India’s film industry is the most prolific on the planet. Although much of that cinema does not reach the West, the power of that cinematography appears every time in different forms. Like any country, India has a greater diversity than many believe, so much so that many vulgarly call it Bollywood cinema without realizing that this word refers exclusively to films made in Bombay. Bollywood, to put it plainly, is just a slice of Indian cinema. RRRthis blockbuster that broke box office records and today sweeps Netflix, is a movie from another Indian industry called Tollywood.
Yes, it has many points in common with films from other parts of the country. But Tollywood cinema is informally named after the language spoken in the area where this industry is based. Telugu is the second most important language in India and it is the mixture of that word with Hollywood that gives it its name. These feature films, made in Hyderabad, have become the highest grossing in the nation, generating a fury that has already begun to break borders, helped in parts by streaming. But what kind of movie is it? RRR And what is the reason for its success?
The film is an epic story that reflects in an excessive and impressive way the meeting between two great heroes of the Indian revolution who never met in real life but here they become insurmountable allies. RRR it shines for its excess, its passion, for its ability to narrate in an exaggerated way a story worthy of the great universal myths. It has all the ingredients of what is known as the movies masala, the typical mix of genres that Indian cinema usually uses. Here we are talking about an epic film with elements of historical cinema, action films, some fantasy, always melodrama and obviously musical numbers. A show larger than life. Cinema understood as entertainment par excellence.
The first three scenes of the film will not leave anyone indifferent. You have to understand that masala cinema is always exaggerated, above all logic, melodramatic to the extreme. That is seen in the opening scene, in which the British, the villains in the film about revolutionaries, show all their infinite evil. But then comes the introduction of the two protagonists. Each one separately, but in both cases with completely unforgettable scenes. One, working with the British, is confronted by a crowd surrounding a barracks. The other captures wild animals with surprising daring. They are both like mythological heroes but set in the real world, more specifically in early 20th century India.
These two huge characters are Alluri Sitarama Raju (ramcharan) Y Komaram Bheem (NT Rama Rao Jr.), who represent all the nationalist sentiment of their country, but even for those who do not have the remotest idea of the history of India, the film works as a fantasy unleashed. There is no superhero movie that has the aesthetic risk of RRR. And this is not a project that does not look at the world market. Dominating India is already complicated, going further is something that depends on the Indian diaspora around the world and manage to captivate the non-Indian public that barely understands the codes of that cinema. The title is an example of the global ambition that the film has.
RRR is an abbreviation that is used for the main languages of India and also for English. In Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam the words for rage, war, blood have the same initials. And in both Hindi and English, RRR refers to Rise Roar Revolt. With such a simple resource, the film says that it is for everyone. Director, SS Rajamouliis a specialist in this kind of blockbuster, but this is by far his best film.
Whoever accepts the rules of this great feature film will enjoy it very much. That’s why the opening scenes are so important to set up the game and show where it’s going to be narrated from. The actors work for the drama, for the action and also for the dances. In that sense, the versatility of Indian movie stars is comparable to classic Hollywood. In many aspects, India has remained in time, but that, paradoxically, makes its films look avant-garde today. The only thing one regrets to see RRR on the television screen, is not having had the opportunity to enjoy it in the cinema. Pay a ticket and see something dazzling, let yourself be amazed, believe in fantasy and enjoy the cinema.