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'RRR' Movie Review: Only Style, No Substance

'RRR' Movie Review: Only Style, No Substance

Movie: RRR
Rating: 2.5/5
DVV Entertainment
Cast: NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Olivia Morris, Samuthirakani, Alison Doody, Ray Stevenson, and others.
Story: Vijayendra Prasad
Dialogues: Sai Madhav Burra
Music: MM Keeravani
Cinematography: KK Senthil Kumar
Production designer: Sabu Cyril
Editor: Sreekar Prasad
Producer: DVV Danayya
Screenplay and Directed by: SS Rajamouli 
Release Date: March 25, 2022

“RRR”, top director Rajamouli’s latest, after the record-breaking ‘Baahubali 2’, featuring Tollywood's two biggest superstars NTR and Ram Charan, finally hit the theaters today.

The much-anticipated biggie is here. Read on… 

The story is set in 1920s in Delhi. When Malli, a young girl from a village is taken by British officers, Akthar (NTR) heads to Delhi to bring her back. 

On the other hand, Ramaraju (Ram Charan) works as a police officer under the British, and he promises his bosses that he would nab Akhtar dead or alive. Akhtar and Ram accidentally meet and develop friendship. 

When Ram finally understands that Akhtar is none other than Bheem, he arrests him. Why is Ramaraju working for the British? What is his real motive? Will Bheem free the young girl?

Artistes’ Performances:
The film is a multi-starrer, and both the lead actors have done a fine job within the limitations of their character sketches. 

NTR, who is known as one of the best performers in Tollywood, has played Komaram Bheem in his usual manner in the first half of the film. 

A song and a couple of scenes give him a chance to exhibit his performance skills. But other than that, he gets a raw deal, purely because his character arc is weak, and written unevenly. 

Ram Charan’s Ramaraju role has many layers. He is shown as a man burning with fire and inner turmoil. Ram Charan’s role steals the show. In the entire second half, Ram Charan gets elevated. The getup of Alluri Sita Ramaraju in the final fight is a treat to his fans. Charan’s role is better written and he gets scenes that bring him under the spotlight. 

Alia Bhatt gets no scope. She is there for a few moments like a guest artiste. Ajay Devgn owns the flashback sequence and he's in with his screen presence.

Olivia Morris plays a typical British Mem Sahib role. Alison Doody and Ray Stevenson appear in laughable roles. 

Technical Excellence:
Rajamouli’s trusted director of photography Senthil Kumar captures the frames in a larger-than-life manner and brings all his skills to film the frenetic action sequences.

The production design is filled with opulence. Every bit of the film shows that crores of money have been spent.

Dialogue writing is poor. Not even a single line is worth mentioning.

MM Keeravani’s music adds effectively in couple of sequences. Among the songs, “Naatu Naatu” and “Komaram Bheemudo” have worked out well.

NTR and Ram Charan
Lavish making

Not rousing emotions
Slack in the second half
Lack of romantic scenes
Feel of rushed editing  

The basic premise of two unconnected freedom warriors of our land coming together and developing a bond, and getting inspired by each other is an idea adopted here. After the record-breaking “Baahubali”, Rajamouli with the help of his father, writer Vijayendra Prasad has cracked this idea. 

In reality, Komaram Bheem (a revolutionary leader from Gond tribes in Adilabad in Telangana) and Alluri Sita Ramaraju (a popular freedom warrior from the Manyam region in Andhra Pradesh) have never met. But there are some missing pages in their history, which is the basis for Rajamouli’s imagination: What did they do or where did they go in the years when there was no recorded history about their whereabouts?

Set in the 1920s, the story of ‘RRR’ depicts the friendship and bonding between Komaram Bheem played by NTR, and Alluri Sita Ramaraju by Ram Charan. The drama sets off with a tribal girl and focuses on elements of fiRe (Ram Charan) and wateR (NTR), and their meeting.

While the film takes a while to connect, it picks up after the “Dosti” song and reaches to a point before the interval. 

Not to spoil the experience, let’s keep it this way: NTR leads an attack in which the idea itself is superb, and he executes in a bad way. The “Naatu Naatu” song is a treat to fans and for the general audiences alike. 

The reason why Ramaraju works for the British and his backstory is revealed immediately after the interval. Ajay Devgn and Alia get their moments in the second half. The momentum goes down in these portions and some sequences look artificial and cinematic.

The film ends with a big fight sequence, the climax fight lasts more than 20 minutes.

The problem with the film is that Rajamouli takes the names of the real-life freedom warriors and weaves his fictional tale. Not a single scene is relevant to history. Plus, Bheem’s aim of saving a girl who was taken by the British officers after being impressed with her tattoo-making skills looks very weak. 

Why would all British officers fight against Bheem just for a girl who makes tattoos? How would Nizam kings inform the British about Bheem’s heroics, as he was not revolted against them at the period the movie is set in.

In all Rajamouli’s films, there’s a strong opponent. But here, the villain role played by Ray Stevenson is weak. The British actors who played the roles mouthed their lines in English, which is irritating after a point. They should have put a disclaimer and made them speak in Telugu.

The other downer is NTR’s character losing importance in the second half.  You hardly see any presence of NTR in the second half except for the “Komaram Bheemudo” song. Even in the lengthy climax, NTR gets sidelined, and his aim of bringing the girl is lost in the melee. Many scenes give a feel of a rushed product.

The patriotic feel is also not felt. 

If you have to compare with "Baahubali", "RRR", too, scores on action episodes, grandeur, star power, and strong performances. But "Baahubali" had superb romantic moments between the lead pair, glamorous songs, and a revenge formula to connect with. "RRR" has none of them.

Beneath the glitzy making and grandeur, one can easily spot loopholes, weak plot, and forced emotional core. It feels, this is not a Rajamouli kind of film. 

Bottom line: ‘Hype’r Action


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