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10 Most Exhilarating Scenes In RRR

Despite being home to several robust film industries distinguished by various regions and languages (including Bollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, and Sandalwood), it is quite rare for Indian cinema to cross over into international popularity. It is even rarer, still, for such a film to become a worldwide sensation; yet, this is exactly what happened with director S. S. Rajamouli's epic period action extravaganza, "RRR" (which stands for Rise Roar Revolt in English). Not only is it one of Tollywood's highest-grossing blockbusters, but it proved to a smash hit in the US, prompting encore screenings months after its releasing — and upon its streaming release, it became the #1 most watched non-English film on Netflix.

The film tells the stories of two real life anti-colonialist revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (played by Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (played by N. T. Rama Rao Jr.), and imagines a fictional scenario where the two met and became best friends, despite initially working at cross purposes. Their bond, betrayal, and redemption set the stage for multiple exhilarating set pieces. Some revolve around action, others around dancing or camaraderie, but all have been embraced by the film's ravenous international audience. Below, a (spoiler heavy) list of the 10 most exciting scenes in "RRR."

10. Fire Against Water

Much of the drama in "RRR" stems from the fact that Ram and Bheem, despite becoming fast friends, are secretly working against one another. 

Bheem is a protector of the Gond tribe and has been tasked with rescuing Malli, a young girl who has been taken captive by the nefarious Governor Scott and his wife, while Ram is an undercover officer for the British Raj who has been assigned to apprehend his new friend. Though at first they don't know each others' real identities, things come to a head when Bheem reveals himself to an injured Ram, right before leaving to attack the palace.

Though initially reluctant to fight his new brother, Ram's ulterior motive (he needs to rise in the British ranks in order to gain access to British weapons for his village) demands that the two must tangle. The resulting brawl, which makes excellent use of the fire and water motifs that the characters have been visually and metaphorically associated with, is every bit as intense as it is heartbreaking. The only thing holding it back is that, as exciting as it is to watch these fearsome warriors clash, the scene is permeated by the tragedy of a meaningful friendship that now seems irreversibly shattered.

9. The Final Musical Number

The heroes are victorious. The palace has been overthrown and the British defeated. Ram has fulfilled his promise to deliver munitions to the people of his village, and Bheem has successfully delivered Malli back to her mother and tribe. Perhaps most importantly, the friendship between the two has been mended, and through their mutual trials has now grown stronger than ever, as they vow to continue the fight against their oppressors. There's only one thing left for "RRR" to do: stage one final, epic musical number.

A common staple of Indian cinema, this sequence takes place out of context of the film itself, inviting the stars (and at one point, the director himself) to come together for an exuberant celebration of music and heroism, paying tribute to other Indian revolutionaries in the process. Despite becoming visibly tired after a while, considering all the fighting and dancing they've done over the course of the film, the leads still rally together for some energetic choreography set against a tableau of patriotic iconography. The sequence does a great job of closing the film out on a high note, with one last burst of enthusiastic excess, the kind that a potentially exhausting 3-hour runtime expertly weaponizes to create a consistently entertaining momentum.

8. Ram vs. the Protesters

When the audience first meets A. Rama Raju (or simply Ram, as he's often referred in the film), he is a soldier for the British, stationed at an outpost under siege by protesters who demand the release of a political prisoner. One of the protesters takes things a step too far, however, when he throws a brick into the outpost, causing Ram's commanding officer to order the man's capture. Eager to prove himself, Ram single-handedly launches into a literal sea of angry countrymen, subsequently fighting through the horde in order to apprehend the brick-thrower.

This may seem like an impossible task for most men, but as we quickly learn, Ram is not most men. Possessed of near superhuman strength and agility, as well as a ferocious drive to achieve his goal by any means necessary, he makes a startling impression as he fights through wave after wave of people, using the rocky terrain to his advantage as he ultimately grabs the man in question and delivers him, kicking and screaming, to his superiors. Not only is this a viscerally-effective introduction to the might and fury of one of the film's protagonists, but it also gives audiences a good sense of the sort of unrelenting action they can expect from the rest of "RRR."

7. The Friendship Montage

Following their action-packed first meeting, where Ram and Bheem use their incredible skills to rescue a child, the film's title kicks in (roughly 45 minutes after "RRR" has begun), and the audience is treated to an extended montage of the pair becoming the best of friends. They participate in local festivals together, go for walks, engage in philosophical discussions, race one another (horse vs. motorcycle), and engage in competitions of fitness, including a moment where Bheem gives Ram a piggyback ride, which will become important later on.

Charan and NTR's effortless charm and chemistry give this sequence an infectious level of joy, as well as an underlying tension, since we also see them working towards their conflicting missions, which will likely result in bringing their friendship to a halt. Throughout the montage, a song plays that very much comments on the events as they happen, with lyrics that translate to: "this is an unforeseen turn of fate, which has culminated in this friendship. It's yet to be seen if this will end in bloodshed." Thus the stakes have been firmly established, and though we can spend this scene reveling in the camaraderie that has resulted between our heroes, we know that a breaking point is right around the corner.

6. Bheem Captures a Tiger

Shortly after Ram's character has been introduced and established, the film pivots to an introduction of its other protagonist, Bheem. Initially hyped up by the Nizamate of Hyderabad, who warns Governor Scott's office of the fearless warrior who has vowed to rescue young Malli at any cost, we meet Bheem standing in the jungle, pouring blood over his body. As it turns out, this is part of an elaborate plan to capture one of the wild predators that will be attracted by the scent. Though Bheem is initially pursued by a wolf, the chase is quickly superseded by a tiger, who claims Bheem for itself, scaring the wolf away.

Sprinting through the foliage, Bheem leads the animal to a clearing where several of his companions have set up a net to hold it down. When the ropes holding this net together strain against the tiger's weight, Bheem must hold them together himself, staring the beast in the face and matching its ferocious roar with his own. Once they have finally sedated the tiger, Bheem cradles its head against his, apologizing for using it to suit his own needs. This is the viewer's first indicator that, while Bheem is an intimidating force to be reckoned with, he also has a sensitive side, which will come into play in his interactions with both Ram and Jenny, the Governor's niece with whom he finds himself falling in love.

5. Bheem Unleashes the Animals

For the first half of "RRR," everything builds up to an extended sequence where Bheem and his compatriots crash the Governor's homecoming party. Viewers know from earlier in the film that Bheem has captured at least a tiger, although the purpose of this is initially unclear. That is, until his partner drives a tarp-covered truck through the palace gates, flipping off the covering to reveal a stack of open cages, releasing a horde of tigers, cheetahs, wolves and deer, as well as a torch-wielding Bheem, who uses the flames to point the animals in the direction of the rapidly overwhelmed palace security.

A disclaimer at the start of the film assures viewers that no actual animals were harmed in the course of the film's production, and the various wildlife depicted are all computer-generated. None of this matters, because the sheer spectacle of seeing the helpless British get assaulted by these weaponized jungle denizens is exhilarating.

4. Ram & Bheem Rescue the Child

Considering that most of "RRR" hangs on the relationship between Ram and Bheem, one imagines that their first meeting would have to be just as epic as all the craziness that follows it, right? 

The film concocts an admittedly preposterous, but no less entertaining, scenario to bring the heroes together. Both happen to be present when a leaking train begins to explode, endangering a young boy who happens to be fishing below. Ram watches from the bridge above, Bheem sees it from the shore. Both know that something needs to be done, and at this moment their eyes meet. Without saying a word, they quickly formulate a rescue plan.

Using a length of rope tied to each of them, they use a horse and motorcycle (respectively) to propel them across opposite sides of the bridge, employing their momentum and a wet flag to save the boy and protect themselves from the raging fire. After which, they swing back towards each other and lock hands, in a moment so powerful and uplifting that it triggers the film's title to appear. The viewer learns an impressive amount about these two characters in the sequence, both as individuals and as a unit, as they are able to silently sync up and undertake the most ridiculous rescue plan imaginable.

3. Heroes vs. Colonizers

Following their prison escape, the heroes quickly find themselves surrounded by the British army, who have tracked them into the woods with the intent of finishing them off. Ram is severely injured, but Bheem bandages his wounds and finds himself some new saffron-colored garments, as well as a bow and arrow from a shrine to Lord Rama, whose likeness Ram finds himself embodying. Rejuvenated and ready for battle, the pair turn the tides on the enemy battalion, setting the forest ablaze and proceeding to attack with full force, primarily using arrows and spears to brutal effect.

This is the final action scene of "RRR," and it does not disappoint. With their differences now behind them, Ram and Bheem are fully united and working towards the shared purpose of taking down their oppressors. All sorts of cheer-inducing moments ensue, from Bheem catching a motorcycle and using it as a bludgeon, to Ram attaching grenades to the tips of his arrows, with expectedly explosive results. These weapons are then combined for a full-on attack on the palace, leaving the building in ruins and the detestable Governor Scott with a bullet in his head. In terms of satisfying finales, one couldn't ask for much more than this, especially after 3 hours of buildup.

2. The Prison Escape

After sacrificing his standing with the British in order to free Bheem and Malli from their captivity, Ram finds himself incarcerated for months, defiantly practicing his pull-ups. Bheem and Malli are on the run, but have the good fortune to run into Ram's fiancé Sita, who houses and feeds them. After he realizes through her that Ram was actually a double agent, working with the British in order to ultimately arm his people, Bheem decides he much break his former comrade out of his underground prison cell.

Though Ram still has the spirit to fight, his legs have been crippled by his captors. In order to facilitate their escape, Bheem elects to carry Ram on his shoulders (foreshadowed in their friendship montage earlier in the film). United in resolve and in body, the two proceed to tear through the soldiers patrolling the prison area, making use of their four arms to quickly reload their rifles and even pull off a reverse flip up to a guard tower. The set piece is outlandishly entertaining, and given an extra boost of excitement in that it represents our heroes finally overcoming their differences and becoming allies once again.

1. The Epic Dance-Off

Odds are good that if you've only viewed one scene from this film online, it's probably this one. The musical number, known as "Naatu Naatu" in the film's native Telugu (or "Desi Naach" in the Hindi version currently streaming on Netflix), explodes out of a seemingly innocuous garden party, where Ram and Bheem have found themselves invited at Jenny's request. Bheem attempts to dance with her, but finds himself unfamiliar with the more formal style, leading a bullying young British man to openly mock him before the crowd. Gracefully coming to his brother's aid, Ram initiates a dance-off, where he and Bheem show off some incredible choreography that eventually ropes in all of the party's guests, including the antagonistic Brits. 

The scene is mesmerizing, not just as a relatively self-contained depiction of footwork, nor for how surprising it is in the middle of what's ostensibly an action drama, but for how it serves as the ultimate pulse-pounding encapsulation of the film's anti-colonial themes. Apart from the rest of the film's context, this is just a scene of two Indian men who rise up against a racist bully and beat him at his own game, all through the power of dance. It's just another example of how "RRR" is among the most entertaining films of 2022.