After delivering masterworks such as Magadheera, Eega, Bahubali: The Beginning, and Bahubali: The Conclusion, SS Rajamouli comes back with RRR, starring Jr. NTR and Ram Charan, and featuring Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn in pivotal roles. The film takes place in the pre-Independence era, and the central conflicts are caused by the British Empire’s demons. The filmmaker constructs a piece of fiction around the lives of two real-life figures, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Jr. NTR), who are both liberation warriors.

He delivers the historical drama from the 1900s as promised by shading the globe with a new brush. In terms of Indian film, he generates visuals that have never been seen on the big screen before. He creates a drama that takes a few cues from the worlds of Manmohan Desai, Ramesh Sippy, and Kader Khan, and turns it around with his own broader vision, giving it its own personality. Rajamouli and his writer father, KV Vijayendra Prasad, don’t waste any time getting to the central tension, and you’ll find yourself immersed in the plot minutes into the movie. Despite having a running time of 1 hour 45 minutes, the first half moves at a fast speed.

The plot is established in the first frame of the movie, accompanied by lavish descriptions of the two main characters, Ram Charan and Jr. NTR. Rajamouli establishes his storyline as well as the mindsets of two main characters within the first 25 minutes. From there, the story is packed with dramatic, humorous, and action situations, each one filled with soothing cinematography that won’t allow you to take your gaze away from the screen for even a second. Every shot exudes grandeur, and the interim block is without a doubt the best in Indian cinema to be seen on the large screen.

The extended intermission block is flawless in every way, from the build-up to that moment, to the camera movements, and, of course, the wonderfully planned stunt design. While it is common to detect references to the action sequences in Indian films, every shot and every stunt choreographed in RRR appears to have been imagined in Rajamouli’s mind and accomplished by his action unit. The first half is a suspenseful thriller, laying the groundwork for the notion to erupt in the post-interval scenes.

However, this is when things tend to slow down. While the notion of huge frames and inconceivable shot taking remains, the story’s pace slows as it unfolds. The problem here is that the RRR disagreement can be summed up in a single sentence. RRR would have been an average event, rather a below par product, if not for Rajamouli’s directing and his father’s talent to reach the dramatic peaks. In the second half, the film’s weak conflict begins to show, and even the scenes get repetitive. They slow down a little in the second half, as the first half is filled with lots of things to applaud about that even give you chills.

With a denouement that is sure to go down in history as one of the most spectacular action scenes in a forest, Rajamouli enhances the overall effect of the second half. The final 25 minutes of Charan and NTR’s performance would be a wonderful experience for any actor. It’s about as heroic and larger-than-life as you can get. It’s the movie’s conclusion that returns it to the high points that it constantly left us with in the first half.

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