'First, we are Teluguites and then we are Indians,' says Jr. NTR amidst row over RRR's identity as he talks about barriers breaking
Ram Charan and Jr. NTR in an interview with a Hollywood magazine, spoke about RRR breaking language barriers.
S.S. Rajamouli ’s RRR is a cinematic spectacle that is today making India proud on the global stage. The movie which is in the running for the Oscars and several other big awards in the West has managed to break barriers like never before as an Indian film and during an interview with Variety, Ram Charan and Jr. NTR have credited S.S. Rajamouli for making it possible.
RRR recently won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score, however, while country celebrated the historic win with festive fervour a debate on the side-lines was also about the movie being represented as an achievement for Tollywood instead of being seen as a Indian film by a few.
Giving an interview jointly, Jr. NTR and Ram Charan were asked if they hope they film will erase barriers of regional films versus Bollywood. Responding to the question Jr. NTR told Variety, “I think we have reached that stage now. I would say that RRR was the icebreaker, but with Bahubali I think, S.S. Rajamouli was this director who could erase these imaginary lines of the North film industry or the Southern film industry.”
The actor further went on to say that while Rajamouli had already managed to deliver a pan-Indian success with Bahubali, RRR added to it and further erased borders globally. “First, we are Teluguites and then we are Indians, as I mentioned before. It fills us with a lot of pride that we are Telugu people sitting here and talking, but again today we are Indians as well. So, it is a great breakthrough for us to sit here and talk about work, share our culture, share our work patterns, it’s amazing. And it happened only because of one person’s dream, S.S. Rajamouli. It is a great example of how when a master storyteller decides to tell a master story, everyone across the globe is ready to accept it," he added.
Ram Charan also shared his views on barriers coming down with RRR and said, “We all knew that the breakthrough was inevitable, it had to happen at some point and it happened with Bahubali and whole of India and Asia knew who SSR was. And now, the world is also enjoying his films, as the world is becoming one, cinema is becoming one, boundaries are being erased. Cinema is one language, that’s the experience that’s the emotion which he somewhere cracked it in India, until today. India has been enjoying his films universally and now the West also understands that it is not a film coming from a small state in India, but a movie which just been produced and made in that small state. I think that should be the focus. I don’t we want to be addressed as people coming from a small state but cinema is bigger than all of us. We are very proud to have been a part of this journey and it all began with SSR’s RRR.”
The regional versus Bollywood debate has been one that has been going on for a long time. While Bollywood has faced a set back after the pandemic in delivering frontrunning films, the culture of pan-Indian films is being fuelled by stories delivered by filmmakers from various Southern states.