Rajamouli spoke to the international publication The Hollywood Reporter about RRR’s incredible run of success at international award shows before he won Best Foreign Film and Best Song for Naatu Naatu at the 28th edition of the Critics’ Choice Awards. With Naatu Naatu, the latter won a Golden Globe for “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture” and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for “Best Director.”
Rajamouli, on the other hand, is upset that RRR wasn’t picked as India’s official Oscar entry this year.
Rajamouli responded, “Yeah, it is disappointing,” when asked if he is frustrated. We aren’t the type to stew over what could have been done differently. The past is the past, and we must move on. The fact that “Chhello Show,” another Indian film, was also nominated for an Oscar, has made me very happy. This makes me very happy. It was common knowledge that RRR had a better shot. Everybody in the States thought RRR had a better shot.
Even though many thought The Lunchbox would win the Oscar for Best International Feature Film in 2013, Rajamouli was questioned about the decision not to submit it. “I don’t know the committee (FFI, which selects India’s Oscar entry) or the guidelines of the committee,” the director said. It baffles me how they manage to pull off these feats. Not knowing that makes it impossible for me to offer any insight. Specifically, I feel awful about The Lunchbox. My goal when making a film is not to win awards. I make movies both to earn a living and to entertain people. When RRR does well at the box office, as I expect it will, I will be very satisfied with my work as a filmmaker. “And recognition is rewarded through awards.”
He went on, saying, “It’s recognition for the effort my unit made, and for that I’m grateful.” A notable exception is The Lunchbox. It would have been novel and a significant success for India. The Lunchbox is just one example of a film that could benefit from this, but there are countless others that could be inspired to tell their stories. That means a huge window of opportunity was missed. I’m really sorry about that. Rajamouli said, “Hopefully,” when asked if he thought RRR’s success would cause the committee to reevaluate its criteria.