Searcher post on the disputes of RRR’s political message

The article from this website talks about the troubling subtext of the film RRR, with main focus on its religious iconography. It manifests the connotative emphasis on Hinduism’s castes and their toxic nature in this film using religious metaphors originating from the historical epics of Ramayana. Two male protagonists Bheem and Ram can be seen as representatives of two real freedom fighters, but they are depicted as heroes with different goals: Bheem decries the fact that, in contrast with Ram’s long game, he fought the British mostly to rescue Malli, ironically confirming a sneering British officer’s comment that the Gond “tribals” are driven by the protection of their own. Just like Vox mentioned, Ram is uplifted as the “well-educated upper-caste savior with a vision” and Bheem is reduced to “uneducated noble savage who must be taught the ‘civilized’ ways”, revealing that deeper inside, the Adivasis were never treated fairly with the upper-casteists, and are people must be taught, civilized, and guided along by the vision of the upper-caste Hindu hand.What’s more noteworthy is that Bheem is not physically weaker than Ram, but once Ram’s real purpose is revealed, Bheem is immediately made to seem inferior—spiritually, patriotically, societally, and even became an affiliated helper to Ram’s revolutionary mission. In the last line of the film, as the Gond leader, he even reduces himself to the level of student and begging to learn. 

From another interesting resource that I found, which is a 28 minute interview with the actors Ram and Bheem from AP (interview from AP, as the interviewer asked about the “political message” sent through the film, Charan claims that the film is “more about the brotherhood than the nationalism or the patriotism” and Rama Rao JR agreed that it’s focusing on “bromance”. They admitted that, even though the bromance is derived from the historical epics, but they are “not playing part of the history”, “It is Mr. Rajamouli’s interpretation and his fictional thoughts and writing with his father.” They keep emphasizing that for the filmmaker, “it’s just storytelling and it’s about making entertainment” and no other message is sent. This links to another quote from my research from that says “Rajamouli’s father, who co-wrote “RRR,” has been at work on a film commissioned by the R.S.S., the Hindu-nationalist extremist group, which he has called a “great organization.” Rajamouli told me that his father’s script is “very emotional and extremely good.” , indicating all the symbolic political presentations in RRR are not just coincidences.  This unawareness of both the director and the characters towards the superiority of the upper-casteists proves the toxic nature of Hindu gaze, and all those willing to go along with its hegemony. Just like the first link’s blogger mentioned, “there’s nothing wrong with a film alluding to the Ramayana, a riveting tale with many beloved adaptations” because one film cannot encompass everything and the film itself may only be as simple as a fantasy, but what’s concerning is the “global presence” and the “recipe for viral success that other filmmakers will be eyeing”. It’s an ingenious form of soft-power propaganda, one that can be interpreted as positively asserting an otherwise-marginalized ideology. In this format, viewers will be blindly led and subconscious trapped under the vision of the casteist lens.

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