Since the release of KGF 2, there has been an intentional vicious attack on RRR , especially SS Rajamouli. However, any such debate forgets basic commonsense in the first place. It promotes an utterly ridiculous idea that anyone and any film can help achieve pan-India stardom.
First of all, looking at only Telugu cinema, since people have a short memory or pretend dumb even knowing the facts, we had Radhe Shyam arrive just before RRR. Here is a ‘Pan-India Star’ with a 300Cr Mega Budget movie. It ends up collecting less than 20 Cr Nett in Hindi.
Forget the long run; Radhe Shyam was bad, but what about the openings? Isn’t Prabhas an already established pan-India star? If this is the case with Prabhas, who has had two Baahubali movies and a Saaho behind him, imagine how it would be with others?
It brings us to an underlying point that everyone seems to be forgetting. RRR is an original standalone movie starring unknown faces (in leads) for the Hindi audience. On top of that, it was delayed for a couple of years due to COVID. Telugu audience didn’t need promotions because of the stars, but it was a delayed project that needed promotions for the other languages. You have Radhe Shyam as a live example to show how worse it could have been.
The openings of RRR reflect the effort of the team. The time (non-Holiday) and the long run (withstanding a juggernaut and Ramzan period) show the approval of the content. It furthers the brand SS Rajamouli. His next featuring yet another ‘unknown’ star for the Hindi audience would see the impact.
People make the point that KGF 2 received better openings in Bollywood than RRR. Their point of undermining Rajamouli can be true if the openings are because of Prashant Neel. The openings are because of the ‘sequel value’ the movie gets. Also it has come with a holiday advantage.
Unlike RRR, which came on the heels of disastrous Radhe Shyam casting negativity on the pan-Indian movies, KGF2 had the additional advantage of coming after a ‘well-loved’ RRR. It wouldn’t, in fact, be an overstatement to say that it benefitted from RRR’s success.
Comparing a standalone film with unknown stars with a sequel film is like comparing apples to oranges. For the correct assessment of RRR, the comparison should be with the likes of Baahubali 1, Kabali, KGF 1, Kaala, Saaho, Pushpa, Valimai, and Beast. Yes, they all had Hindi releases. RRR is same but ‘Brand Rajamouli’ made the difference.
It is a joke that stars would waste four years of their time on a single project. Rajamouli is not an automatic gateway to Pan-India stardom but he adds a huge value. And he he is far ahead of the likes of Sukumar and Prashanth Neel.