Netflix‘s latest win is – surprise – another project that shows you shouldn’t be afraid of subtitles. Releasing on Netflix on May 22, Indian blockbuster RRR is one of those movies that mostly comes out of nowhere, but has been on the lips of moviegoers everywhere.
RRR, which just returned to theaters for a very short 2-night run (which was only supposed to be one night) on June 1-2, stands for Raama Roudra Rushitam in his native Telugu translates to Rise, Revolt and Revenge in English (Although this was originally a placeholder for the names of the director and stars). And now it has a good chance of making it to our best Netflix movies list.
One of our recent picks for the best new movies to watch online, RRR was ranked #7 on Netflix’s Top 10 Movies in the US Today list. But that’s just one indication of the film’s success on Netflix. In its second week on Netflix (May 23-29), RRR reached No. 1 on the list of non-English films for the streaming service, having been in sixth place the previous week (May 16-22). may).
Netflix’s figures so far reflect that its audience has watched 25,540,000 hours of the film in its two weeks on the service. Compared to English movies on Netflix last week, that’s just over 24+ million hours that Senior Year has logged (in its third week on Netflix), and less than the 32+ million hours that viewers of A Perfect Pairing recorded. (in its second week).
So why all the fuss?
Why is RRR so popular?
RRR is the latest film from Indian director SS Rajamouli, whose films are categorized as high fantasy. Released in March, but hard to find in the US for various reasons which we’ll cover below, RRR is – in Rajamouli’s own words – an “imaginary friendship between two superheroes”.
After watching it, I can say that the description I had read – Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (NT Rama Rao Jr.), a pair of Indian folk heroes, fight against British colonialists in the 1960s. 1920 – is one of the best ways to distill a very complicated and awesome movie.
It might not sound fantastic to you, but check out Netflix’s RRR trailer. Wrapped up in a series of blink-and-you-miss-it moments is a shot where Komaram Bheem throws a motorcycle at someone, you know, like a weapon.
As someone who has proudly seen all the Fast and Furious movies in order and loved Top Gun Maverick, RRR has been on my radar for weeks. Full of flying arrows, fire, trees thrown as weapons and tigers eager to maim, RRR received critical acclaim, earning 86% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in a new tab)with an audience score of 94%.
The only asterisk for these reviews is that RRR hasn’t exactly entered the market here, with just 29 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Analysis: Netflix’s RRR has a catch
A few of my friends have been raving about RRR ever since its limited US release began. Unfortunately, I missed the window when local New York theaters regularly screened RRR.
But I’m told that Netflix for some reason got the wrong version of RRR. As you will see when you load it, Netflix has a Hindi translation of RRR, not its original Telugu. It might be because Hindi is a more popular language, but I’m told the movie will lose a lot of translation, as its musical segments drop something in translation from Telugu to Hindi. This is a problem as Netflix would have translated the Hindi and not the original Telugu for the English subtitles. And as a friend said, “Lyrics are shit metal when you get a direct translation” in the theater.
Oh, and RRR’s show, I’m told, is the best in theaters. And I can say it’s on point, because the experience I had in theaters on Thursday night was one of a kind.