Directed by S.S. Rajamouli, RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt) is a Telugu epic saga centering around two fictional revolutionary leaders of British Raj India: Raju and Bheem, both of whom carve their path to freeing India from the despotic rule of the British. RRR sees two initially-antagonistic characters who eventually unite in fighting against their common enemy for the greater good. RRR, as highlighted by Variety‘s review, is indeed a renaissance of action and adventure that is packed with themes of loyalty, betrayal, and friendship. There was much hype around the Indian film that naturally positioned it to become an international blockbuster success.
In perhaps a head-scratching move, as outlined by Slash Film, RRR was unfortunately not chosen as India’s selection for the International Feature Film category at the upcoming Oscars despite its resounding success with western audiences. That, of course, doesn’t necessarily negate its chances at being recognized by the Academy in other categories. In fact, the studio behind RRR is currently launching For Your Consideration campaigns in multiple categories this awards season. Whether RRR will bag any Oscar nominations is yet to be seen, but in the meantime, here is a list of the best moments in the Indian runaway hit movie.
6/6 Load, Aim, Shoot
RRR introduces Raju as somewhat of the film’s antagonist. But soon, through a series of flashback sequences, RRR unpacks the harrowing past of the character and shifts the gears for Raju to become its leading protagonist. The montage follows Raju’s severely injured father unequivocally chanting “Load, Aim, Shoot” to a younger Raju, directing him to shoot a British soldier. These words essentially capture an unmistakable trust between father and son on the battleground. Significantly, the scene doesn’t end here; it goes a notch further, where Raju’s father, now carrying explosive, recites the same words to him, urging him to shoot him, which ultimately results in an explosion that kills the remaining soldiers and marks the ultimate sacrifice of his father for his kin.
5/6 Raju’s Transformation into Lord Rama
Lord Rama is held in high esteem in Indian culture, and the montage in RRR featuring an injured Raju’s transformation into Lord Rama is undeniably one of the most eye-grabbing moments of the film, specifically for Hindu Indian viewers. The montage of Raju’s transformation indeed sees a bow-and-arrow battle between Raju and the army of colonizers in a cinematically aesthetic way. However, as highlighted by Slate, through its religious iconography, at times, the controversial montage comes out as propagandistic and biased, leaning towards right-wing ideology.
4/6 The Animal Cavalry
The animal cavalry sequence in RRR directly pieces together threads and starts making sense of the scene that introduces the character of Bheem, while eventually solving the mystery of capturing the carnivores. It is revealed in this gate-crashing montage that Bheem was capturing these deadly carnivores and recruiting them as his cavalry to attack the heavily-armed British soldiers. Truly, the montage is visually appealing as the audience witnesses hundreds of flesh-eating animals pouncing for their share of the prey.
3/6 Bheem Sings Without Kneeling
The scene where Bheem is tied to a pole and getting whipped by Raju in RRR is one of the most emotionally complex scenes. On one hand, Bheem feels betrayed by Raju and is enduring severe pain and wounds as a result of his lashes. On the other hand, Raju, guilty, is just a mute spectator to the f;pw blood from his friend’s body and can do nothing but agonize Bheem even more. In all of this, Bheem sings to his watchers without kneeling, a classic marker of his resistance against the British soldiers. Indeed, the scene pours more power into the narrative of RRR.
2/6 Epic Dance Battle
If you have been a keen viewer of Indian cinema, you know the importance of singing and dancing in any Indian film. Keeping true to the spirt of Indian music and cinematic tradition, Bheem and Raju dip their toes into a harmless dance confrontation against Jake. Dancing to the tunes of “Naatu Naatu,” which translates into “Dance Dance” in English, both protagonists indeed deliver the most energetic performance that will force even the most non-dancing audience to tap their feet to the bombastic beats of Nacho Nacho.
1/6 Capturing the Tiger
This scene marks an unassuming introduction to one of the lead protagonists of RRR, Bheem. It follows a ferocious chase between Bheem and the tiger, where the former is doing everything at his disposal to capture the latter. Naturally, through this single sequence, the film not only conveys Bheem’s gritty strength, but also unravels the intended ambitions of the film. Meanwhile, it also keeps the audience on the edge of their seat by making them wonder about the necessity and plot point of carnivores in a freedom-fighting movie