And the weekend Biggie is heRRRe! After multiple delays majorly due to the pandemic, SS Rajamouli’s next magnum opus is finally here. Originally slated to release in 2020, then 2021 and finally 2022(again delayed in January), the film is finally here. But many people were skeptical about it. Would the film fare better than the magnum opus Bahubali? Would the audience accept this “superhero” freedom fighters story? Would it maul under the shadow of The Kashmir Files? Well not only did it match the lifetime of The Kashmir Files in a single day with ease(without undermining the film in anyway) but it became the highest single day grosser ever! All I can say is, keep calm and keep faith in the metaverse and vision of SS Rajamouli! But then I remember watching its trailer and finding it underwhelming and rather over the top. Keep in mind this point and I will be mentioning something crucial in my review! So then does RRR live up to its massive expectations, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
RRR follows the story of two legendary freedom fighters and their fight against the mighty British Empire. First things first! This is a mass masala commercial entertainer with the two protagonists almost presented like superheroes having superpowers. So instead of questioning the logic, I suggest you be submissive to the vision of SS Rajamouli and surrender to his vision. The story is this magnum opus where the director rightly uses his medium to weave an enthralling tale of fantasy. The screenplay is just magical in every sense of the word. I may have watched thousands of films onscreen but today something magical happened. The entire sequence of the two protagonists joining hands(literally so) to save a boy from an accident just gave me goosebumps. This was the feeling of exactly why I have been watching cinema through all these years! And I simply loved every moment of it. I wanted to clap and whistle on such epic moments throughout. And I wanted to dance like the two protagonists at an unbelievable speed, I wanted to do it all! You could almost feel every bit of their emotions and bond throughout!
While the film momentarily stutters in the second hour(featuring an extended flashback), there are epic set pieces which would keep you hooked and booked throughout. While the two crucial elements of nature fire and water are brilliantly represented by the two protagonists, it is the human tale which keeps you going. And what truly was heartening to see was that there was an effort made to tie all the loose ends towards the end. Some would argue that this is quite cliched but again this is a larger than life world which is created with a lot of purpose.
Coming to my point of finding the trailer underwhelming! This was because the set pieces are just not designed for the small screen. You need the biggest screen possible to enjoy this magnum opus. There are atleast 5 to 6 set pieces including the terrific pre-interval scene that was quite risky and something which only Rajamouli could have pulled off. Another sequence towards the end just gives you goosebumps as there are mythological references made and incredibly well. This is a fine example of where the writing matches the commercial elements of the film! Absolutely BRRRilliant!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are powerful and they carry the burden of some outstanding emotional scenes too. I can totally imagine some of them being converted into memes. The music by MM Kreem is simply outstanding and all the songs have been reverberating in my eyes at the time of writing this review. The BGM is grand and goosebumps worthy and ends up giving you goosebumps in almost every scene! The cinematography is outstanding adding wonderfully to the scale of the drama. The VFX are fabulous and I could make out the amount of hard work which has gone into the post production. Director SS Rajamouli is a visionary of the highest order. His vision stands out in so many scenes! He is a living legend who has managed to silence many critics with his grandeur and style. Make no mistake, he is a living legend and one of the most precious gems that we have currently! Write him off at your own risk!
The performances are excellent here. Shriya Saran as Sarojini shines in a cameo. Ajay Devgn as Venkata Rama Raju is a crucial cog in the film and he is simply splendid. Alia Bhatt as Seetha is pretty good although her role has a limited screentime. Olivia Morris as Jenny looks pretty and is such an affable and gentle character that you can’t help but like her to the core(she reminded me of Elizabeth from Lagaan). Alison Doody as Catherine and Ray Steveson as Scott will make your heart boil which means a good job done at the end of the day. Edward Sonnenblick as Edward has his moments to shine. But the show undoubtedly belongs to the two “supeRRR heRRRoes” Ram Charan and Jr NTR. The latter as Bheem is absolutely smashing and shines even in quieter moments. The man oozes of innocence and is earnest is every sense of the word. Matching him step to step(literally in a song) is Ram Charan as Raju. Such a magnetic screenpresence which translates into some of the most memorable and iconic scenes was just magic to watch. Both of them have great chemistry and their faster than a bullet dance in Nathu Nathu just made me want to break into a jig instantly! This is the best dance that I have watched by a duo since Hrithik and Tiger in War. It was infectious and magical! Truly a masterclass by the two legends and a big plus to the overall impact of the film!
RRR is everything what I ever wanted from cinema. This is why I had started watching films in the first place, decades ago! A piece of magic waiting to be experienced on the big screen! What a masteRRRpiece! Highly Highly Highly Recommended!