‘Naatu Naatu’ from Indian movie RRR nominated best original song theme at the Oscars

By Roshni D’Souza


The first Indian film to receive an Oscars nomination in the category of best original song theme is is RRR (Rise Roar Revolt) with ‘Naatu Naatu.’ The filmmakers created a buzz through a full-fledged campaign leading up to the awards, according to Indian film critic Ashameera Aiyyapan.

This is the first time a song from an Indian movie has been nominated for the Oscars, despite most Indian movies having songs in them since the 1930s. Aiyyapan said that the popularity of the film and the campaign by the makers brought it the nomination.

“I think the film became really popular because it perfectly satisfies the image the West has of Indian cinema – over-the-top drama with songs and insane fights, and RRR had great visual craft,” Aiyyapan said, speaking to The Galway Pulse.

RRR is a Telugu-language film, which means it does not classify as a Bollywood movie since it is not in the Hindi language. Aiyyapan said that this does not matter that it is not a Bollywood film and “it wasn’t chosen specifically.”

What matters, she added, is the buzz around it. According to Aiyyapan, creating a campaign surrounding a film is an expensive affair.

The film was directed by S.S. Rajamouli, known for producing expensive movies, like Magadheera and the two films belonging to the Baahubali franchise. The latter of the two — Baahubali: The Conclusion — is the highest-grossing film in Indian cinema. RRR is the third highest.

‘Naatu Naatu’ was also nominated for best original song at the Golden Globes and won the award. Aiyyapan said that the chances of it winning the Oscars are also quite high. The song has a rhythm typical of regional movies made in the South of India.

RRR is a historical film set during the time when the British colonised India. It stars Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Jr., Konidela Ram Charan Teja and Alia Bhatt. 

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