Film Review: RRR (2022)

So after a few people recommended it to me I finally watched RRR the Indian film sensation everyone is talking about on Netflix, in my covid downtime.

Is the film ridiculous, yes; is it insanely over-the-top, yes; is it also one of most entertaining films of year: absolutely. A bigger than Ben Hur epic that reimagines the overthrow of the British Raj in India feels like watching a 90s Schwarzenegger film on steroids, mixed with Indian nationalism and randomly delightful Bollywood dance numbers. At 3 hours long, the filmmakers threw everything at this film, one exuberant scene is quickly topped by another. The use of slow motion CGI is at times excessive but in a way sweetly old Hollywood way. The film centres on a bromance between two godlike Indian freedom fights, that almost reads as a bro love story. Frenetically edited, paced and lavishly shot with what must be thousands of extras, even the most ridiculously over-the-top moments are really enjoyable to watch. Having the British as cartoon villains flips the script on the traditional villain a western audience would see. The films charm becomes grating at times when it veers towards heavy handed political nationalism. Yet the heightened emotions of this film and its joy is hard to not to succumb too. One of highest grossing Indian films ever, it has taken the world by storm. If you can look past the political propaganda, frenetic comic action/cgi and ridiculous moments it’s a very entertaining wild ride. 8/10


‘The Rider’ (2018)

The best film of 2018 so far. The poetic melancholic masterpiece ‘The Rider’ at the Sydney Film Festival. Directed by 36 year old Chloe Zhao a Chinese woman born in Beijing who tells the story of a former rodeo star and young man who grapples with letting go of his rodeo dreams after a severe head injury. Sounds hokey, yet it’s instead a poem of the human condition an elegy to dreams and a searing examination of masculinity and the romanticism of the American Wild West. The actor of the young man is a revelation, remember this name: Brady Jandreau. I remember watching Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout role in ‘Winter’s Bone’ at the SFF and I had the same visceral reaction to his performance as I did to hers. Only someone who is so outside of this world as Chloe Zhao is could have captured the romantic world of the Rodeo as well as she has. I simply broke down in tears not once but on a few occasions while journeying into the soul of this character. One of the most gut wrenching, laconically gorgeous and emotionally devastating films I have seen in years. I predict many Oscar noms for this film 10/10.

‘Restless’ 2011


‘Restless’ 2011,

Director: Gus Van Sant, Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper and Ryo Kase

The Ultimate Hipster Romance:

More aesthetic than believable, more sweet than beautiful, more heart-warming than profound, Restless is a simple and matter-of fact romance dealing with subject matter that is anything but. Mia Wasikowska is fast on her way to becoming an acting A-lister and Henry Hopper is devastatingly gorgeous as the melancholic Enoch. Both share brooding chemistry. Despite some glaringly self conscious and contrived moments in the first half, the overwhelming sincerity of the last act succeeds in making Restless a moving ode to young love and death. The most poignant quote comes from the imaginary Japanese Kamikaze pilot Hiroshi, in his suicide letter, ‘dying is easy, love is hard’. 7/10, B, ***