The Telugu-language Indian action-drama film “RRR” earned a historic Oscar nod for Best Song on Tuesday, marking the first time a song from an Indian feature film was nominated for an Academy Award.
The epic action drama, which was submitted in 14 categories for the 2023 Oscars, generated buzz among U.S. viewers after it played on 1,200 screens across the country in March 2022 and eventually was released on Netflix. Starring renowned Indian actors Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr., the spectacle from filmmaker S. S. Rajamouli tells a fictionalized story of two real-life Indian revolutionaries.
Pundits have hailed the film for its captivating narrative and the jaw-dropping visuals consistently spread throughout its three-hour runtime.
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In a recent interview with NextShark, Rama Rao attributed the film’s success to “the emotional portion of ‘RRR,’ the extravaganza action of ‘RRR,’ and of course the ‘Naatu Naatu’ song.”
Despite the Oscar nod, however, many believe the Academy snubbed the film by not giving it any major nominations, as some entertainment portals pointed out.
Mashable suggested Rajamouli should have received a Best Director nomination, having been recognized by several critics’ guilds. Variety
editors cited the same rationale as to why they think not giving “RRR” the Best Picture was a “disappointing oversight.”
“An Original Song nom is not enough for this masterpiece,” O’Keefe wrote. “‘RRR’ deserved a place on that Best Picture list. ‘RRR”s maestro S. S. Rajamouli deserved a Best Director nomination. ‘RRR’ is one of those rare films that seismically upends your appreciation for what cinema can be and I just think it deserves yet more fanfare from the Hollywood elite.”
Meanwhile, Nair made a case for the film by highlighting the impact the film has on its viewers beyond the action scenes.
“RRR should have been nominated for Best Picture for the way it presents a refreshing style of filmmaking to audiences – a style in which every shot is ideated and curated to evoke awe,” Nair explained. “One of the most consequential impacts of RRR as a piece of cinema has been its ability to prove that cinema can be larger than life yet leave an impact that’s deeper than any other.”
“RRR” is set to be re-released in U.S. theaters in February.