After a sporadic release of both large and small films, it can be safely said that the audience has been brought back to the cinemas with SS Rajamouli’s pan-India film RRR.
The period drama has collected massive numbers worldwide on its first day and slowed down the box-office pace of The Kashmir Files.
Silverscreen India brings to you, a compilation of reviews of films that released both offline and online:
SS Rajamouli’s RRR (Roudhram Ranam Rudhiram) is one of the most anticipated Indian films, and features a cast comprising actors Ram Charan, Junior NTR, Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, Irish actor Alison Doody, Shriya Saran, Ray Stevenson, and Olivia Morris among others.
The period drama is an ode to India’s freedom fighters [as shown in the credit sccenes], and is a fictional account of freedom fighters Alluri Sitaramaraju and Komaram Bheem.
For Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, the film’s emotional foundation, the friendship of Raju and Bheem, appears too contrived, and notes, “..in Rajamouli’s universe, the plausibility of the events matters little.”
“RRR, ultimately, is a film about the nation,” she writes, and adds, “But RRR refuses to be historical fiction as history demands examining the ideological background of the characters.”
Gopalakrishnan cites examples of the characters of Raju, for whom fight for the native land are independent acts, while Bheem is a naive young man entrusted with a single job, of bringing back a kidnapped child. She further notes the traces of the Hindu epic Ramayana, where Raju assumes the form of Lord Rama, and Bheem, the illiterate tribal man, becomes the Hanuman.
Rahul Desai of Film Companion, writes of the director, “Rajamouli is that rare director who has the craft and vision to make a movie without being held accountable for its loopholes.”
Even though the film renders a second-hand status to women, and caricatures British characters, the film works because of its hybrid identity.
“Just as the rival Telugu superstars playing Rama Raju and Bheem unite for a greater cause, the Ramayana and Mahabharata seamlessly join forces to pound history into submission,” Desai writes. “The intensely physical performances – of both Ram Charan and Jr. NTR – go a long way in the merging of fiction, fact and everything in between.”
According to Latha Srinivasan of Firstpost, RRR is Rajamouli’s most audacious one till date, and rests on the shoulders of Charan and NTR.
She concludes, “Some may say it is not Rajamouli’s best work but what RRR shows is that he is possibly India’s only director who can make a lavish, large-scale commercial film with the simplest of storylines and the best of stars.”
RRR has lived up to its expectations as it collected approximately Rs 750 crore in pre-release business worldwide. Apart from the states’ contribution to the theatrical earnings, RRR has also made approximately Rs 275-300 crore of non-theatrical income (music, streaming rights, etc).
According to Nithya Gnanpandithan of Silverscreen India, the film can only be credited with how lightly it has handled the topic.
“The movie just plods on without eliciting any sort of response from us, other than the occasional yawn. It is the cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry,” she writes.
Gnanapandithan adds that even though Haasan tries her best, she is unable to carry the film.
“Aside from her conundrum about having sex, Pavithra also lives in the shadow of her famous singer grandmother (Usha Uthup) and her overbearing, never-satisfied mother (Malgudi Subha). That this would make her indecisive and unsure of herself is perfectly understandable. The problem is that Haasan’s performance doesn’t convey this adequately and in a way that makes her sympathetic,” she explains.
For Ashameera Aiyappan of Firstpost, the film “is fascinating, mainly because we do not have many mainstream films that explore female desire. While we have several coming-of-age films with male protagonists, there is hardly any representation of what girls go through.”
However, the film is hardly revolutionary, Aiyappan adds. “Achcham Madam Naanam Payirppu falters in execution. The film is designed to be quirky, but the writing comes across as stilted.”
Vishal Menon of Film Companion also notes that the tone of the film is gentle and light, and writes, “There’s a lot of merit in this because it’s hardly the same tone one gets to see when the film’s from a male’s point of view of the same event.”
He adds that the film covers an event through a short timeline, beacause o which the audience does not get a deeper perspective into the character’s crisis.