24.01.2023 - 17:55 / deadline.com
S.S. Rajamouli’s Indian epic RRR received an Oscar nomination this morning for Best Original Song “Naatu Naatu,” but it missed out on crossing into other major categories despite strong campaigning and a groundswell of support.
“Naatu Naatu,” with music by M.M. Keeravaani and lyric by Chandrabose, has had folks dancing in the aisles for months and was considered a shoo-in for an Academy nod. The song previously won top honors at the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes and was the first song from an Indian film to be shortlisted for an Oscar. (Indian composer AR Rahman previously won Best Original Song and Best Original Score for his work on Slumdog Millionaire which was a British production).
However, coming off of a New York Film Critics Circle win for Best Director and with Rajamouli making the rounds and charming at screenings and Q&As for Academy and guild members, there seemed to be potential in further Oscar nominations.
Some eyebrows were raised when RRR, the fictionalized story of real Indian freedom fighters which was a massive box office success at home and crossed over to U.S. audiences as well, grossing over $155M globally, was not selected as India’s Best International Feature Oscar submission. The country opted instead for Last Film Show which, while shortlisted in that category, did not advance today. With no disrespect to that movie, it seems even more a shame in hindsight that India did not put forth RRR.
Still, Rajamouli, and his growing fanbase, shouldn’t be deterred given the global impact of RRR which has expanded the playing field for Telegu cinema. The director is next set to helm a feature starring Mahesh Babu and has previously told Deadline his father is developing an idea for an RRR