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RRR (Rise Roar Revolt) - A sum of hard-to-believe, spectacular cinematic sequences as a historical fantasy that is worth your time and money spent on the hiked ticket prices. (Review By Bobby Sing)

26 Mar, 2022 | Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Just In / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / R / Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

The much-awaited film of S. S. Rajamouli is here, and it’s certainly worth the wait with a pinch of salt. The renowned director is known for creating a fantasy world of his own and in RRR (Rise Roar Revolt) he does that yet again, but along with exploiting a historical reference as a mere ploy. 
Hence, presenting it as a historical fantasy, this is also one of those rare films in which we have to use the phrase, keep the logical minds at home, even when it takes the strong references of two real-life revolutionaries from the mid-20th century, revolting against the British Raj.
Continuing with his famous and well-accepted brand of cinema, Rajamouli conceives RRR as an entertaining mix of history, fantasy, and mythology that is bound to receive its fair share of criticism besides the roaring applause. But then, it does turn out to be a big winner in the end, both in terms of entertainment and value for money, without any doubt.
RRR clearly declares to be a loud and larger-than-life cinematic spectacle right from the word go accompanied by a notable background score. While the music remains average, it’s the BGM and cinematography that form the backbone of the entire film, superbly gelling with the grand visuals and action, enhanced by the VFX department. Yes, the VFX has its limitations (visible in a few places), but the technical departments successfully create an unbelievable marvel together, bringing alive the vision of the genius S. S. Rajamouli.
As I felt, Rajamouli was never interested in telling any story here, to be precise. The film never relies upon its story content. As a screenplay writer and director, Rajamouli must have had the key sequences of the film, very clear in his mind and that’s what he plays around with, in the 3 hours long duration. I would call it very intelligent filmmaking, wherein the director has a rare clarity about what is going to win over his audience, when those sequences will come, and how.
Explaining it further, Rajamouli is the exceptional writer-director of the present era, who very well knows the meaning and importance of the hero’s entry in Indian cinema along with the crucial placement of pre and post-interval sequences, coming before the crescendo created in the climax. So instead of following the textbook format of a 3-act screenplay, he devices his films on these crucial key points, as I believe, which is quite evident while witnessing the script-progression of RRR.
Unbelievable and illogical they all may seem, but every sequence coming at these important junctures of the film proves to be a big winner for most of the audience sitting in the theatre. Though the drag appears in its second half, Rajamouli still manages to keep it going, even when the references of Ramayan and sudden transformation into a mythological character seem to be all forced and intentional.
In other words, Rajamouli knows how to pump our blood with an unexpected amalgamation of energetic visuals, music, and performances, creating a mesmerizing impact on the screen. RRR is an overblown, ambitious extravaganza in those terms, which also becomes the reason why it falls short of the storytelling we witnessed in his Bahubali series and many more movies of the past.
The story narration gets lost in RRR’s scale, continuous action, and hyper-presentation, focusing on the heroes in particular. As a result, it hasn’t got any breathing space or touch of human emotions except in the opening sequence when the little girl gets taken away by the British officer and his wife. Its basic premise is of a revolt, yet there is no empathetic depiction of the tribal rebellions as a community. 
The performances also keep focusing on the action but excel doing the same, forcing you to sit back and notice the hard work done. Both Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jr put in all they have playing the two warriors, also sharing some lighter moments in the film’s first half. They together display some amazing dancing skills in the film’s most promoted song. Representing fire and water, their friendship and conflict works, generating thundering applause in the theatre watching the eye-popping action. 
At the same time, a few over-the-top insertions force you to watch it with a frown, like the initial sequences of one-man winning over thousands of agitators, the two saving a boy, swinging over the bridge, and the fight lifting the motorcycle towards the end. The heroes miraculously recovering from their severe wounds and torture in just the next scenes (breaking the continuity) also become noticeable as a concerning element. There are strong chances you might also hear a few laughs or giggling in the theatre during these sequences, especially in the north belt watching the Hindi version.
Ajay Devgn looks fine in his brief appearance but delivers nothing exceptional, playing the father in the flashback sequences. Plus, Alia Bhatt simply did this because of the brand Rajamouli. So, if you are expecting a lot as an Alia Bhatt fan, then you are bound to get disappointed watching her in just a few insignificant scenes. The same can be said about Shriya Saran and Samuthirakani trying their best in their limited appearance. On the other hand, Ray Stevenson and Alison Doody play it really well as the evil British, along with Olivia Morris winning hearts as the good-hearted lady.
Reading about its fair share of limitations, one might wonder, what actually makes RRR work in an unprecedented manner satisfying the excited audience. 
It is nothing else, but the powerful conviction of a blessed, visionary director presenting it like a never-before kind of action-packed entertainment package on the screen. Despite all the shortcomings, the film works as it amazes you with many pleasant, jaw-dropping surprises coming one after another in a long three-hour film, and you don’t mind the length enjoying it like a cheerful kid.
The hard-to-believe, yet superbly crafted sequences of events make you feel wow at multiple points in the film and you come out largely satisfied with the presentation getting the worth of your time and money spent on the hiked ticket prices.
Addressing the present generation, RRR is exactly how the veteran Manmohan Desai conceived his films with a strong conviction, even when it all looked like completely impossible and illogical. Addressing the doubts of his actors performing a weird sequence, Desai firmly used to say, “You leave that to me and don’t worry, as I know my audience. They would like to believe in it and I will make them believe providing the expected entertainment”.
That’s exactly how you feel watching RRR as an enthusiastic fan and lover of Indian cinema, clapping and shouting, ignoring all its illogical absurdities in the full-blown but grandly choreographed action sequences. Rajamouli makes you do that, proving his convincing hold on the medium and you feel immensely satisfied asking for more.
That is where RRR probably goes beyond Bahubali too if we only consider entertainment and edge-of-the-seat sequences offered by a film. While Bahubali excelled in its storytelling and perfection, RRR excels in its magical presentation, purely made to entertain and enthrall its audience.
Having said that, RRR is also a film that will generate the above impact only in the theatres, witnessed along a deafening soundtrack getting your complete focus. On the smaller screen, it might appear to be a pretty overpraised and forceful film in absence of the thrilling and unmatchable theatre experience. It’s a fact because the absurdities that wilfully get ignored in the theatre, get easily noticed while casually watching a film on the smaller screen generating a different response. This also can be stated as the key distinction between the filmmaking of Bahubali and RRR. While Bahubali doesn’t let you question its larger-than-life depiction re-watching it on the smaller screen. RRR might fail that test due to its over-indulgence in action and a kind of desperation to impress and mesmerize the audience.
Therefore, in case you are thinking of catching it later, post the OTT release, then don’t do that mistake as then you will be missing a lifetime experience of witnessing how we used to celebrate Indian Cinema in the gone decades. RRR gives that golden chance yet again in 2022 and one shouldn’t miss that opportunity provided by S. S. Rajamouli and his team. 
Interestingly, it also has Rajamouli coming on the screen in the song video playing along with the end credits. The song features prominent revolutionaries of our freedom struggle, questionably missing Gandhi. Perhaps Rajamouli wished to feature only the action-oriented aggressive revolutionaries as depicted in the film.
Summing up, here are some interesting notes about RRR and its related issues.

