RRR has become a big hit worldwide. The film scripted history last month as it became the first Indian film to be nominated in the Best Original Song category at the Oscars. Recently, the director interacted with The New Yorker and opened up about his religious fervour, as well as the influence of Ramayana, and Mahabharata on his films.
Not many know that the RRR director has lived like a sannyasi. Stating that his entire family is quite religious, he said, “I got caught up in my family's religious fervour. I started reading religious texts, going on pilgrimages, wearing saffron cloth, and living like a sannyasi (ascetic) for a few years. Then I caught onto Christianity, thanks to some friends. I’d read the Bible, go to church, and all kinds of stuff. Gradually, all these things somehow made me feel that religion is essentially a kind of exploitation."
Set in pre-independent Delhi during the nineteen-twenties, RRR follows the story of two characters loosely based on the real-life Telugu revolutionary leaders Komaram Bheem (Jr NTR) and Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan). The duo team up to challenge a host of ruthless British officials.
During his interview, SS Rajamouli also opened up about the major influence of the Hindu epics Ramayana and the Mahabharata in his films.
He said, “My love for stories like the Mahabharata or the Ramayana never diminished. Anything that comes out of me is somehow influenced by these texts.”
Earlier this year, in January, SS Rajamouli won the Critics Circle Awards for his film RRR. The song, Naatu Naatu scripted history as it bagged the best original song at the Golden Globes after defeating Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. MM Keeravani, in his acceptance speech said, “I thank my brother and director of 'RRR' for believing in me and giving me all the freedom I asked for and appreciating my music like anything. Thank you SS Rajamouli."
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