Guide to S S Rajamouli’s grand film starring NTR Junior, Ram Charan and Alia Bhatt, and Ajay Devgn how it is set to dominate Indian showbiz and storytelling across the world
Fight with pandemic
After bracing three Covid phases and challenges, S S Rajamouli’s magnum opus RRR is set to release. The film had to undergo delays due to the pandemic. But the team took it as a challenge and maintained the tempo, setting an example for others.
Who & What
S S Rajamouli, creator of Bahubali (1&2), is coming up with RRR. What Baahubali did to India on the global footprint is expected to do much better by RRR. Poised to release on more than 6000 screens worldwide, the film which has NTR Junior and Ram Charan as protagonists also stars Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran among others. It has been made in five Indian languages — Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada; five foreign languages and will stream on Netflix in English, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish and Spanish
What’s it About
It is a fictional story about two Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), who fought against the British Raj and Nizam of Hyderabad, respectively.
The film produced by DVV Danayya has grabbed a space for itself in the minds of film lovers and this is visible in the way it has scaled marketing in the last one week. RRR has created a new phenomenon in reaching out to fans. Apart from creating buzz at Dubai Expo 2020, the RRR team has traveled the length and breadth of India — Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Baroda, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Varanasi, Amritsar, Kerala. Have you ever imagined a film promoted at the Statue of Unity, Gujarat?
One thing that has grabbed the attention of many is the chemistry and camaraderie between NTR Junior and Ram Charan in RRR. Even celebrities like Madhavan are all praise over this.
Besides Ram Charan and NTR, RRR stars Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt and Olivia Morris while Samuthirakani, Alison Doody, Ray Stevenson and Shriya Saran play supporting roles. The film has musical score by M M Keeravani, a regular in Rajamouli movies.
RRR has announced several streaming and satellite partners. Once the film completes its theatrical run, it will stream in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada languages on ZEE5. On Netflix, the film will stream in Hindi, English, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish and Spanish versions. The producers have also struck satellite carriage deals with ZEE Cinema for Hindi, Star Maa for Telugu, Star Suvarna for Kannada, Star Vijay for Tamil, and Asianet for Malayalam.
The last schedule of RRR was shot in Ukraine, which is hit by war now. Some important scenes were reportedly shot there.
Secret behind title
In the beginning, the team didn’t know what to put the title as, so they thought they should refer to the project as RRR because of Ram Charan, Rama Rao (Jr NTR) and Rajamouli. They started putting hashtags as RRR and the response of the audience was overwhelming so they kept RRR as the title.
Rajamouli’s twopart action-fantasy series Baahubali, released between 2015 and 2017, is often credited for bridging the gap between the north and south film industries. Since then, the word pan-India gained momentum after movies of south stars set new box office records in Hindi regions.
Producer & Passion
RRR producer DVV Danayya, who is from West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, is known for his passion for cinema. He has been active in the field since 1993 and is known for some big movies like Bharat Ane Nenu, Bruce Lee, Naayak and Dubai Seenu.
The film’s VFX has been handled by Srinivasa Mohan who has worked on earlier films with Rajamouli. Srinivasa Mohan has seen the final output of the film and is super excited. “The experience will be terrific and it’s a promise,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh Minister Perni Nani had said, “We got an application from the makers of RRR. As per that information, the producers have spent Rs 336 crore on the movie, excluding GST and the salaries of the cast and crew.” This means that the budget of RRR is over Rs 400 crore.
A lot of money has been spent on the 3D and Imax formats so that the audience gets the ultimate experience.
NTR Jr said it was heartening that the team was at the EXPO2020 Dubai to internationally promote RRR as an Indian film, not a regional film. Citing the example of Marvel Studio’s bigbudget superhero multistarrer ‘Avengers : Endgame’, the actor said irrespective of the nationalities audience cried when they saw Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr, die on screen in the 2019 Hollywood film.
Talking about Alia Bhatt, Rajamouli said, “On the outside, Alia appears fragile and soft, but on the interior she has a very strong character. I wanted someone like her to play the role of Sita as someone who could balance out the fire and water of Charan and Taarak’s characters in the film.”
