‘RRR’ director S.S. Rajamouli puts audience love before critical acclaim

FILE PHOTO: People wait to buy tickets at an INOX movie theatre in Mumbai, India, March 29, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Indian filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli has become a 2023 award season stand-out, with his three-hour action film “RRR” earning glowing reviews and sparking a campaign to have the film nominated for an Academy Award in the best film category.

“RRR” stars N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan and is based on two real-life Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), who form a friendship and fight against the colonialist British crown in the 1920s.

The title “RRR” is short for “Rise Roar Revolt”, as it chronicles the Indian freedom struggle from the British and the Nizam of Hyderabad, which is the title of the monarch of the sovereign state, Hyderabad, in India.

Ram Charan and NTR Jr. flank director S.S. Rajamouli at the success party of RRR. Photo: Universal Communications
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The cast of “RRR” features big Bollywood names, like Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt and showcases Telugu-language stars like Junior NT Rama Rao and Ram Charan.

“When we initially set out to make (the film), we don’t have the critical acclaim in mind. We set out to make the movie for the audience, for them to love it, for them to experience the movie,” Rajamouli told Reuters.

He said that receiving critical acclaim is something extra that gives the cast and crew a pat on the back.

Some critics say the film is exactly what the world needs right now, which Rajamouli considers the best compliment.

Siddhant Adlakha from IndieWire described “RRR” as “a dazzling work of historical fiction.”

RRR a Telugu movie, postpones release. Photo Twitter @RRRMovie

He wrote, “Plenty of recent releases have been hailed as ‘the return of cinema’ post-pandemic, but ‘RRR’ stands apart as an unabashed return to everything that makes the cinematic experience great, all at once.”

“I need to make them come out of the theater completely refreshed and get back into their lives,” Rajamouli said.

The 2022 movie currently streaming on Netflix is nominated for two Golden Globe Awards.

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