Rajamouli thanks Ukrainians for being a part of Oscar-nominated ‘Naatu Naatu’ song from ‘RRR’

The filmmaker said they were supposed to shoot it in India but had to zero in on the Presidential Palace in Kyiv due to monsoon rains.


Published Mar 07, 2023 | 6:10 PM Updated Mar 07, 2023 | 6:10 PM

"Naatu Naatu" has been nominated for Oscars in the Best Original Song category. (Supplied)

SS Rajamouli showered gratitude to the people of Ukraine for being an indispensable part in the creation of the Oscar-nominated song “Naatu Naatu” from his globally-acclaimed film RRR.

“Naatu Naatu”, composed by MM Keeravani, is nominated for the Best Original Song award at the upcoming Academy Awards.

Rajamouli said they were originally supposed to shoot the song in India but due to the monsoon season, they had to zero in on a new location — the Presidential (Mariinsky/Marie) Palace at Kyiv.

“The first thing that comes to my mind when we talk about ‘Naatu Naatu‘ is the location itself. It is shot in Kyiv, actually at the Presidential Palace. This was actually supposed to happen in India but because it was monsoon time then, we were scouting for locations and we found this location,” he said.

Related: ‘RRR’ bags four trophies at Hollywood Critics’ Association Awards

‘Thankful to the Ukrainian team’

Nattu Nattu Ukraine

Presidential Palace in Kyiv. (Creative Commons)

“I thought I would have to look for some other location as it was the Presidential Palace, but they said ‘It is Ukraine, you can get the job done.’ I’m so thankful to the Ukrainian team. The colours of the palace, the size of the palace, the size of the ground for the dancers to be there was the exact right size,” the filmmaker said in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine.

RRR follows a pre-Independence fictional story woven around two real-life Indian revolutionaries — Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Jr NTR) — in the 1920s. The film also features Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, and Shriya Saran in key roles.

It is the first Indian film in over two decades to be nominated for the Academy Awards. ‘Naatu Naatu’, which already scooped up a Golden Globe win — the first Indian song to do so.

In the interview, Rajamouli gave a breakdown of the making of the song, featuring Ram Charan and Jr NTR. He said apart from the lead stars, including Olivia Morris, all the other performers were professional dancers.

Related: ‘Naatu Naatu’ nominated for Best Original Song at Academy Awards

‘Credit to Prem Rakshit’

“I was really surprised with the level of professionalism, I loved working with them. I have worked with choreographer Prem Rakshith before, he has worked with both Charan and Jr NTR as well… He had a difficult job as I told him that the song should (look) nice, the steps shouldn’t be too difficult so people can also replicate, and it should suit the style of the actors… Prem came up with more than 100 variations for the hook line of ‘Naatu Naatu‘, so credit to him,” the filmmaker added.

The most difficult part for both Charan and Jr NTR was the steps with the suspenders, he said.

“For both the actors the most difficult steps were the ones with the suspenders moving and sliding. It was the genius of the choreographer,” Rajamouli said.

At the upcoming Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles on 12 March, ‘Naatu Naatu’ singer Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava are set to perform the song.

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