Conflict between Protagonists
According to Rajamouli, “Let me tell you that here, in RRR, the conflict is between the heroes themselves. So, the heroes themselves are the heroes and the heroes themselves are the villains. The conflict is between them, not with the villain. I always knew that a conflict between two good people is much more stronger and emotional than the conflict between a good guy and a bad guy.”
On the experience of working with foreign actors in his film, Rajamouli said, “As we showcase the pre-Independence era, we had characters playing British people. The three main foreign actors in the film are Alison Doody, Ray Stevenson and Olivia Morris. It took us some time to actually find these actors.”
RRR is now a global craze — USA, Middle East, Canada, UAE etc. International acquisition has been done by Ahmad Golchin, the founder and CEO of Phars Film Group. Raftar Creations have bought the rights to distribute RRR in the US across languages in over 1000 screens. RRR is India’s biggest film, which is bankrolled by DVV Danayya and it has a star cast that pans across languages. For the first time an Indian film will be screened in IMAX across the world in over 100 screens. It will also be screened in 3D.
Naatu Naatu Song In Ukraine
Already a chartbuster, Naatu Naatu song was shot in Ukraine. NTR is in awe of the Ukraine dancers matching steps for the ‘Naatu Naatu’ song, learning the moves that were new to them: “The unit members were friendly, professional, and Charan and I were impressed by their culture, warmth and food. It is not among the most active film shooting destinations, but they are technically sound and curious to learn.”
War & Peace
Ram Charan rates Ukraine among the best countries he has filmed thus far. He contacted his security in charge once the war broke out and learnt that “his 85-yearold father is also holding a gun and is on the streets. The least I could do from here is help monetarily. None of them deserves to go through all this. I hope peace is restored.
“While shooting RRR, there were occasions when I wanted to go that side (direction) and Rajamouli garu come this side (acting),” said NTR in a lighter vein during a lengthy chat on RRR with director Anil Ravipudi.
Much recently, making the expectations on RRR to soar, the makers had released Ethara Jenda, an enlightening song from the movie. Featuring Ram Charan, NTR Junior and Alia Bhatt, the song with its rich visuals is a treat to the eyes and ears. To be shown along with the end credits, the song will be one of the highlights of RRR with splendid dance by the three stars, effervescent music and meaningful lines.
Playibcricket has been announced as the official VR gaming partner for RRR. Many such innovative partnerships have been planned.
NTR believes that the film will pave the way for more multi-starrer films. A few years ago, two A-list stars coming together would have meant the director having to balance the screen time of the two actors. “People have moved past such notions and want to see a good film,” he says.
Producer: DVV Danayya
Screenplay & Direction: S.S. Rajamouli
Cast: NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Olivia Morris, Samuthirakani, Alison Doody, Ray Stevenson
Banner: DVV Entertainment
Presented by: D. Parvathi
Story: V. Vijayendra Prasad
International Distribution: Phars Films
DOP: K.K. Senthil Kumar
Production Designer: Sabu Cyril
Music Composer: M.M. Kreem
VFX Supervision: V Srinivas Mohan
Editor: Sreekar Prasad
Costume Designer: Rama Rajamouli
Line Producer – SS Karthikeya
Post Production Line Producer – MM Srivalli
Telugu Dialogues: Sai Madhav Burra
Hindi Dialogues: Riya Mukherjee
Tamil Dialogues: Karky
Kannada Dialogues: Varadaraju Chikkaballapura
Malayalam Dialogues: Gopala Krishnan
Re-recording Mixer- Boloy Kumar Doloi, Rahul Karpe
North India Distribution: Pen Studios and Dr. Jayantilal Gada (Pen Studios)
Tamilnadu Distribution: Lyca Productions
Karnataka Distribution: KVN Productions
DI & Sound Mix: Annapurna Studios
Colorist: Shivakumar BVR
Music Label: Lahari Music & Tseries