Netflix review: Indian epic 'RRR' is gloriously grandiose

Fred Hawson

Posted at Jun 26 2022 06:02 AM | Updated as of Jun 26 2022 08:17 AM

A scene from 'RRR'
A scene from 'RRR'

Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.) went to Delhi to recover a little girl Malli (Twinkle Sharma) who had been abducted by the harsh British governor Scott Buxton (Ray Stevenson) and his wife Catherine (Alison Doody). In his hopes of getting a promotion, intrepid and skilled Officer A. Rama Raju (Ram Charan) volunteered to catch Bheem. Rama had been obsessively working himself up the police ranks to fulfill a pledge he made to his own tribe.

The two men meet coincidentally while cooperating spectacularly to rescue a boy from a burning train car which crashed into the river. They became very good friends, while each was hiding his real identity from the other. Rama (calling himself Raju) even helped Bheem (who called himself Akhtar) meet and get close to Scott's kind niece Jenny (Olivia Morris). When Bheem executed a bold attack on the governor's palace to rescue Malli, Rama had to stop it.

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Nomaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju were real-life revolutionaries in India's fight against the British colonizers. They never met in actuality, and this film was just a fictional story by writer-director S. S. Rajamouli about what could have happened if the two heroes became friends and fought side by side against their common enemy. Rajamouli conjured up the most elaborate scenes to show off the heroism of each man as individuals and as partners.

While Jr. NTR gave it his all as Bheem in true immortal hero fashion, it was Ram Charan (as the flashier Rama) who was riveting with his eye-catching, gracefully athletic moves and posturings as action star and dancer. 

Alia Bhatt was alluring as Rama's fiancee and inspiration, the beautiful and loyal Seetha. Ajay Devgn owned his moment as Rama's valiant father. Ray Stevenson struck a formidable screen presence as the sadistic Governor. 

The film was a grand 3-hour-long affair full of over-the-top brutal action sequences that defied the laws of physics, filled with all sorts of complicated stunts and fiery explosions, and even a stampede of computer-generated wild animals. 

In true Indian film tradition, there were also colorful musical extravaganzas in the mix, with that joyously defiant Desi Naach dance showdown of our heroes against the snooty British guys as a glorious highlight. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."