RRR (186 minutes)
Rama Krishna Sangem
First things first: I watched this movie at DSL Virtue Mall, Uppal in Hyderabad at 6.30 pm show on March 25 by shelling Rs 451 for a ticket through Bookmyshow.com. The 150 seated hall was full since morning and booked full for another show later. This is the case with 50 other theaters in the city, and elsewhere. So, it is no wonder, if the film crosses and grosses around Rs 400 crore.
In a note submitted to AP CM Jagan, the film team said that the movie was made a budget of around Rs 340 crore, without remunerations (estimated at another Rs 160 crore), We can easily say that the film will eventually be declared a super hit, even without OTT and other rights. Worth waiting for close to four years for SS Rajamouli and his two heros – Ram Charan and NTR Jr.
According to trade analysts – Taran Adarsh and others – the movie collected around Rs 90 crore worldwide on the first day itself and is likely to get another Rs 200 crore by the weekend. The actual share of makers (producer – DV Danaiah) – will be 60 per cent of the gross revenues. So, it will be bonanza for everyone.
Don’t be surprised by this over stress on the collections. Because, box office collections are important to any of our commercial movies and RRR is one of them. But, audience expect much more from Rajamouli, whose Bahubali is still fresh in our memory. In this movie too he won’t disappoint us – with his visual treats, aided by graphics and background score.
Simple story line:
Now I will go into the film’s content. Rajamouli’s father and ace story writer KV Vijayendra Prasad gave the basic story for RRR too. For me, it appeared like an adoption of Ramayana. Rama Charan is Rama, NTR Jr is Hanuma, Alia is Sita, Ajay Devgn (Dasaratha), while British governor Ray Stevenson (Scott) is Ravana. Olivia Morris (Jennifer) is a good British (I cannot recollect any Ramayana character for her).
The beauty of RRR is its simple story line. An imaginary meeting of Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komuram Bheem in Delhi during 1920s. If Raju joins British police to loot their weapons and distribute them to his fellow rebels in Visakhapatnam manyam (forest) areas, while Bheem plans a raid on the Governor’s palace, to rescue a tribal girl, Malli, who was abducted by Scott and his wife. You can image the climax.
Rama Charan is a covert in British police. He promises his late father – Ajay Devgn – to fetch a weapon to every rebel fighter. This is akin to Rama going to Vanavasa on the order of his father Dasaratha. Ram suffers separation from his fiancee Sita (Alia) for sometime. Rama Raju is described as The Fire, who suffers to conceal his real image as a freedom fighter.
The introduction scene of NTr Jr resembles us of Lord Hanuman (in shorts without tail). His character goes on the lines of Anjaneya’s heroics in Ramayana – like setting fire the bunglow of the British Governor, after raiding it with some wild animals. Here, NTR’s meeting with abducted Malli in the bunglow suggestive of Hanuman’s sighting of Sita in Ashoka Vanam in Lanka.
Who’s the hero?
It’s multi-star movie, so difficult to say who is the hero. But, as I said, Ram Charan is symbol of Lord Ram, while NTR Jr is Lord Hanuman. Character wise, Ram Charan occupies the top slot as his role evolves in the story. But, NTR Jr dominates the screen space through dynamic presence and emotional articulation.
There are some corresponding parallels too. If NTR Jr comes to Delhi in search of his sita (Malli), Alia Bhatt (Sita) comes to Delhi in search of Ram Charan (her Ram). If Ram Charan tries to keep his word to his father, NTR vows to keep his world to his fellow Gonds (tribals) to bring back Malli. Vijayendra Prasad’s penchant for epics is evident in the broad story line.
Of course, Rajamouli fine tuned and stylized it a lot. I heard claps, vigils in the cinema hall when NTR Jr raids the Governor bunglow with tigers, and leopards, and when both the heroes perform acrobatic fights (NTR carrying Ram Charan on his shoulders). And when Ram Chanran appears in Alluri Sita Rama Raju get up, with bow and arrows.
Rajamouli gave more importance to brotherly romance (Bromance) or can we call bonding – between Ram Charan and NTR Jr, rather than the main subject of spirit of freedom struggle. Patriotic grandeur that runs through the film is shadowed by the excessive friendship between two heroes. Is it to draw their fans to theaters for repeat shows?
Moreover, like any Indian film, in RRR too British characters are like cartoons – rounded characters (almost villains or jealous as their white women like our heroes). Except Oliva Morris (Jenny), all white people are either bad or good for nothing. We find it difficult to know why tribal girl, Malli is kept as a prisoner in the governor’s bunglow.
True, there are some silly, stupid scenes like a starved Ram Charan doing gym in a solitary cell and building muscles, NTR Jr singing a song, while being whipped by a thorny lash by Ram Charan etc. There are many screams and shouts (reminding us of the need to become extra emotional). Finally, the end-titles song also features Rajamouli.
In that song, there are many freedom fighters – like Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Patel, etc, but no mention of Mahatma Gandh or Jawaharlal Nehru (is it to please the present BJP government at the Center?). On the whole, a watchable film, with many spectacular images and melodious numbers. MM Keeravani’s music, KK Senthil Kumar’s camera and Sreekar Prasad’s editing are superb.
On a parting note, we can say, Rajamouli has lifted the Indian cinema with superior technical standards and brought recognition to Telugu movies. He knows how to catch our attention – off the screen and on the screen. His marketing skills are definitely far superior to that of any other filmmaker in our country. So, producers will be dialing his mobile number for his next movie. Good luck Rajamouli!
Also view beautiful moments of RRR Succes