This song from SS Rajamouli’s RRR unsurprisingly won the Oscar for Music (Original Song). Watch it to know why.

Naatu Naatu, RRR (2022).

Composed by MM Keeravani, written by Chandrabose and sung by Rahul Sipiligunj and Kaala Bhairava, Naatu Naatu is only the second Indian song to win in the category after AR Rahman’s Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. It is the first from an Indian production, unlike Slumdog Millionaire.

After an introduction by Deepika Padukone, Sipiligunj and Bhairava performed the song during the Oscars. In his acceptance speech, sung to the tune of The Carpenters song Top of The World, Keeravani said, “I grew up listening to the Carpenters and now here I am with the Oscars. There was only one wish on my mind… RRR has to win, pride of every Indian, and must put me on the top of the world.”

Naatu Naatu at the Oscars. Carlos Barria/Reuters.

The tune appears roughly 55 minutes into the Telugu-language period epic, about two revolutionaries who join forces against a despotic British governor. Bheem (NT Rama Rao Jr) has been invited to a ball by the Englishwoman Olivia. Bheem takes along his new friend Ram (Ram Charan).

After Olivia’s admirer insults Bheem for attempting the waltz – he snorts, “Look at these brown buggers. What do they know about art? About finesse? About dance?” – Ram steps in, and steps up along with Bheem, to teach the snotty Englishman a lesson.

If Rajamouli’s filmmaking verve made RRR a global treat, Naatu Naatu (it means local, or homegrown) was the juicy topping. Prem Rakshith’s energetic choreography, the bravura synchronised footwork by Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jr, and the film’s cheeky riposte to racism combined to make Naatu Naatu, with numerous brave souls attempting to replicate the song’s dance moves.

A video by Prem Rakshith makes it easier for fans of Naatu Naatu’s hook step move. The song was filmed in August 2021 in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv at the Mariinskyi Palace, which is also President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s official residence.

Naatu Naatu tutorial.

Also read:

The story behind the award-winning song ‘Naatu Naatu’ from ‘RRR’

Ram Charan, a highly accomplished dancer himself, shared his experience of shooting the song.

Ram Charan on Naatu Naatu.

NT Rama Rao Jr said it was “hell, torture” to be in complete synchronisation during the shoot.

NT Rama Rao Jr on Naatu Naatu.