hyderabad. Director SS Rajamouli, author of films full of song and dance, hopes that his extravagant RRR be the first 100 percent Indian film to win an Oscar.
It is a fiction about two revolutionaries of the colonial era loaded with action scenes, visual effects and musical numbers.
He broke box office records in his country, wowed audiences from the United States to Japan and is looking to win the Oscar for best original song, after beating Taylor Swift and Rihanna for the same award at the Golden Globes.
“When I go to the cinema, I want to see exuberant characters, situations and drama,” Rajamouli told Afp. “That’s what I like to do,” he adds in his office in the city of Hyderabad.
The Telugu-language film, which made audiences dance in the aisles of cinemas, became the highest grossing film in Indian film history. It has been a letter of introduction to the world of the prolific but less well-known cinema from the south of the country≠. Bollywood, the Hindi-language industry, has been recognized as the world’s most productive, but international awards are often reserved for English-language films.
This changed when Parasite, by Korean Bong Joon-ho, won four Oscars in 2020, including those for best film and best director.
The only Indian works recognized with Oscars were in English: Gandhi, of 1982, and the British I would like to be a millionaire 2008, set in Mumbai.
Rajamouli now hopes that a statuette for the song’s dance scene Naatu Naatu open the way for other filmmakers who share your nationality.
Shot in front of Ukraine’s pre-war presidential palace, the scene features intense performances from its two leads as they confront their rival.
“We are paving the way, but I think we are taking very, very initial steps,” says the 49-year-old director. “Look, for example, at the progress South Korea has made. That is what all Indian filmmakers should aspire to,” he explains.
Rajamouli was born in the southern state of Karnataka. His father was a screenwriter who introduced him to the film industry.
His early influences include Hollywood works like Ben Hur and Brave heart, and is a fan of Steven Spielberg and James Cameron.