Where I Watched it: Netflix
English Audio Description?: no
It generally always takes me a bit longer to write out the review than to do my YouTube recording. Discussing my experience for this film on YouTube already is my most watched video of the past year, because this film has a lot of fans. And even though I say at the top of my video, I’m a blind film critic, and here’s how Netflix expects me to access the film, and my reaction… they just tell me to read the subtitles. insert massive face palm here.
So, RRR was a title that had been on Netflix for a while. Netflix only became concerned with expanding its reach recently, and prior to a few weeks ago, this was only offered in it’s original language. Now, it has dubbed audio tracks for English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. No audio descriptions though, for any language.
That’s a huge mistake. I sat through this three hour film using only the English dub so I could officially say this film is unwatchable as is. There are so many long sequences of something, either dancing or action based on other reviews I’ve listened to, where all we get as a blind audience member is a really dope soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, I love the music in RRR, and the score/songs actually made the three hours not so totally unbearable. But, when you get to the dialogue, I had a hard time following or even figuring out who was who. Apparently there are two heroes, and i could really only find one. There was also this romance between two characters who can’t understand each other, but translated into dubbed audio, it no longer makes sense.
In fact, i commented about how silly it was that the girl’s name was Jenny, and he kept remarking how long her name was, but I guess the joke there is that he doesn’t realize what her name even is. Basically, this whole film was lost on me, because I couldn’t understand the fight scenes, dance sequences, musical numbers, what was happening in that train sequence, what the tiger was stalking, was that a tiger or a lion, and just a ton of other things.
And a film like this also strikes me as being worthy of having character descriptions, and costumes, and set. It’s a three hour epic gunning to make history with a Best Picture nomination. make a fucking audio description track for it.
So, sadly, fans of RRR, and those interested in jumping into this, I couldn’t recommend attempting it. It’s impossible to follow, and without looking it up, I really could not tell you what the actual plot of this movie is. And I should at least be able to do that. Even other movies I’ve called unwatchable, I had some basic grip on their plot. Here? Nothing. I have no idea what this film is about.
The thing is, blindness comes for random people. it can affect anyone. including voting members of awards bodies. To limit yourself, and to keep yourself inaccessible to those members is just a poor decision. Moreover, when you have a film that is transcending like RRR, it has the potential to break out, but it needs people to champion it, and I just can’t do that. This film desperately needs audio description, really for all languages. There isn’t a ton of dialogue here, and I cease to understand the point of paying people to do a dubbing track instead of an audio description track. Those who don’t need audio description but choose dubbed tracks generally have the ability to read subtitles. if not, then they are visually impaired, and would benefit from having audio description anyway.
If your argument is that AD is too expensive, stop dubbing the shit out of everything, and shift that money to audio description tracks for those languages, and allow those too lazy to read subtitles to experience audio description. Stop catering to lazy people, and start providing accessibility to the disabled as your priority.
Final Grade: Unwatchable. Unfortunately.