RRR Movie Review: “RRR (subtitled onscreen as Roudram Ranam Rudhiram) is a 2022 Indian Telugu-language epic period action drama film directed by S. S. Rajamouli, who co-wrote the screenplay with V. Vijayendra Prasad. Produced by D. V. V. Danayya under DVV Entertainment, the film stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, supported by an ensemble cast including Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Shriya Saran, Samuthirakani, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody, and Olivia Morris. The narrative is a work of historical fiction focusing on the lives of Indian revolutionaries Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), their camaraderie, and their struggle against the British Raj.

With a production budget of ₹550 crore (US$69 million), RRR is the most expensive Indian film ever made. It was released in theaters on 25 March 2022. The film grossed ₹223 crore (US$28 million) worldwide on its first day, setting a record for the highest opening day earnings for an Indian film. It went on to become the highest-grossing film in its home markets of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, amassing over ₹405.9 crore (US$51 million). Globally, RRR earned ₹1,387.26 crore (US$170 million), making it the third highest-grossing Indian film of all time and the highest-grossing Telugu film of 2022.

Critics universally praised RRR for its direction, screenplay, performances, cinematography, soundtrack, action sequences, and visual effects. It was named one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review, becoming only the seventh non-English language film to receive this honor. The song “Naatu Naatu” won the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 95th Academy Awards, marking the first win in this category for a song from an Indian and an Asian film. This achievement also made RRR the first Indian production to win an Academy Award. The film received Golden Globe nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and won Best Original Song for “Naatu Naatu,” making it the first Indian and Asian song to win the award. Additionally, RRR won Best Foreign Language Film and Best Song at the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards. At the 69th National Film Awards, the film secured six awards, including Best Popular Feature Film, Best Music Direction for M. M. Keeravani, and Best Male Playback Singer for Kaala Bhairava for the song “Komuram Bheemudo.”

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During the British Raj in 1920, Governor Scott Buxton and his wife Catherine visit a forest in Adilabad, where they abduct Malli, a young girl with artistic talent from the Gond tribe. The tribe’s guardian, Komaram Bheem, sets out for Delhi to rescue her, disguising himself as a Muslim named Akhtar. The Nizamate of Hyderabad, sympathetic to the British, warns Buxton’s office of the impending danger and advises them to return the child. Undeterred, Catherine enlists A. Rama Raju, an ambitious Indian Imperial Police officer, to eliminate the threat, promising a promotion if he captures Bheem alive.

Raju and his uncle Venkateswarulu attend a pro-independence gathering in disguise, where Bheem’s aide Lachhu tries to recruit them into Bheem’s plot. On the way to Bheem’s hideout, Lachhu realizes Raju’s identity and flees. Shortly afterward, Raju and Bheem witness a child trapped by a train wreck and work together to rescue him. Unaware of each other’s true identities, they form a close friendship.

With Raju’s help, Bheem courts an Englishwoman named Jenny and discovers she is staying with the Buxtons. After a party where Raju and Bheem out-dance the pompous English attendees, Jenny invites Bheem to her residence, where he finds Malli and promises to free her soon.

Meanwhile, Raju locates Lachhu and apprehends him. During interrogation, Lachhu sets a banded krait onto Raju and warns him of his imminent death, saying the antidote is only known to the Gonds. Bheem finds Raju, saves his life, and reveals his tribal identity and mission, unaware of Raju’s true allegiance. That night, at an event to honor Governor Buxton, Bheem’s men storm Buxton’s residence with a lorry filled with wild animals, causing chaos. Raju arrives and fights Bheem; Bheem is forced to surrender when Buxton holds Malli at gunpoint. Bheem is arrested, and Raju is promoted.

A flashback reveals that Raju’s father, Alluri Venkatarama Raju, was a revolutionary who aimed to arm his village with British rifles but was killed by British soldiers before he could achieve this. Raju subsequently left his village and his fiancée, Sita, to infiltrate the police, with his promotion for capturing Bheem giving him access to the weapons.

At Bheem’s public flogging, Raju tries to persuade him to recant his actions; Bheem chooses flogging instead. Bheem sings in defiance of his injuries, inciting the crowd to rebellion and further enlightening Raju. Raju persuades Buxton to execute Bheem in secret in front of Malli while preparing an ambush to rescue both of them. However, Buxton discovers the plan, and Raju is injured while rescuing Malli. Bheem, thinking Malli is in danger, knocks out Raju and escapes with the girl. Raju is arrested for treason and imprisoned in solitary confinement.

Months later, Bheem, hiding with his group and Malli in Hathras, is cornered by colonial authorities. He narrowly avoids exposure when Sita repels them by claiming a smallpox epidemic. Unaware of Bheem’s identity, she reveals Raju’s anti-colonial objectives and his impending execution. Realizing his mistake, Bheem vows to save him.

With Jenny’s sympathetic assistance, Bheem infiltrates the barracks where Raju is detained and frees him. They retreat to a nearby forest and defeat soldiers using a longbow taken from a Rama shrine and a spear. Taking the fight to Buxton, they hurl a flaming motorcycle into the barracks’ magazines, setting it ablaze. Bheem steals a cache of guns for Raju before the barracks explode, killing many soldiers and Catherine. Cornering a wounded Buxton, Raju has Bheem execute him with a British rifle, fulfilling their respective objectives. Raju reunites with Sita, and Bheem reunites with Jenny and his family. To mark the mission’s successful completion, Raju asks Bheem to make a wish he can grant; Bheem requests Raju to provide education for him and his community.


In October 2017, S. S. Rajamouli announced in a Variety interview his plans for two projects following Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017), collaborating with producers D. V. V. Danayya of DVV Entertainment and K. L. Narayana. Rajamouli decided to first focus on a social drama film with Danayya, followed by a project with actor Mahesh Babu under Narayana’s production. In November 2017, Rajamouli hinted at the inclusion of N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan in the film by sharing a picture with them on social media.

Rajamouli was inspired by real-life stories of revolutionaries Rama Raju and Bheem and imagined a fictional friendship between them. The film, announced in March 2018 with the tentative title RRR—an abbreviation for Rajamouli, Ram Charan, and Rama Rao—was later confirmed as the official title to ensure a universal appeal.

Principal photography began in November 2018 in Hyderabad and continued until August 2021, with delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming took place extensively across India and included sequences in Ukraine and Bulgaria. The original story was provided by Rajamouli’s father, V. Vijayendra Prasad, with Rajamouli scripting the film over six months. In September 2018, Sai Madhav Burra was signed to write the Telugu dialogues, while dialogues for other language versions were penned by Madhan Karky (Tamil), Varadaraj Chikkaballapura (Kannada), Mamkombu Gopalakrishnan (Malayalam), and Riya Mukherjee (Hindi).

Rajamouli retained several technicians from his previous projects. The crew included M. M. Keeravani as the music director, K. K. Senthil Kumar as the director of photography, A. Sreekar Prasad as the film editor, Sabu Cyril as the production designer, V. Srinivas Mohan as the visual effects supervisor, and Rama Rajamouli as the costume designer. Nick Powell was the stunt director and choreographed the climax action sequences. Prior to production, both Rama Rao and Charan attended a special workshop in mid-November 2018 to train physically and intensively for their roles.

RRR is a fictional story that incorporates the lives of two real-life Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, who fought against the British Raj and the Nizam of Hyderabad, respectively. Charan plays Rama Raju, while Rama Rao plays Komaram Bheem. The plot explores their time in Delhi during the 1920s before they begin their fight for their country. Rajamouli noted the coincidental similarities between the two Telugu tribal leaders and the events surrounding them.

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