I went to an Indian cinema in Toronto and it was so different from what I expected

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This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Narcity Media.

As a big movie fan, I do my best to watch as many new and interesting movies as possible in the best possible environments.

So when a friend and his girlfriend invited me to go see a movie in one of the few cinemas in Toronto entirely dedicated to Indian cinema, I couldn’t say no!

The movie we chose was a telugu called RRR.* Since its release in March, it has become one of the most successful Indian films of the year and received international acclaim.

It also marked my experience even with Indian cinema.

Our trip to the theater, The Albion Cinema in Etobicoke, Ontario, was a long one. From our residences in Toronto, it took nearly 90 minutes to get there.

Upon entering the theatre, the first thing I noticed were the huge murals of several Bollywood stars.

They smiled at us as if to say: “welcome to a new world of cinema”.

A mural of several Indian movie stars.Tristan Wheeler | Narcity

The concession menu was standard – popcorn, pop, candy – but there were also samosas. Unfortunately I didn’t try any as I had already had dinner by then.

Grabbing our seats, I noticed that the screens and cinemas were absolutely massive. There were maybe around 60 people in our projection and even then it was barely a third full.

Once the movie started, not only was the sound incredibly loud, but it was also truly the most ecstatic and excited movie theater audience I have ever encountered.

Much of the crowd had brought their own noisemakers, so when a significant action moment happened in the film, everyone — and that includes kids and the elderly — went wild.

It was so loud that I thought what sounded like a flute was part of the movie. But no, someone had brought one and played it whenever something cool happened!

And there were plenty of cool moments.

I could talk at length about RRRbut to sum up, the movie is really great.

A mural advertising a Bollywood magazine.A mural advertising a Bollywood magazine.Tristan Wheeler | Narcity

It is set in 1920 and follows the story of two Indian historical figures, Komaram Bheem and Sitarama Raju, teaming up to fight the British colonizers.

The two main actors, NT Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan are so committed to the film and excellent in every way. And the director, SS Rajamouli, really knows what he’s doing too.

The action scenes are awesome, the dance sequences are fun, and the drama and plot are incredibly well done.

And that’s really something that matters when a movie is just over three hours long. I highly recommend watching it, even if you can’t see it in a theater like I did.

At the end of the film, my friends and I – and everyone in the theater – had fun.

I dragged my feet out of the theater, energized by an incredible film and an even more exceptional cinematic experience.

If you have any interest in Indian movies, I highly recommend watching a movie in a similar environment if you can find one!

*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that “Telegu” is the name of the Tamil film industry. Telegu is a language that has its own distinct film industry.

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