Oscars called out for casting non-South Asian dancers in ‘Naatu Naatu’ live performance
The live performance of the high energy “Naatu Naatu”, from the Indian blockbuster “RRR”, received a standing ovation at the Oscars. The song, that went viral worldwide, is the first song from an Indian film to win an Oscar. Despite all the positivity surrounding the song, the live performance at the award show has been called out as many netizens pointed out that “none of the dancers were of Indian descent”. International media have identified the two men who danced the key roles — played in the film by South Indian actors Ram Charan and Jr NTR — as Billy Mustapha and Jason Glover, who are Canadian and American, respectively, reports NDTV. Several netizens have openly criticized this, stating that using non-South Asian dancers weakens the song's anti-colonial message in the film, set in pre-independence India. Read More: Oscars 2023: Vogue misidentifies Deepika Padukone as Camila Alves Bollywood star Deepika Padukone introduced the thrilling performance of “Naatu Naatu” at the Oscars, which was sung live by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava, the singers behind the now worldwide popular number. The authenticity ended there, said many, as none of the dancers appeared to be South Asian, yet were misidentified as such. Although Indian audiences enthusiastically enjoyed the performance, which was undeniably exciting and a highlight of the Oscars event, the South Asian community in the United States protested the lack of representation. "The Oscars Naatu Naatu performance was meant to have been a tremendous celebration of pride for all of us, and yet we were left feeling empty-handed and rejected," US-based dancer Joya Nandy Kazi wrote on Instagram. Read More: This is how Oscar winners are decided “Two brown passing guys sang a song about colonialism with lyrics that said no dance is as wonderful as a villager's dance. They were fantastic, but why weren't two skilled dancers from our own community selected as leads with a mostly South Asian ensemble?” — Joya asked. “The colonists are the butt of the joke of this song, and trying to replicate the movie scenario even with a bunch of men who should represent the natives as anything other than South Asian leaves me balancing between being stunned and smiling at the absurdity. We need to do better," she said. Shivani Reddy, a Telugu-American film critic, told CBS News, “It just felt very exclusionary that the one race they didn't include was the one that was supposed to be represented because of the film and where it's from…It's unfortunate because there are so many South Asian dancers that I know that are in the industry trying to get into those spaces that just don't get afforded those opportunities. And for the one time that we maybe could have gotten access, we were denied.” Raj Kapoor, Oscars producer, said in an interview that the initial intention was for lead actors Ram Charan and Jr NTR to dance to “Naatu Naatu”, overseen by “RRR” choreographer Prem Rakshith. Read More: First Indian film song to win Oscar: ‘Natu Natu’ from ‘RRR’ makes history “In late February, we were informed that Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jr would be attending the Oscars, but they did not feel comfortable performing the live number on stage. The change was brought on because of their other professional commitments and the limited amount of time to rehearse,” Kapoor stated. “Naatu Naatu”, from SS Rajamouli's mega hit “RRR”, won the Oscar for Best Original Song, beating out Lady Gaga's “Hold My Hand” and Rihanna's “Raise Me Up”, among others.
First Indian film song to win Oscar: ‘Natu Natu’ from ‘RRR’ makes history
M.M. Keeravani has brought the spotlight back to India after a historic Oscar musical win. Keeravani won best original song for his joyously energetic anthem “Naatu Naatu” from the film “RRR.” The music was written by Keeravani and lyrics by Chandrabose. “It's just the beginning of everything,” Keeravani said backstage. “For the world, particularly the Western world, folks are more on India and Asian music. It's just long due. I feel very happy to open doors and the world to embrace my culture.” “Naatu Naatu” is the first song from an Indian film to earn a nomination and win in the best original song category. Also Read: Deepika Padukone introduces ‘Naatu Naatu’ at Oscars Keeravani delighted the Oscar audience by saying he grew up listening to The Carpenters and then began singing the band's “Top of the World” with new lyrics, including “'RRR' has to win/Pride of every Indian.”
