Indian cinema celebrates a groundbreaking achievement as ‘RRR’ becomes the first Indian feature film to win an Oscar, with its ‘Naatu Naatu’ soundtrack awarded Best Original Song at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood.
SS Rajamouli’s film RRR has made history by becoming the first Indian feature film to win an Oscar. The film’s soundtrack, ‘Naatu Naatu’ by MM Keeravani, won the Best Original Song Award at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023. This song competed against songs from other films, including ‘Applause’ from ‘Tell It Like A Woman,’ ‘Hold My Hand’ from ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ ‘Lift Me Up’ from ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ and ‘This is Life’ from ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once.’
The song’s composer, MM Keeravani, and lyricist, Chandrabose, collected the award. Keeravani delivered his acceptance speech in the form of a re-written Carpenters song, saying, “I grew up listening to The Carpenters and now here I am with the Oscars. There was only one wish on my mind, so was Rajamouli’s and our families’… ‘RRR’ has to win… Pride of every Indian… must put me on the top of the world.” Chandrabose simply said, “Namaste!”
The win also makes ‘Naatu Naatu’ the first song from an Indian movie to win an Oscar. Earlier that day, the song’s singers, Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava, gave a stellar performance at the ceremony, which got them a standing ovation. Notably, ‘Naatu Naatu’ had already won the Golden Globe for the Best Song earlier that month, making ‘RRR’ the first Indian film to win a Golden Globe. The song is composed by music director MM Keeravaani, and sung by Kala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj, with lyrics by Chandrabose.
RRR is a fictional tale set in the 1920s and is inspired by the lives of freedom fighters Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju. The film boasts an ensemble cast, starring the likes of Jr NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Olivia Morris, Samuthirakani, Alison Doody, and Ray Stevenson.
This win is a significant milestone for Indian cinema, and it is always heartening to see Indian films receive international recognition. The previous Hindi song to win an Academy Award in the Best Original Score and Original Song categories was ‘Jai Ho,’ composed by AR Rahman and penned by Gulzar, from the 2008 British film Slumdog Millionaire.
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