Friendship, Patriotism, Vision, Love, and Sacrifice - A Review of the Movie RRR

I recently happened to watch RRR (Rise. Roar. Revolt), a Telugu-language epic action-drama film based on pre-partition times, starring characters from the Bollywood and South Indian film industries. While the reason for watching the film was just entertainment, I never knew the ideas and graphics featured in the film would have a long-lasting impact on me, urging me to reflect on my goals as a person and our collective action as a Muslim nation. The film is renowned for its use of art, heroic elements, and creative moments in the plot that are rarely seen in other Bollywood action films. Even though the idea of the Ram-Bheem duo single-handedly overcoming the British empire is arguable, the actual praise I believe should be attributed to the concept of friendship, patriotism, vision, love, and sacrifice shown beautifully throughout the film.


The friendship bond shared between Ram and Bheem grabbed my attention the most in the film. Despite both individuals being on separate missions, they stumbled upon each other and used their strengths to cover for the weaknesses of the other. Whether it is one unable to speak English or the other not knowing the cure for snake poison, both friends took care of each other against all the odds. Even when Ram’s mission stood at the stake of his friendship, the success and achievement had no meaning for him as it came at the cost of losing a valuable and sincere friend. Both the individuals had worked hard to reach their ultimate goals in the movie, Bheem was committed to saving his sister, and Ram to fulfilling his father’s promise and freeing the Indian nation from the empire. It was interesting to see how Ram risks his years-long earned position in the British police to enable Bheem to save his sister, and so does Bheem risk his life to save his friend from the tyranny of the British empire. Both used their strengths to fight against the empire that had earlier made them enemies of each other.



Another concept that enthralled me was the valor and strength of women showcased in the movie. It was hard to imagine how Seetha held on to Ram’s promise of coming back to his people despite no point of contact in years. Her patience became Ram’s strength, and she proved it with her actions. Despite the love she had for Ram, Seetha let him go to fulfill his goal, his father’s promise that became the vision of his life which highlights the true essence of love and sacrifice. Letting go of the one you love gracefully for something that your beloved truly values just shows how women can be so devoted to their partners. This reminds me of Muslim history on the other side when women stood behind their husbands as a rock, bidding farewell to them while they were leaving for wars for the sake of Islam, not knowing if they would come back or not. I always wonder how difficult this separation phase must be for these women, emotionally and physically, but their love for God and their husbands would give them that power. How magnificent that is!


Thinking of Ram’s character shown in the movie and especially the childhood incident when he lost his whole family in the blink of an eye, and that too at the hands of the British army. I thought how traumatic it must be for a child in his early years to see every loved person die in front of him. And still, his father asking him to not forget his mission when he grows up, taking the promise from Ram in his last few breaths, and showing him throughout his life how the end goal should always be bigger than trials, tribulations, and temporary losses in life. Seeing all his family die also gave Ram the reason to live and achieve his mission which kept him focused throughout his life, but it was evident that he didn’t get a chance to process those emotions. The flashbacks of the massacre wouldn’t let him sleep properly, and every step away from the success made him feel like a failure. It seemed like an extreme burden to carry for a child who was not prepared for what was coming his way. This was even similar to how children in South Asian families from a young age, try to live up to parents’ expectations related to education and career at the cost of their agency, passion, mental health, and freedom.


The movie made me reflect on the kind of life we are living these days without any purpose. We have certain goals to meet regarding our education and career, but do we see beyond that? Are we contributing to our community or country to meet collective goals for the betterment of all? Are we devoted to religion enough that we are playing a part in our social circle, or it has just become a private matter for us? Is our life just confined to our relationships and monthly wages for survival or do we aspire towards something more meaningful that is closer to our vision in life? The concepts shown in the movie can be a takeaway for us to reflect back on our lives, the bonds that we share, the strengths that we carry, the traumas that we hide, and the vision that we miss out on, as all of that gives true essence to our being, individually and collectively.

 

Amna Sheikh is an in-house writer at Perspective who is currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Psychology at NUST School of Social Sciences and Humanities.


Find her on Instagram @amnasheikh2597

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