SS Rajamouli’s much-acclaimed RRR track ‘Naatu Naatu’ has been topping the charts and has now found its way to the 95th Academy Awards 2023 shortlist for the Music category.
Here, it will be competing with 14 other songs from the same category. While it remains to be seen if the period action blockbuster’s hit song will indeed find favour in the judges’ eyes, it has already made history by becoming the first Indian song to be shortlisted for the Oscars.
Few are aware of the names behind this superhit song — lyricist Chandrabose and choreographer Prem Rakshith.
While the former has composed the lyrics of over 3,000 songs and has several awards to his credit, the latter has gotten several Telugu celebrities dancing to his tunes in the range of movies he has choreographed, including Baahubali in 2015.
So, it comes as no surprise that their brainchild ‘Naatu Naatu’ is a celebration of culture and music in all its honesty.
The film chronicles the life of two warriors — Alluri Sitaramaraju and Komaram Bheem who oppose the British Raj and stand for the pride of the Gond tribal communities. During one instance in the film, when they are ridiculed for not being able to dance, the two give a fitting response through the song Naatu Naatu.
What unfolds next on screen is a beautiful combination of words, melody and moves strung together by choreographer Prem Rakshith, composer M M Keeravaani, singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava, and of course the actors.
The culture of the country is reflected in the lyrics with every line evoking sentiments about the food and the flora and fauna of the nation.
Speaking to Cine Josh, Prem Rakshit revealed he worked for 30 days on 97 dance movements for the song and that the team used ultra zoom in order to get the sync right between the actors. While previously the plan was to shoot the song in the backdrop of 100 dancers, they later decided against it as the actors were phenomenal performers.
(Edited by Pranita Bhat)