RRR launches bid for Oscar glory

RRR, the Telugu-language epic action-adventure movie which has become a global phenomenon, could be set for Oscar glory despite missing out on becoming India’s entry in the Best International Feature Film category.

The opportunity to win a coveted Academy Award came after the makers of the film applied for consideration in the general category. The Gujarati-language movie Chhello Show, which was directed by Pan Nalin, is the official Indian entry in the Best International Feature Film category.

Commercial and critical acclaim

Before appearing on Netflix, RRR, which stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, and Ajay Devgn, achieved third place in the list of the highest-grossing Indian movies. The two movies ahead of RRR are Nitesh Tiwari’s Dangal and Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which was also directed by RRR filmmaker S. S. Rajamouli. An English dub of the movie is now available on the streaming service, further enhancing what the movie makers have described as “transcending linguistic and cultural barriers” around the world.

This worldwide success is reflected by an opening weekend that generated $65 million at the global box office and a total of over $140 million overall. Last month, RRR won the prestigious Saturn Award for Best International Film, beating the movies Downton Abbey: A New Era, and Eiffel. The movie was also nominated in the Best Action/Adventure Film category, which was won by the billion-dollar grossing Top Gun: Maverick.

It is not just the Indian movie industry that is capitalizing on the enduring popularity of the action genre. In the video game sector, Indian game developers such as Nodding Heads Games are making a splash with titles such as Raji: An Ancient Epic, which utilizes Hindu mythology and tales from Sanskrit epics. The iGaming sector has also been inspired by Indian culture in the India-themed slot game Ganesha Fortune, which features the God of wisdom, new beginnings, and luck. With a wide range of adventure titles such as Cave Raiders, available at Bodog Casino, we could soon see game titles that reflect the type of action adventures made popular by Indian movies like RRR.

Recognition for Indian cinema

The recognition of Indian moviemakers by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts is long overdue. In 1983, Bhanu Athaiya won an Oscar for Best Costume Design for Gandhi, while in 2009, Slumdog Millionaire saw three Indian winners with Resul Pookutty, Gulzar, and A. R. Rahman scooping Oscars. Three Indians have also won Academy Awards for Technical Achievement. The worldwide success of RRR creates the ideal environment for Indian cinema to add to its total Academy Awards.

As reported by Variety, RRR has been submitted independently in a total of 14 award categories as part of the “For Your Consideration” campaign. This could mean Oscar success for S. S. Rajamouli as Best Director and N. T. Rama Rao Jr or Ram Charan in the Best Actor category.

The 95th Academy Awards will be held on at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023, with comedian Jimmy Kimmel as the host. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be hoping that the action takes place on the big screen this year and not on stage after the Will Smith controversy at the 2022 event.

There is every chance RRR could attain the ultimate accolade next March. The movie was ranked in the first position by USA Today in its list of the best movies of 2022 so far, ahead of Top Gun: Maverick and The Batman.

But if RRR is unsuccessful in its Academy Award bid, the ultimate jury, the moviegoing public, has already voted the movie a resounding success. The movie phenomenon has paved the way for further Indian action-adventure films to burst onto the international scene.

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