The best movies of 2022 so far

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“RRR” asks the important question: what if two legendary revolutionaries who were simultaneously active in colonial India actually met? Better yet, what if they were best friends? Better yet, what if one betrays the other in a melodramatic twist of fate that ends in a climactic musical showdown that essentially ends up being god-like superheroes? This is “RRR”, the incredible, crazy and maximalist epic in Indian Telugu language directed by SS Rajamouli.

“RRR” tells the (fictional) story of Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), two real-life revolutionaries who, again, were probably not best friends in real life. But “RRR” imagines they were, in the year’s most jaw-dropping hyperstylized action flick.

In “RRR”, Raju is a policeman working for the British Raj who is tasked with finding and arresting the legendary Bheem, a kind of John Wick-ian figure (except with more tiger punches) who protects the peaceful Gond tribe, after the British governor forcibly takes one of the Gond tribes maidens as a pet for his wife. But Raju and Bheem, disguising themselves as a lowly Muslim mechanic, unknowingly meet for the first time while saving a young boy from a train wreck, and instantly become best friends by virtue of their equivalent manhood (and also through a musical montage straight out of a romantic comedy). All the while, Raju is unaware that Bheem is the man he is hunting, and Bheem is unaware that Raju is actually an undercover cop working to steal guns from the British government. It all culminates in a fiery hell of betrayal, more tiger punches, motorcycle throwing, and a viral musical sequence where Raju and Bheem happily overpower a group of white people. Take that, imperialism. (Hoai-Tran Bui)


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