- David Zak
Is RRR the GOAT of Buddy Movies?
RRR is a rollicking three-hour epic that gloriously blasts the Buddy Movie into a completely new dimension. The title stands for Rise, Roar, Revolt, and the movie does all three to achieve maximum sustained excitement.
I imagine the creative team having the best of times in the planning. "What can we use as a weapon? How about tigers, snakes, flamingo motorcycles, and perhaps grenades attached to an arrow? Why not?" There is lots of blood and cruelty, singing and dancing, and hot shirtless men performing heroic feats. What's not to love?
Set in the 1920s, when Britain still ruled India, the film follows two legendary revolutionaries who bond in nearly every way. Bheem has left his forest tribe to rescue a young girl plucked by the horrid English ruler and vapid wife from his village and who is now kept in a cage. Raju has his own reasons to seek revenge against the British and has left his people, vowing to bring back a weapon for everyone in his village. With a common enemy - but no shared language - the two bond through a series of exchanges on land, water, and air.
From the excellent opening sequence, with wild animals in the jungle in hot pursuit of human prey, we know that a rocking score will always accompany speed in RRR. The screenplay credit goes to three writers: Vijayendra Prasad (story), Sai Madhav Burra (Telugu dialogue), and Madhan Karky (Tamil dialogue). That is not a wasted scene or bit. Director S.S. Rajamouli is working at the top of his game, as the film - in addition to its three-hour running time - is monstrous in every way.
I don't claim to know much about the Indian history from which the narrative is drawn, but you will easily know which side to root for. The use of communication - sometimes spoken, sometimes sung, sometimes danced - is exciting and unique to this very multicultural love story and action flick.
Of course, buddy movies only work if the chemistry between the two stars is palpable, and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. plays Bheem, and Ram Charan, who plays Raju, frolic and fight with great power and abandon. They are superheroes, always looking great in the magnified action choreography, stunning stuntwork, and sophisticated computer graphics.
If your movie choice tends toward Top Gun and Jurassic Park, RRR is perfect for you.
RRR is on Netflix.