When Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga are all nominated in an award show category, you know it’s a tough race. At the 2023 Golden Globe Awards, the three superstar artists were all nominated for Best Song. But, the song “Naatu Naatu” from the Indian film RRR wound up taking home the prize. Based on the huge fandom the song and the movie have built, it’s no surprise.
The film was released almost a year ago, in March 2022, and immediately became a hit. It broke records with the biggest collective opening day for an Indian film by earning over $30 million its first day. When it premiered on Netflix in May 2022, it remained in the platform’s Top 10 for 14 weeks.
So what is this movie that’s proven so popular among audiences and critics? RRR is a Telugu-language film that tells the story of two Indian freedom fighters who team up against British colonialists in the 1920s. The soldiers at the center of the film, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.), were real people, but their team-up is an imagined one.
The fictional friendship between the revolutionaries isn’t the only fantastical element of RRR. About a third of the way through the over-three-hour film, a huge dance sequence breaks out, set to the now Golden Globe-winning song “Naatu Naatu.”
“Naatu Naatu” serves as the soundtrack for a huge Tollywood-style dance sequence full of moves that went viral on TikTok and garnered lots of fans on film Twitter. That enthusiastic response has also translated directly into theaters, where audiences seem to match the film’s bombastic spirt in their responses to it.
“In India, we are used to crowds going ballistic during screenings: shouting, laughing, clapping, dancing, throwing confetti into the air,” director S. S. Rajamouli told RogerEbert.com. “But to see that happening outside my country, outside my languages, is an incredible feeling. I’d never even dreamt that 'RRR' would resonate with people across cultures, across countries. I never expected that.”
You can check out what all the fuss is about by watching RRR yourself, which is streaming on Netflix now. Just be prepared to break out in a dance while you watch.