review by Bobby Blakey
The world of Bollywood films is a genre all its own. They go big whether it needs it or not complete with an infusion of song, dance and everything in between no matter that story they are telling. Every so often one breaks the wall down and steps out of Bollywood and into Hollywood itself which is exactly the case of the massive hit RRR starring N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan Teja from Baahubali director S.S. Rajamouli. Could this film bring all those usual elements to the forefront and mange to live up to the hype or will it not have enough water to put out the fire?
RRR follows India, 1920. Determined to reunite Malli, an abducted Gond girl, with her mother, the tribe's fearless defender, Bheem, sets foot in vast Delhi using a new identity. But the British have the population under their thumb. As a result, ruthless Governor Scott Buxton entrusts Rama Raju, a hard-as-nails police officer, with a vital task: work undercover to ferret out an unknown Gond warrior. And before long, Bheem and Raju have a chance encounter at an accident site, and they immediately bond. However, as the two bosom friends embark on a peril-laden rescue mission in Delhi's bustling streets, utterly unaware of each other's true identity, pressing questions arise. What happens if one of the mighty companions blows his cover? In the battle royal between fire and water, who would win?
While I don’t watch a lot of Bollywood films, I have seen enough to know that when you decide to go in you better have allotted a lot of time and ready for some insanity. This one hits all those marks with all the action, music, dancing and over 3 hour runtime that you might expect.
Despite all of these things not seeming like they should flush together it manages to kick all kinds of ass. It’s jam packed with action that is over the top and often times ridiculous, but such a joy to watch you will be all in for it.
The reason this film really works is the two stars are all in. This is a story of
their journey towards their friendship while the plot and deception is building towards the truth of it all. Both Rao Jr. and Teja are great here and go all in. They bring so many layers of emotion and depth that you cannot help but get fully invested in this epic story and their friendship. To my surprise it went in some directions that I hadn’t expected and did a decent use of injecting the song and dance numbers in a way that didn’t derail the film or its serious nature.
One specific song is used during a torture sequence and used to build the inner power of not only the person singing, but they crowd that is feeling the power that is coming from his voice and dedication to the people. These kinds of things typically annoy me and obviously didn’t need to be there, but this is part of accepting the way a Bollywood film works and it thankfully works just fine. There are some big CGI moments and while some are just average most of it looks great and just expand this story to new heights including an insanely awesome visual of a bunch of animals jumping out of t cages that is really cool.
With the longer run time, which is still shorter than a lot of their films, I was worried that it might drag on a lot, but to my surprise it keeps you engaged from beginning to end. Everyone here gets their time to shine and does a great job. This is a perfectly paced film that really sucks you into it all with the outstanding visuals, crazy action and all heart that you can’t help but stay with it until its epic finale.
I had no doubt I would be entertained, but I did not expect to dig this movie as much as I did. There is rumors of a sequel and I am all in for it.
Check out the epic film RRR streaming now on Netflix.