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How “RRR”, Indian film “generous and unbridled”, conquered the world


“How many people is he fighting against?” ! » “But what is happening? ! » “This film turned me on its head”… On YouTube, just watch the multitude of “reaction videos” – a format in which people film themselves watching a program – which are devoted to the film RRR to see how this extraordinary Indian blockbuster has surprised Internet users around the world, well beyond the circles of insiders. In Asia and the United Arab Emirates, the number of Google queries for the film even surpasses that of big productions released in 2022, such as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Where Thor: Love and Thunderaccording to the Google Trends tool.

If in certain countries, like in France, the distributions in the cinemas were rather sparing, even confidential, the enthusiasm was all the same notable in certain dark rooms. Some will have discovered it on Netflix, which served as a catalyst for word-of-mouth and fueled the international success of the film: RRR (for “Rise, Roar, Revolt”which means “to rise up, roar, revolt”) even broke into Hollywood, so the Los Angeles Times considered him, in mid-November, as a serious competitor in the race for the Oscars.

Absurd excess

Braving more than three hours of spectacle and excessive action scenes ranging from a lone man facing a crowd of several hundred rebels to a duel with a tiger, the spectators discover the fantasized destiny of two revolutionary heroes of the 1920s, in a British-controlled India: Alluri Sitarama Raju (played by Ram Charan Teja) and Komaram Bheem (NT Rama Rao Jr.).

Although it does not do half measures, SS Rajamouli’s film ultimately attracts few mocking or condescending comments from Western audiences, for whom sometimes – and wrongly – Indian cinema is reduced to kitsch stories and musicals. “This film was eagerly awaited in Europe after the success of the diptych Baahubalidirected just before by SS Rajamouli and released in 2015. RRR finally confirms, in an unprecedented way, this enthusiasm »believes Logan Boubady, filmmaker and expert on Indian cinema.

“The action film industry has been codified a lot in recent years in the United States, with, in big budget releases, a lot of Marvel productions, analysis for her part Asmae Benmansour-Ammour, editor-in-chief of the Bolly&Co website and the podcast “ Namaste, the movie theater ! », devoted to the 7e indian art. People may have gotten bored and are more open to new things. RRR landed a few months after the reopening of cinemas with an innovative staging, which wants to push the boundaries of entertainment. » Directors of Marvel franchises themselves, like James Gunn and Scott Derrickson, have also publicly praised the film.

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