Alia Bhatt proved her acting ability with her recent outing Gangubai Kathiawadi. And now her debut film in Telugu is an SS Rajamouli film that has already made the cash registers call. With Ram Charan and Jr NTR in the lead roles, RRR has been hailed by both critics and audiences. While Gangubai Kathiawadi is completely centered on Alias’ character, in RRR, the actress has much less screen time.
RRR takes place in the 1920s when British rule was at its peak in India, and is based on the lives of Telugu freedom fighters, Alluri Seetharama Raju and Komaram Bheem who are struggling to break free from the shackles of the British Empire. These two roles are played by Ram Charan and Jr NTR respectively. The film presents their friendship and devotion to the nation and their struggle for independence.
In the film, the actress Student of the Year essays the role of Sita, Ram Charan aka Ram’s childhood friend and love interest. Ajay Devgn and Shriya Saran, who play the role of Ram’s parents, love Sita, just like their own child.
Ajay, who is also an officer in the British Army, wants to free his society from British shackles. While he lacks weapons to fight them, he trains his people with available resources. Everything is turned upside down when British soldiers attack the unarmed villagers and kill Ram’s mother and brother. In revenge, Ajay carries bombs on his body and asks Ram to shoot, sacrificing his life as a martyr. Before his death, Ajay takes a promise from Ram that he will “equip every villager’s hand with a weapon.” To fulfill his promise, and to avenge the murders of his family members, Ram embarks on a journey and gives another promise to Sita that he will only return if he finds the weapons to the villagers.
In several scenes in the film, Ram is seen remembering Sita by looking at a pendant. It is only during the latter half, when Sita receives a letter telling her about Ram and Bheem’s (Jr. NTR) friendship, Alia is introduced. She is seen talking to the villagers when they question whether Ram will ever return. She has an unbreakable confidence in Ram.
Alia appears in a different sequence when she travels to the city, after receiving a letter from the British government to receive his dead body after he was hanged due to protests against the government. Meanwhile, Jr. NTR, along with his village squad, hides when they take Malli (the girl captured by the British) back to their home. Sita helps Bheem and his village squad by lying to the soldiers and feeding them as well.
In the next sequence, Sita is asked by Bheem why she lied and helped them, to which she replies by saying that she believes in the values of her partner (Ram) who believes in helping those in need. She then tells the whole childhood episode to Bheem, and also how Ram has helped his friend (Bheem) to free Malli from the British, and now they have decided to hang him. This makes Bheem realize that Ram is ready to sacrifice his life for good, and he promises to reunite Sita with Ram.
This is the last sequence in RRR when we see Alia. She also appears in the song “Sholay” in the film, where Ram Charan, Jr. NTR, SS Rajamouli and Olivia Morris shake a leg. The song is played after the movie is over.
Although she has a limited but prominent role, it makes us wonder why the actress, who had delivered praiseworthy performances in films like Raazi and Udta Punjab, agreed to do a role that has much less screen time compared to the other characters.
One important reason is that Alia, according to her own confession, wanted to be a part of Bahubali director SS Rajamouli’s film. In her interview in 2019 with PTI, the actress shared how much she wanted a role in RRR. She said, “I had encountered Rajamouli sir at an airport and I asked him what part he has (for me) that I will do. That time he had not thrown after the girl yet.”
“He said he was still talking about my timelines. So I told him regardless of the timeline, I will make it happen. We made it happen,” she added.
At the time, Alia probably had not imagined that RRR would follow the biggest film of her career to date – Gangubai – which made fans feel a little overwhelmed by her small presence in such a large film.
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