BrayMitch01’s review published on Letterboxd:
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RRR is an insane movie. Since this Bollywood film all of a sudden began rising in popularity amongst American audiences and started to form a very strong group of devout followers I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. Like a lot of people going into this film I hadn’t seen any features from the Bollywood industry until now but after enjoying this so much I’m sure that this won’t be my last. While it’s great that this film has found a successful place on Netflix, where I watched it, I really wish I could have seen it on the big screen when I had the chance especially because it played at my local theaters for a month or two. It’s certainly the type of film that you just know would play incredibly well in theaters and provide an excellent experience, at least the film is nonetheless very cinematic even without the factor of being in a cinema. This film truly does touch almost every genre but what makes that achievement further more impressive is that it doesn’t feel messy in doing so and successfully stands it’s ground in each. While the action, which is crazily impressive, seems to be the most talked about aspect of the film all the other sides of the film are about as equally well executed. It’s very much a visual spectacle but at the same time it’s just as much a character driven tale of friendship. I realize that this is one of the defining aspects of Bollywood but nonetheless I loved the aware over the top-ness of this film especially in how it manages to always blend that into the drama along with the obvious usage in the action.
The plot is great it’s an entertaining and compelling story. At the center of this story is the character dynamics and relations most notably the ones between our two main characters who take part in a friendship that is very engrossing. As the story goes on we learn of our character’s tragedies, layers, traits, and ideals making both of them figures the invested viewer can’t help but love. Speaking of investment this story features some strong emotional investment and sets up scenes that caught me off guard with how well they use your emotional engagement. On top of being this tale of friendship it’s a story built into the roots of rising above slavery and oppression which was consistently riveting. Mostly all of the themes touched upon were well balanced too.
There’s a few flaws with the story the biggest ones being that after the first act ends the beginning of the second noticeably lost it’s steam until picked up later near the second act’s end and I wish the romantic aspects would have been held up better in the later half of the story. The pacing is very good there’s some slow patches here and there because the film is over three hours but surprisingly I was very engaged for most of the long runtime. The acting is fantastic N.T Ramo Rao Jr. and Ram Charan give fantastic performances. They deliver convincing performances that balance all the various feats of their characters incredibly well. They have some contagiously joyful chemistry too. Oliva Morris, Ray Stevenson, and Allison Doody do a good job as the English characters as well.
The direction is fantastic from S.S Rajamouli, his extremely ambitious directoral vision is something to be in awe of and consists of some of the most memorable slices of action filmmaking I’ve seen recently. He’s the type of director you can tell is unbridledly in love with filmmaking and that love can be clearly felt through his direction. The script is great it’s a well written and effective screenplay. The cinematography is fantastic this film is full beautiful imagery that’s apparent on every front especially during the action sequences which are shot in a way that’s genuinely mind blowing. The editing is fantastic too. The production and costume design are lavishly detailed as well. The action sequences are phenomenal as each one utilizes the surrounding and character motivations to pull off some truly bonkers fights that make most American action scenes look like crumbs. I’ll never forget the way certain aspects of these sequences were pulled off especially in how each managed to be extremely over the top but somehow grounded. With the large amount of tension during these scenes and incredibly brutal kills it’s hard to believe this film only has a PG-13 rating too. In terms of the Oscars if India selects this film as it’s contender I’d say there’s a small, and I mean very small, chance it could get nominated for Best International Feature as it very much deserves to. I’d be happy if it at least got onto the Academy’s shortlist but I don’t even think that will happen. The ending is a satisfying ending that leaves you to reflect on the grandness and themes of the film. Overall RRR is an action, musical, rom-com, and historical epic that manages to be almost equally as great in each distinct genre making it the type of film viewers will have a difficult time forgetting not that you’d want to anyway.
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