“RRR” asks the important question: what if two legendary revolutionaries who were active at the same time in colonial India actually met? Better yet, what if they were best friends? Better yet, what if one betrayed the other in a melodramatic twist of fate that ended in a climactic musical showdown that basically ends in them becoming god-like superheroes? That’s “RRR,” the incredible, insane, maximalist Indian Telugu-language epic directed by S. S. Rajamouli.
“RRR” tells the (fictionalized) story of Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), two real-life revolutionaries who, again, probably weren’t best friends in real life. But “RRR” imagines that they were, in the most eye-popping, adrenaline-pumping, hyperstylized action flick of the year.
In “RRR,” Raju is a police officer working for the British Raj who is tasked with finding and arresting the legendary Bheem, a sort of John Wick-ian figure (except with more tiger punching) who protects the peaceful Gond tribe, after the British governor forcibly takes one of the Gond tribes’ young girls as a pet for his wife. But Raju and Bheem, disguising himself as a lowly Muslim mechanic, unknowingly meet for the first time while rescuing a young boy from a train crash and instantly become best friends by virtue of their equivalent manliness (and also through a musical montage straight out of a rom-com). All this time, Raju doesn’t know that Bheem is the man he is hunting, and Bheem doesn’t know that Raju is actually an undercover cop working to steal weapons away from the British government. It all climaxes in a fiery inferno of betrayal, more tiger punching, motorcycle-throwing, and a viral musical sequence where Raju and Bheem happily outdance a bunch of white people. Take that, imperialism. (Hoai-Tran Bui)