Rangoon is an upcoming Indian drama film, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. The project is a period film set during World War II (1939-1945) and supposedly portrays the life and times of Mary Ann Evans aka Fearless Nadia, Bollywood’s first original stunt-woman still remembered for her fiery role in the movie Hunterwali. It stars Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles. The film is scheduled for release on 24 February 2017.
A love triangle forms against the backdrop of the Second World War.
Rangoon is praiseworthy to watch once for the Vishalâ€™s unique work and performances of trio Sahid, !!
February 24 th, 2017
Film Rangoon is an aspiring attempt to actually tell a triangular love story against the backdrop of war. The opus is huge. Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography is wonderful. The tale that marries Casablanca (1942) to Chicago (2002) - wish the music here was peppier - plays out interestingly in parts. You have grim war-scenes fading out to allow some songs. Then there is a good measure of romance thrown in, albeit without the fire. Also there is also a mole angle that allows for intrigue.
There are many instances in the film Rangoon where you are truly immersed in some of the situations that are created by Vishal Bhardwaj. You want to clap. But, at certain intervals there is certain slack factor that comes in and the excitement quotient sees a dip. This is what happens right through the film's story and eventually when the climax approaches, you do realize that Vishal did want to talk about a lot of things where some aspects worked and some left you asking for more.
The movie really takes a good start. You are introduced well to the world of Saif Ali Khan (a film producer), Kangana Ranaut (his muse and an actress) and Shahid Kapoor (a soldier). The historical background of battle between the British and INA during the World WAR II era is also set well without making it sound too complicated. There is further humor element added too by fourth pivotal character in the film, that of a British Major General (Richard McCabe), who truly loves the cultural aspect of India and everything that is Indian, including Hindi classical music as well as Urdu sher-o-shaayari.
All in all, the stage is set and the slow pace at which Vishal takes forward the movie, you do get a sense of a 'classic like' feel being given, particularly when Shahid tries to save Kangana across Rangoon border while keeping a Japanese soldier (Satoru Kawaguchi) captive. This is really the best part of the movie as there is a different kind of bond that the trio shares, and at least 30 minutes of the story are dedicated to them. In the middle of this all, though you do wonder where the movie is actually headed, you do not mind since each of these three performers (Kangana, Shahid and Satoru) come up with supremely natural act. Kangana brings in her innate confidence into play, Shahid stays in a broody zone and is fine there, while Satoru brings in numerous light moments. But, what does come across quite abrupt is Kangana falling in love with Shahid. There is no real build up into play and when Kangana shares her feelings with Shahid too, the reciprocation comes almost in a jiffy. Principally, none of them fall in love, they just express love!
Saif gives his movie-entrepreneur act a razor-sharp class. And, Shahid is brilliant. Kangana of course is the piece de resistance. You can believe that two men would cross swords for her. While she is a child-woman or “kiddo” to the urbane Rusi, who treats her like a costly buy, she becomes the heartbeat of the nationalistic Nawab, who loves her spirited side. But, as pointed out previously on, though the love scenes are written well and artistically shot, they lack passion. The multiple lip-locks between Shahid and Kangana don’t ignite flames.
However, Vishal manages to keep your interest alive in the movie by handling numerous situations quite well. The whole episode of moles of INA in the British army is placed quite well and once Kangana begins to perform for the troops, there are many amusing moments that are presented before the viewers. Yes, the whole stage-set episode around Churchill v/s Hitler confrontation is fully forced in the tale and a couple of songs in the last 30 minutes only stretch the movie further.
This is also the point where Saif's part begins to turn a lot meatier and you do tell yourselves that he would make for a good suave villain if he decides to go all out (like he had in Ek Haseena Thi). But, soon after the narrative begins to slip. The moment Shahid and Kangana resume their romance right in the army camp and then a British army nurse is captured, the movie begins to slip away. From this point on till the unveiling of a traitor to the action sequence that follows to Kangana getting into the ‘hunterwali’ avtar to the action that takes place on the bridge does make one a little edgy.
But, Rangoon could have been an altogether different movie and cover a much greater distance had it been spun together a tad more tightly, a few plot points could have been much better written and the climax could have been much stronger. However, what also stays true is the fact that there was a team that thought of making something altogether different instead of getting into a typical Bollywood space. For the effort, visuals and the grandeur that the movie carries, Rangoon does deserve a salute for sure.
Overall, Rangoon is praiseworthy to watch once for the Vishal’s unique work and performances of trio Sahid, Kangana and Satoru.