Note 1: There is a difference between a period fantasy and historical fantasy. Manmohan Desai also came up with a film revolving around the British era as a period fantasy titled MARD in the mid-80s. The film was based on all fictional characters placed in that era without any reference to any historical figure. RRR is a historical fantasy as it points towards two real-life revolutionaries through its characters placed in all fictional situations. The same can also be quoted as a downer for the film exploiting history.
Note 2: When I wrote about S. S. Rajamouli and Ram Charan’s MAGADHEERA, a decade back, including the film in my ‘Movies To See Before You Die’ list at the site, then many couldn’t get it and thought I had gone insane. Today the team returns with RRR on-screen after more than a decade, creating new unexpected records.
CLICK HERE for the link to the BTC write-up on MAGADHEERA posted a decade back.
Note 3: The end credits are displayed along with a video song. But the font size of those credit listings is so small that one cannot read it even on the bigger screen. How all those mentions are useful when they are not even readable to the interested audience? This might disappoint hundreds of people involved in the making of the film.
RRR - Poster at Inox SatyamNote 4: For the first time in my more than four decades of movie watching in theatres, I spotted a huge poster of a South Cinema star (Ram Charan) prominently displayed at a West Delhi cinema by his fans with their pictures along with the star.
The poster was at INOX Satyam Cinema in Ranjeet Nagar/Patel Nagar area in Delhi, that is largely known as a Punjabi region. And this was never seen before in West Delhi even for Rajinikanth.
Note 5: Post the pandemic, the ticket prices are bound to rise and the high-priced tickets are now going to be associated with cinema forever. For that reason alone, only two kinds of projects will bring the audience back to the theaters.

One - Grand scale entertainment featuring the top names like RRR.
Two - Controversies and in-news films like The Kashmir Files. 
(Tax-Free status surprisingly doesn’t make much difference in the ticket pricing)

For the rest of the projects, multiplexes will either go empty or will have to keep prices as per the films’ genre. An intelligent strategy of different slabs for different films is being suggested to the exhibitors since the last decade, but they have still not given it a thought. 
Rating : 3.5 / 5 (with the additional praises purely for the conviction of S.S. Rajamouli, making us believe the unbelievable)

Bobby Sing

NOTE: The review can also be heard/viewed in VIDEO Format at the following link of Bobby Talks Cinema YouTube Channel.

Click here for RRR VIDEO REVIEW

Tags : RRR Movie Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New India Regional Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Tamil Telugu Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Magadheera Review by Bobby Sing
26 Mar 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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