Period action epic RRR is the most expensive Telugu-language movie ever made – and one of the most successful too. Harnessing all the spectacle available to mankind into one glorious three-hour romp, Indian director SS Rajamouli is even managing to draw in crowds outside of his homeland – a rare feat for a Tollywood movie – with his huge, brash and wildly OTT vision of Raj-era revolution that’s full of songs, stunts and stuff blowing up for no reason. Oh, and tigers. Loads of tigers.
It’s set in the 1920s and the bad old days of Britain’s colonial empire in India. A whole army of deeply hissable Brits, racist to their very bones and led by an evil British governor (Ray Stevenson), is running the place with an iron fist and a loose interpretation of basic humanity. But when a young girl is abducted at the behest of the governor’s wife (The Last Crusade’s Alison Doody), a tribe’s protector, Bheem (NT Rama Rao Jr), sets off to Delhi to get her back. Standing in his way is badass soldier, Raju (Ram Charan). Cue, well, absolute mayhem.
1. The hose fight
2. This guy
Up against Bheem in an adversarial bromance you’d have to call ‘complicated’ is Raju, the movie’s antihero. He’s a seemingly loyal servant to the British overlords and is on the tail of the protector. And as this poor punchbag can testify, he’s dealing with his own stuff. The Indian superstar playing him, Ram Charan, may not be familiar face to western audiences, but he’s charismatic as all heck.
3. The dance-off
Not since the heyday of Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor have two men sparked this much joy in a single dance sequence. Lasting roughly 47 minutes, Bheem and Raju’s high-energy moves set the stiff Brits in their place.
4. The tigers
It’s hard to overstate how many tigers there are in RRR – it’s the old Cecil B DeMille maxim of dealing with a lull in proceedings by throwing wild animals at the problem. This furry fella is unfortunate to run up against Bheem at the peak of his powers and executing a classic tiger-proof knee slide.
5. This punch
It’s not just Raju who can land a punch. Bheem has some serious game in the knuckles department too, as evidenced by the hearty chin clout he administers on his old frenemy that sends him about 15 feet backwards. In the air.
6. This slo-mo motorbike twirl
Pursued by the Brits into the jungle outside Delhi, the heroic Bheem takes a moment out from kicking ass to juggle a motorbike. Is there anything this man can’t do?
7. The other, bigger tigers
The tigers in RRR need to be aware that if they’re going to roar at someone, there’s a good chance that person is going to roar back. Inevitably, this jungle encounter with a ripped Bheem ends badly for the raging feline.
If you’re lucky (and live near London’s Prince Charles Cinema), you can still catch RRR on the big screen. Otherwise, here’s why you need to add it to your Netflix watchlist sharpish.
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