Childhood Fanfiction Planted The Seeds For RRR In S.S. Rajamouli's Mind

"RRR" is one of the best movies of 2022, a masterpiece of maximalist filmmaking, a wonderful historical epic with bombastic action, earnest characters, a hot romance, some hilarious hijinks, and arguably featuring the greatest musical number of the past decade. 

The film follows a revolutionary warrior named Bheem, and an officer in the British colonizing force named Rama Raju. The two strike an epic friendship and eventually join forces after a fateful meeting while saving a kid from a burning train — as you do.

This is a movie that best represents the rule of cool. "RRR" doesn't care about logic or physics, or even historical accuracy. Did rebels unleash an army of wild animals on a British garrison? Probably not, but does it matter? S.S. Rajamouli takes the best lesson from Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" and makes a movie where the British Empire is defeated by the power of friendship — and at least partially with the power of dance. 

"RRR" is in many ways the perfect fanfic, the kind of epic adventure you might come up with during history class, imagining the various historical figures going on adventures other than the ones you're learning about in school. Turns out, however, that's not far from how "RRR" came to be.

An epic friendship

While appearing on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," director S.S. Rajamouli talked about wanting to do a multi-star picture supported by not one but two big actors. More than anything, "RRR" comes from Rajamouli's love of bringing heroes from different stories together in his mind fanfic.

Even as a child, Rajamouli said that "whenever I read stories, different stories, I like bringing those heroes together and making up some scenes with them. Sometimes I'd also be in that scene in my head. I always liked to do that."

It was seeing how "Inglourious Basterds" played with historical events that finally inspired Rajamouli to make his own historical film that ended way better than the real thing. "It's a fictional movie, and you can take liberties with that," the director said.

Indeed, "RRR" deals with real people and events, with Bheem and Raju being actual revolutionaries, only they never met in real life and were from different regions. As we've seen with "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," movies inspired by real people or events, but which take lots of creative liberties in order to tell more satisfying stories, rule, and more filmmakers should do it.