics

RRR manages to depict Adivasis as compatriots instead of enemies, and seems to think that’s generous enough. But the movie still presents Adivasis as, at best, simpletons who aid the journeys of the central, all-important upper-caste heroes. [...] Every choice made in the film is deeply steeped in and informed by a privileged upper-caste lens and framework that brutally reinforces the invisible Brahmanical hierarchy.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:01 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]

Vox: RRR is an incredible action movie with seriously troubling politics

That's really interesting. I wondered why Gandhi and Nehru weren't referenced at the end, but caste-politics was something I never would have considered. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Mchelly at 8:15 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]

I definitely did notice the part in Bheem's speech near the end where he says, "I am just a simple tribesman and I did not understand what you were doing!" and that felt like an OOF.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:17 AM on July 20

If we're sharing commentaries, i haven't gone thru this but i was recced this one: unpacking RRR, Indian politics and cinema .
posted by cendawanita at 8:40 AM on July 20

But by the way, Gandhi has a reputation that's mostly positive for sure, but that Vox article for some reason skips mentioning the connection he had with Hitler (well, admiring penpalship?? And his South African activism was also a reaction against his offense that Europeans classed the coloureds together with the black people), for all that section that elaborated on Hindutva fascism.

But the politics of this movie is undeniable, and i acknowledged to myself the aesthetic and my own distance (while we had our own blockbuster nationalist hit that erased other races in our anticolonial history that I'm staying away from) are the only reasons tht i can watch it.
posted by cendawanita at 8:47 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]

(which is why I was taking heart that Bheem was in disguise as a Muslim - taking every little bit that I can - because I was bracing myself considering the premise, and also for all that I enjoyed Baahubali, my deepest darkest chuckle unrelated to part 1's foreign army was the entire exchange with the Muslim merchant where the upshot is of course Indian steel is stronger than the Damascus sword the Muslim was handling.)
posted by cendawanita at 8:56 AM on July 20

Thanks for this background--watching both RRR and Baahubali, I had the consistent sense that I was missing some problematic social/political overtones, but wasn't sure exactly what.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:55 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the links! I have very little familiarity with internal Indian politics, so for the most part the main part of the movie's politics that I recognized was "British Empire Bad" (which is self-evidently true) and maybe a little eyebrow-raising at the "I am just a simple man who did not recognize your brilliant plan" bit. I am fully willing to take a more nuanced view of the movie as "extremely striking action movie that has pretty 👀 politics," along with, say, Dick Tracy.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:03 PM on July 20

« Older Movie: The Lost City...   |  Movie: Walk Hard: The Dewey Co... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments