India’s ‘RRR’ nominated for best original song at 2023 Academy Awards
By Tara Subramaniam, CNN
Fresh from its success at the Golden Globes, India’s “RRR” on Tuesday scored an Academy Award nomination in the original song category.
“RRR,” which stands for “Rise, Roar, Revolt,” is a Telugu-language drama set during India’s struggle for independence from Britain.
The three-hour historical fantasy draws from a number of genres and features wild action sequences, explosions, epic battles, complex dance numbers and a man wrestling a tiger.
If “RRR” wins an Oscar, it would be the first Indian film to do so.
The movie won India’s first ever Golden Globe award this year, taking home the trophy for best original song. The winning song, “Naatu Naatu,” was composed by M.M. Keeravani, with lyrics from Chandrabose.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the Golden Globes win as a “very special accomplishment,” adding in a tweet: “This prestigious honour has made every Indian very proud.”
According to Shubhra Gupta, film critic for the Indian Express, “RRR” has “caught the zeitgeist in a way that nothing else has before,” thanks in large part to “Naatu Naatu.”
“RRR” is “India’s answer to Marvel,” Gupta told CNN.
Director S.S. Rajamouli told Reuters, “When we initially set out to make it we didn’t have the critical acclaim in mind. We set out to make the movie for the audience, for them to love it, for them to experience the movie.”
The film has already made more than $150 million worldwide, which makes it India’s fourth highest grossing film, according to IMDb.
“RRR” was released on Netflix a few months after hitting theaters and was among the platform’s top 10 most viewed non-English films for 16 weeks.
Rajamouli credits part of the film’s wide reach to the streaming service. “If so many people got to know about RRR, it’s because of the streaming platform Netflix. I’m thankful for that,” he told Yahoo UK.
But he described streaming services as both the “hero and villain,” because of the threat they pose to the communal experience of going to a theater to see film on the big screen.
Other original song nominees include “Hold My Hand,” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” and “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
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CNN’s Jake Kwon and Sophia Saifi contributed reporting.