SS Rajamouli says he 'never ever expected RRR to do so well' in the West: 'I am still trying to understand...'

Published on Sep 18, 2022 01:36 PM IST

Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival, SS Rajamouli expressed surprise at how well his recent film RRR had been received in the West.

RRR director SS Rajamouli talked about the film's success in the US.
RRR director SS Rajamouli talked about the film's success in the US.

Filmmaker SS Rajamouli’s RRR has been a seminal film for Indian cinema in terms of its reception in the West, particularly in the United States. The film has been applauded by fans, critics, and even filmmakers upon its digital release there. Many have even predicted it to be on Oscar frontrunner. Rajamouli has now reacted to this craze for his film in the West, saying it took him by surprise. Also read: Hollywood veteran Danny Devito is the latest to praise RRR

The filmmaker was at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) recently, where he spoke about a number of things, including his upcoming film with Mahesh Babu, as well as his previous hits – RRR and the Baahubali series. In a video from his Industry Session at TIFF shared by the festival’s official Twitter handle, the filmmaker talked about the response his films have received overseas.

First talking about Baahubali, SS Rajamouli said, “We have Indians spread across the world and when we make films, we make them for Indians, including the diaspora. Baahubali was the same. The additional mileage we got for Baahubali was in Japan. It did good to an extent. Even though I believed my stories can go beyond the borders of my states, I never thought they will go beyond the borders of India. So when Baahubali did well in Japan, I thought maybe our sensibilities are similar.” Baahubali: The Beginning earned ¥7.49 in Japan, while its sequel Baahubali: The Conclusion earned ¥250 million in the country. The combined figures, in Indian currency, are around 17 crore.

RRR did one better by being a pop culture phenomenon in the US as well as a box office success. It earned $14.5 million ( 115 crore) in the country, and was the number 1 non-English film on Netflix US for weeks. Talking about its impact in the West, Rajamouli added, “Never ever [had] I expected RRR to do well with the Western audiences. I didn’t even have an inclination for that. When RRR released [in the West], I started getting the responses, I thought maybe there are a few. Then few became hundreds and hundreds became thousands and film people from different fields were talking highly of RRR, I realized something that I never knew about myself or my films. I am still trying to understand to be very honest.”

RRR earned over 200 crore overseas, of which more than half came from the US alone, its biggest market. In addition, it earned praise from Hollywood heavyweights like Danny DeVito, Edgar Wright, Russo Brothers, James Gunn, and Scott Derrickson, among others.

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