RRR movie: what is first ever Indian film to win a Golden Globe - what is winning song Naatu Naatu?

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Naatu Naatu made history at the 2023 Golden Globes becoming the first Asian film to win the award for Best Original Song

Indian Telugu-language film RRR took home an historic win at the Golden Globe Awards 2023 as the catchy song Naatu Naatu beat tracks from Taylor Swift and Rihanna to win Best Original Song.

The victory was celebrated by the Indian community who saw it as a victory for Indian cinema. Bollywood and Tollywood (Telugu-language) films don’t tend to do well at western awards shows like the Golden Globes and the Oscars, even in international categories. But was RRR really the first Indian film to win a Golden Globe - and what does Naatu Naatu mean? This is everything you need to know:

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Naatu Naatu won Best Original Song at the 2023 Golden GlobesNaatu Naatu won Best Original Song at the 2023 Golden Globes
Naatu Naatu won Best Original Song at the 2023 Golden Globes | YouTube

Is RRR the first Indian film to win a Golden Globe?

RRR has been celebrated as India’s first ever Golden Globe-winning film - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi even took to Twitter to celebrate his country’s win writing: “This prestigious honour has made every Indian very proud.”

However, the Hindi drama film Do Aankhen Barah Haath beat RRR to the punch by more than half a century - it won the Golden Globe in the Samuel Goldwyn International Award category in 1959. Additionally, the biopic drama Gandhi, a co-production between the UK and India, was nominated for and won five Golden Globes including Best Foreign Film.

A. R. Rahman became the first Indian to win a Golden Globe - he took home the award for Best Original Score for his work on the UK-made, India-set film Slumdog Millionaire. Two other Indian films have been nominated for Golden Globes - Salaam Bombay! in 1989, and Monsoon Wedding in 2002.

Whilst RRR’s status as the first Indian film to win a Golden Globe may be contested, it is certainly the first Indian (and first Asian) film to win the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. The film was also nominated in the category Best Picture - Non-English Language - this award was won by Argentina, 1985.

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What is RRR about?

RRR is a fictional story of two legendary revolutionaries and their journey away from home before they began fighting for their country in the 1920s in the struggle for India’s independence from Britain.

When a young girl is abducted an Indian tribe’s defender, Bheem, enters Delhi under a new identity, a city tightly controlled by British colonial forces, with the intention of finding the girl and bringing her home. The British entrust an Indian police officer, Rama, to find Bheem and bring him in.

When Bheem and Rama, both are undercover and the pair form a strong bond. As they continue their journey together, neither is aware of the other’s true identity and their opposing goals.RRR is one of India’s highest-grossing movies of the year, having made roughly $155 million since its release in March.

M. M. Keeravani composed the Best Original Song winner Naatu Naatu for Bollywood film RRRM. M. Keeravani composed the Best Original Song winner Naatu Naatu for Bollywood film RRR
M. M. Keeravani composed the Best Original Song winner Naatu Naatu for Bollywood film RRR | Getty Images

What is the Golden Globes 2023 Best Original Song Naatu Naatu?

Naatu Naatu is a Telugu-language song composed by M.M. Keeravaani and with lyrics by Chandrabose. The song is about dancing euphorically - the title literally means to dance.

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According to IndiaToday, the song’s lyrics translated to English include the lines “Dance like you’ve eaten a green chilli. Dance like a sharp dagger. Like beating a drum which makes your heart beat faster. Like the shrill voice of a bird which can make your ears ring.”

In RRR the song begins when a British man asks the revolutionaries ‘what is naatu?’ The pair break into song and begin dancing in the middle of a colonial celebration. The pair are joined in their dancing by the British women at the party - eventually the British men join in the dance as well.

Keeravaani saw off stiff competition, beating Taylor Swift’s song Carolina in Where the Crawdads Sing, Rihanna’s Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Lady Gaga’s Hold My Hand from Top Gun: Maverick, and Gregory Mann’s Ciao Papa from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

Has an Indian film ever won an Oscar?

No Indian film has ever won an Oscar (with the exception of the co-production Gandhi which won eight Oscars and was nominated for three more). Three Indian movies have been nominated for Best International Feature Film - these are Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay! (1988) and Lagaan (2001). Oscar nomination voting opens today (12 January) and RRR could make history as the first Indian film to win an Academy Award.

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