Telugu cinema has officially taken over Hollywood. On Friday night, SS Rajamouli attended a special screening of his film RRR at Los Angeles’ famous Chinese theatre as part of the film’s ongoing Oscars campaign. The kind of fan craze the film has seen till now was on display there as well, as several fans ran to the screen and danced to the film’s popular song Naatu Naatu in the theatre itself. Also read: From RRR to Tumbbad and Dharm, India’s biggest Oscars entry snubs over the years
In a widely-shared video from the screening, a handful of fans can be seen inside the theatre close to the screen, trying to match steps with Ram Charan and Jr NTR as Naatu Naatu plays on screen. Other fans are seen cheering and whistling as this happens. SS Rajamouli was inside the theatre himself when this took place. The video was originally shared by Los Angeles Times and then reshared by fan clubs and other accounts on Twitter.
The screening was part of the Beyond Fest 2022, a genre film festival held annually in LA. The festival’s official account also tweeted the video, writing, “#RRRMovie is officially worldwide as Tollywood took over Hollywood. Naatu Naatu at the Chinese Theatre with the audience dancing with S.S. Rajamouli in the house.” A fan tweeted a close-up of the video from a different angle, writing, “Foreigners dancing.. Feel the High. Thank you SSR.”
RRR, an action film set in colonial India, is one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all-time with a worldwide gross of ₹1200 crore ($150 million). The film has generated a cult following in the West, particularly in the US, with praise from Hollywood veterans like Danny DeVito, James Gunn, and many others. The film was considered to be a frontrunner for India’s official entry to the Oscars but was pipped by Gujarati film Chhello Show in the end.
As many questioned the choice, the international distributors of RRR announced that they would be submitting the film to the Academy for all categories. Several American publications have listed the film as a contender for Best Film and even added that Ram Charan and Jr NTR have an outside chance of being nominated for Best Actor.
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