2022’s biggest epic not from Hollywood

KAREN KUNAWICZ

2022-09-23T07:00:00.0000000Z

2022-09-23T07:00:00.0000000Z

The Manila Times

https://manilatimes.pressreader.com/article/282333978771050

Entertainment & Lifestyle

“ONE of the most glorious bats**t things I have ever seen.” “Bonkers in the best possible way.” “It is EVERYTHING, and then when you think you’ve gotten everything, they find a way to throw in a little more. So much excitement and exuberance in it.” A YouTube cinephile named Patrick Willems called it “It is so f**king good, that if you are able to see it and chose not to, you are actively making a choice to live a worse life.” The movie they’re referring to is a masterpiece of Indian cinema called “RRR.” My son recommended it to me and when I finally saw it over two weekends (yes you can watch it that way or watch it with a meal or snack intermission, it is after all three hours and seven minutes long), I was floored. I have not seen anything like it in recent years and it delivered the originality mixed with grand spectacle that I have been searching for so long in a movie-going experience. Hollywood hasn’t been able to do that for a while because it’s getting harder and harder to find anything fresh anymore. All their ‘products’ are basically just milking all these IPs — “Star Wars,” “Marvel,” “Game of Thrones,” “Lord of the Rings.” “RRR” stands for many things but when the title card finally shows up 40 minutes into the film, it reads in English: Rise Roar Revolt. It could also stand for the director, S. S. Rajamouli (who co-wrote the script with V. Vijayendra Prasad) and the two lead actors — Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. Rajamouli. Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr are such celebrated actors with incredible star power that they have never been in a movie together, presumably because it would be too expensive. Both men play Indian revolutionaries Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem. Both men did not meet, but in this epic, action-packed, dramatic, thrilling piece of historical ‘fan fiction’ which takes place in 1920, they did and put the villains — officers and ‘royalty’ of the British Raj in their place while performing astounding feats of heroism, falling in love and dancing. I don’t want to reveal too much as much of the enjoyment is the element of surprise. On the side of the villains, Ray Stevenson (Volstagg from the “Thor” movies) plays the cruel British Governor Scott Buxton and Alisson Doody (Nazi collaborator Elsa Schneider from “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”) plays his sadistic wife, Lady Catherine Buxton. The action sequences are the wildest and most innovative and inventive I have seen in a while too. I just started a thread about this movie on Facebook saying there is no marketing here for this film and I had to hear about it from my son. There’s a long comment section and about half the people saw it already and I was wondering, how can you watch this magnificence — one of the best, if not the best movie of year so far and not spread the word? This needs a cinematic release! Netflix has it out and it at least deserves the biggest screen you can watch on. I heard you can catch it at some IMAX cinemas in the US right now. So yes, drop your “Rings of Power” and “House of the Dragon” — you can always go back to these later. I promise, this is way more epic.

en-ph