Indian blockbuster RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt) has proven its global success through word-of-mouth in the states that’s given the genre juggernaut staying power in major cities. There’s even a growing demand for screenings to be added to be a part of the summer slate alongside movies like Jurassic World: Dominion and Thor: Love and Thunder.
So while we wait for IMAX to take notice and give us RRR on the biggest screens possible, here are some picks that you can watch with similar vibes and themes to scratch that itch for more.
Just go see it again and take as many people with you as you can.
If you haven’t seen it and are here to get a mood board sense of the film, Director S. S. Rajamouli has created the most epic three hours (don’t worry, there’s an intermission) you’ll witness on screen. Stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan are swoon-worthy leading action stars, with a supporting turn (randomly) by former Punisher Ray Stevenson too.
During a fictionalized take on 1920s revolution-era India, two unlikely best friends—whose meet-cute is saving a child from a burning bridge—get swept into a pure bromance (there are musical numbers), rise to defend their people, but inevitably turn to foes by fate (it gets dramatic). There’s lot of Tom Cruise-esque running, action that outdoes Bayhem, Bridgerton-ish light period romance, revenge worthy of a Tarantino plot, Fast and Furious-style family bonds, and octane ramped up to 100 with a dash of Taken, all wrapped up within its sheer Tollywood genius. You’ll wish there were more hours in a day to see it over and over again.
We strongly suggest seeing it in a theater, as the Netflix version is dubbed in Hindu and not the movie’s original Telugu language.
Bahubali: The Beginning
Okay, immediately after seeing RRR I asked a close friend who knows more about Indian Tollywood than I do what other S. S. Rajamouli movies to watch. The general consensus is that his Bahubali series is the way to go. It’s one of India’s highest-grossing films ever and the first Indian film to be nominated for a Saturn award. This two-parter is an action drama and fantastical love story. Both films are also on Netflix!
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Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once
I would consider the Daniels’ Everything Everywhere All at Once to be the perfect appetizer to RRR. It’s what I watched right before and we’re so lucky to get both of these films this year. The generational-multiversal family dramedy and action movie stars Michelle Yeoh as a mom who can’t get her taxes in order and is losing touch with her family. Things begin swerve into chaos when an alternate version of her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) shows up to enlist her help to stop the ultimate evil version of their daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu). There’s hotdog fingers on Jamie Lee Curtis, weaponized adult toys, sweeping romance, and lots of emotional work. Get tissues for this one.
Journey to the West
The only reason Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle isn’t on this list is because if you’re here, it was your gateway international blockbuster too—and also there’d be too many of his films on this list, so I’m keeping it to two. First up is Journey to the West, a fantasy comedy that centers on a demon huntress who is a strong independent woman that finds herself on a quest with a hapless and more inexperienced demon hunter. Together they embark on an adventure to defeat a great evil neither of them can take on alone. This one fuses comedy and fantasy being to outrageous effect—and naturally, it’s a sweeping love story too.
Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid combines environmental social commentary with fantasy, aquatic creatures, musical moments, and action. It might be the closest movie I’ve seen before RRR with just as many genres in one. Name a better Little Mermaid movie.
This La Femme Nikita-inspired revenge flick features insane stunts and action. The Villainess has got to be seen to be believed so check out this motorcycle sword fight, specifically. Yes, you read that right.
Joint Security Area
Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area is a South Korean thriller that features similar themes of friendships forged between officers on opposite sides. This one however is a bit more tragic and centers a heart-wrenching murder mystery.
Okay admittedly probably the least action-packed of the bunch, but Taika Waititi’s severely underrated Boy, a slice of indigenous New Zealander life coming-of-age tale, shares a lot of the heart and humor seen in a movie like RRR.
The Raid 2
A big influence on lots of recent cinema, The Raid 2 centers on an officer who has to go deep undercover to expose corruption between police and crime families. Director Gareth Evans awesomely showcases the Indonesian fighting style of pencak silat and a powerful penchant for brutality.
Bong Joon Ho’s 2006 South Korean monster film The Host centers a family willing to do anything to save one of their own in the Snowpiercer director’s acclaimed horror dramedy that comes for your throat and heart.
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