Indian action blockbuster ‘RRR’ roars back to theaters for one-night event

For movie fans who are familiar, there is a life before “RRR” and there is a life after “RRR.”

The over three-hour-long Indian historical action film set in the 1920s is full of flying motorcycles, flaming arrows, brooding bromance and physics-defying heroism. It opened in March to the great anticipation of South Asian American audiences, who made the Telugu-language film the second most lucrative Indian film of all time in America.

If you missed “RRR” in the first run, you’re in luck: this summer, after collecting a $ 140 million worldwide ticket, the acclaimed filmmaker became SS Rajamouli (“Eega”, “Baahubali Pt. 1 & 2”). “) will roar again for a night on June 1 in 100+ American theaters, including Alamo Drafthouse venues and NYC’s IFC Center.

Ram Charan, as the undercover hero Alluri Sitarama Raju, meets a wild tiger when animal chaos is unleashed in “RRR”.

(DVV Entertainment)

The “#encoRRRe” event, presented by Variance Films and Potentate Films with Sarigama Cinemas, comes from an exaggerated interest in “RRR”, which created some of the strongest word-of-mouth buzz for a global biorelease in recent times.

“America has embraced ‘RRR’ as its own and crosses borders, the love that the American audience has shown our film has been satisfying,” said screenwriter and director Rajamouli in a statement. “Enthusiastic about reliving the relaunch experience, thanks to Variance and Potentate.”

With a sense of acting that can compete with the “Fast & Furious” series and its own MCU (it’s a mythical cinematic universe), “RRR” (short for “Rise! Roar! Revolt!”) Imagines a fictional team-up between two revolutionary folk heroes portrayed by Indian superstars – NT Rama Rao Jr. as Komaram Bheem and Ram Charan as Alluri Sitarama Raju – united to fight the British Raj.

“RRR” comes from the South Indian telugu-language film industry known as Tollywood, separate from the Hindi-language films in Bollywood, and has breathtaking action sequences and music numbers including the viral “Naatu Naatua catchy Ukraine-shot song and dance sequence with an anti-colonialist message and fleet-footed movements by Charan and Rama Rao.

Reportedly one of the biggest budgeted Indian productions of all time, it is now the second most lucrative Indian film in US box office history behind the 2017 sequel “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” – the latest film from Rajamouli, which has been compared to Steven Spielberg and James Cameron in terms of his eager successor.

Both films have surpassed the best Bollywood titles in the United States as Tollywood’s film industry has grown in popularity in recent years.

The June event may be the last chance for US moviegoers to see “RRR” on the big screen in its original uncut Telugu version, with some cinemas featuring a Dolby Atmos sound mix. Netflix licensed streaming rights and will release it subtitled in English, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish and Spanish as well as dubbed in Hindi.

“RRR” played a major role in making 2022 a breakthrough year for telugu-language films in the state, according to Gitesh Pandya, co-founder of Box Office Guru Media, adding that the film had been delayed several times by the pandemic, building even greater fans’ expectations for the opening weekend .

It’s easy to find evidence of a burning global “RRR” fandom online. When they were released in March, social media was flooded with gifs, memes and viral videos of audiences cheering, dancing and throwing confetti in theaters. “RRR” still plays strong in more than 500 cinemas around the world, according to DVV Entertainment. So why release a film that already received $ 14.5 million on 1,200 American screenplays?

Chandra Narisetty, CEO of Sarigama Cinemas, hopes that “RRR’s” extra presentation will help establish a benchmark for success that future Indian film releases can follow in the US, where they compete with Hollywood studio awards for film bookings but continue to do strong business.

His company recently followed “RRR” by releasing “KGF 2”, a successful sequel that topped the former’s worldwide earnings.

Variances Dylan Marchetti has experience navigating the challenge of helping three-hour-long Asian films reach audiences, having helped distribute RyĆ»suke Hamaguchi’s Oscar-winning drama “Drive My Car.” He compares “RRR”‘s unique alchemy of awe-inspiring action and thrilling storytelling to George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” and believes it can expand further and connect with new film audiences who are hungry for thrilling film experiences.

Ram Charan sits on the shoulders of NT Rama Rao Jr. "RRR"

Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jr. in artwork from “RRR”, which also plays Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody and Olivia Morris.

(DVV Entertainment)

“Opening night of one of these films is the most fun you can have in the theater, period,” said Marchetti, adding that Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters do not even have several pulsating action sequences before the title card appears on screen, as “RRR” does.

And if the film’s playing time seems to be a scary factor, at 182 minutes “” RRR ‘is only 10 minutes longer than’ The Batman ‘”, critic Katie Rife pointed out in her review for Polygon.

As for the June 1 screening, Potentates’ Josh Hurtado, a film festival consultant who fought for Rajamouli’s previous films, hopes that the return of “RRR” to cinemas will open doors for Indian and international film and introduce new films to the filmmaker’s work.

“The goal here is to show people the best movie they’ve ever seen,” Hurtado said, “and also help Rajamouli make the second best movie they’ve ever seen by making his name a worldwide celebrity.”

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