RRR, which stands for “Rise, Roar, Revolt” in English, garnered five Critics Choice Awards nominations and is now in Netflix. Directed by S.S. Rajamouli and starring N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan Teja, RRR’s plot involves the British in colonial India kidnapping a young girl, and a hero of that village must rescue her. But the movie is so much more than the plot.
I have seen the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, which includes a purple titan alien snapping out half of all life in existence with a magic glove and a talking raccoon having a more complicated vocabulary than his best friend, a talking tree, and yet I have never seen anything close to the spectacular, extraordinary sequences in RRR. After crashing a British wedding with a weaponized zoo, a man throws a leopard at another man during a fight. During a montage that establishes the two main characters as best friends, one man does squats with the other on his shoulders. A man kicks a moving motorcycle into the air and then throws it into some nameless bad guys; even The Fast and the Furious movies respect the laws of physics more.
All of the stops are pulled out; all the dials are turned up to 11. And if you go with it and have fun with the movie, then there is a lot to like. But don’t expect a single choice in the action choreography to be grounded in reality, and don’t expect a single character decision to be anything beyond an archetypal cliché.
RRR is nationalistic propaganda, similar to the kind that Americans make all the time, and the British are so cartoonishly evil that the message is unmistakable. The most outlandish example is that a British lady seems to carry around a spiked whip just in case blood needs to be drawn in punishment.
Yet the joy from watching RRR is infectious and persistent. From the eye-popping action to the expository and celebratory musical numbers, there’s nothing quite like RRR, an unforgettable movie that’s about as subtle as a roaring tiger.