Deepika Padukone introduces ‘Naatu Naatu’ at Oscars
Bollywood star Deepika Padukone was on hand at the Oscars on Sunday to introduce the performance of best original song nominee (and later winner) “Naatu Naatu,” from “RRR.” In presenting the song, she noted its anti-colonialist themes — but it’s also “a total banger,” she said. The “Naatu Naatu” performance featured playback singers Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj flanking a squadron of high-energy dancers. The film’s lead actors, N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, did not perform. While Padukone is best known for her Hindi-language films, she got her start in South Indian cinema — her first movie was the Kannada-language “Aishwarya.” Already a global celebrity, the 37-year-old has had a major year outside of India. She also served on the jury at the 75th Cannes Film Festival last May and walked out the World Cup trophy alongside former Spain keeper Iker Casillas at the final in Qatar. She most recently starred opposite Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the hit “Pathaan,” which brought in $5.9 million at the North American box office alone in its first weekend.
Indian Movie RRR’s Success at Golden Globe 2023
Indian films are popular around the world for their versatile storylines, bold acting performances, wonderful music, exotic dance choreographies, and talented cinematographies. In the 80th edition of this prestigious Golden Globes awards festival, the Indian film RRR has made its place in two categories. Let's take a closer look at the action film RRR and its success at the Golden Globes 2023 festival. Golden Globes Awards: A Look Back An organization of journalists and photographers called the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association), formerly known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association founded the Golden Globe Awards in 1944. Their aim is to honor the valuable works of small and big screens around the world. The awards ceremony was held at 20th Century Fox that year, with The Song of Bernadette winning Best Picture. Jennifer Jones won Best Actress for the film and Paul Lucas won Best Actor for another movie Watch on the Rhine. Read More: 2022 Highest Grossing Movies Worldwide The Golden Globe awards for foreign language films began in 1949 with the awarding of the Italian film Bicycle Thieves. And the Best Original Song debuted as a new category in 1962. Lyricist Ned Washington and music scorer Dimitri Tiomkin were honored at the time for the title song of the movie Town Without Pity. Everything about the Incredible Action Film RRR The film's title is derived from the initials of the Telugu words "Raudram Ranam Rudhiram" which literally means "Fierce Death Blood". And the original title is followed by the words "Rise Roar Revolt" in English, abbreviated as RRR, and the key to the movie's plot. The epic action film was directed by renowned South Indian filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli. Along with him, V Vijayendra Prasad co-wrote the DVV Entertainment production. The film's cast members are NT Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgan, Shriya Sharan, Ray Stevenson, and Samuthirakani. Read More: Mystery web series 'Ke' brings Zahid, Tauquir together The story is about two real-life Indian revolutionaries, Komaram Bheem and Aluri Sitarama Raju. Set in the 1920s, the plot revolves around their fictional brotherhood and friendship and their war against the British Empire. With a budget of USD 72 million, the movie is the most expensive film by far in Indian history. On its first day of release in theaters on March 25, 2022, it recorded the highest opening day by grossing USD 30 million worldwide. A few box office records were attached to its name grossing USD 175 million worldwide. The main achievements were the third-highest-grossing Indian cinema, the second-highest-grossing Telugu film worldwide, and the highest-grossing movie in the domestic market, beating Rajamouli's previous film Baahubali-2. Read More: Jaya Ahsan’s Bollywood debut confirmed as photos emerge with Pankaj Tripathi, other co-actors RRR’s Achievements in Golden Globe The two categories that RRR was nominated for at the Golden Globes were Best Picture Non-English Language (formerly Foreign Language) and Best Song – Motion Picture. RRR's co-nominees for Best Foreign Language Film were Argentina, 1985, Germany's All Quiet on the Western Front, Netherlands, France, Belgium's Close, and South Korea's Decision to Leave. RRR lost out to Argentina, in 1985, like the rest of the nominees. On the other hand, for Best Song – Motion Picture, RRR's MM Kiravani, and Chandra Bose were up against Roeban Katz, Guillermo del Toro, Rihanna, Ludwig Goransson, Bloodpop aka Michael Tucker, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift. Keeravani and Chandra Bose beat everyone to win this award for the song Natoo Natoo. Read More: 5 Must-Watch Movies of Rajinikanth Not only at the box office, but the film's visuals, acting by the lead actors, storytelling, and cinematography have also been praised by Western audiences, Hollywood critics, and artists alike. After conquering the world, RRR was finally released in a few major states of the United States. The response from the western audience has been remarkable, especially the Natu Natu song, Jr. NTR's attack scene with the animals has won their hearts. All in all, the Indian action film has been able to overcome the barrier of a completely different language to create an impression in the mind of every viewer.