A true champion of mass entertainment in Telugu, so much so that he literally puts his stamp on his films, SS Rajamouli had achieved the feat of attracting the favor of a Western cinephile who is usually very contemptuous of mainstream Indian cinema. The cynicism of Hollywood majors and festival programming is not for nothing (thanks to BIFFF). Therefore, it is not without pride that the filmmaker tackles his country’s colonial history with a colossal budget and puts its traditional Manichaeism at the service of a rebellious patriotism. From the first minutes, one of our heroes protects himself from the fire thanks to an Indian flag. So far the note of intention.
Bheem and Ram are two polar opposites. One is a resistance fighter willing to do anything to save a girl from her village from the clutches of the English occupiers. The other is a ruthless policeman who defends the interests of the British. Thanks to an acrobatic rescue and non-verbal communication to say the least… the technique begins between them a bromance such as has rarely been seen in the cinema.
The title, voluntarily universal, sets the tone: RRR means “Rajamouli, Ram Charan and Rama Chao”, but also “Rise, Roar and Revolt” (rise, roar and rebel). These more than three hours in effect celebrate the uprising of a people against its oppressor. The battle is military (in flashbacks), intimate, but above all cultural: the only real musical comedy sequence (credits aside) is itself a danced confrontation sequence, a pleasurable fistfight all on percussion that reaffirms the survival and the triumph of local culture within an enclave that does everything to get rid of it.
From this warrior postulate, the filmmaker’s taste for scolding symbology can be freely expressed. Ambassadors of fire and water, the two accomplices above all represent the two facets of India at the time, which would have to unite to triumph over their enemies, except “his daughters and his land” and stains – literally! -the English crown of the blood of the officers of him. The soundtrack is responsible for explaining a little more the different symbols that collide during the film, glorifying in passing embodiments of pure heroism.
The director had no equal when it came to composing shots that instantly transformed his heroes, all of them muscle and veins, into almost divine icons. He takes advantage of the significant identity of his protagonists to further refine his art and take it to crazy extremes. The crazy scene that precedes the intermission includes some pictorial visions, exalting rural India and its relationship with nature for a few impressive seconds. And this is just the tip of a colossal iceberg.
first action heroes
In full possession of his powers, Rajamouli leads his invincible heroes to his lands, those of pure uninhibited spectacle. Him and the writer. KV Vijayendra Prasad We gladly subcontract a few obligatory passages (the romance, sometimes invasive in the productions of the genre, here expelled in the middle of the film) to bet everything on a screenwriting efficiency that many will envy.
Once again, the trinity of the title assumes a classic cinematographic rhythm (three well cut acts) and frames a particularly audacious introduction, which is content to present in a very simple and orderly way the pitch, the historical context and the characters, with three scenes, preceded by three boxes. A remarkable search for narrative purity, which betrays the ultimate goal of the feature film: maintain at all costs a devastating epic explosion.
We found it difficult to go beyond the second Baahubali in this field, but it is clear that RRR sets the bar at least as high, with a much higher degree of violence and quite insane for such a popular film, the historical intrigue obliges. Alternately, proxies, avengers, and later martyrs of their people, Bheem and Ram must both crystallize their suffering, before returning their bullets to the occupant, to the point that the film contains more torture scenes than singing scenes.
But when they hit back, they don’t do it halfway. Halfway through the footage and its delightfully chaotic pivot sequence, served by an original soundtrack certainly less rich in memorable themes than that of Baahubali, but bombastic enough to make you want to subdue the tiger with your fists, the film gains firepower little by little. The filmmaker’s nimble camera, now adept at digital tools better than most of his American peers, alternating Homeric slow motion and supersonic tracking shots, captures some moments of sheer madness, which we (hardly) refrain from spoiling.
Covered in precise choreography, magnified by the ocher photography of United Kingdom Senthil Kumarshot through with pyrotechnic effects that would make the last Michael Bay look like a romantic comedy, the action scenes of RRR they are more and more furious and spectacular. Until a triple climax that surpasses almost everything that big-budget popular cinema has offered us for years, where our two assassins of colonialism transform into anti-gravitational Rambos to strain our already tired eyes and fleetingly remind us that quality entertainment is an art in its own right.