When you are offered a 167 minute film set in the 1940’s pre Independence period of India,can it hold your attention? Read the below few paragraphs.
Rangoon, Vishal Bhardwaj’s directorial stars Shahid Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and the “queen” actress Kangana Ranaut in the lead roles. It is set in the years 1943-44 when the Indo-Burma war happened and the British rule was yet to end in India.
The plot deals with Kangana Ranaut who plays an actress in Mumbai who is forced to move to Burma by her co-star Saif Ali Khan. He is the one who makes a brand for her as an action heroine “Julia” in Bollywood. Shahid Kapoor plays the role of a war fighter who gets captured by the opposite forces and the story touches upon a beautiful love story between Shahid and Kangana. However, the movie’s theme is war which takes over in the second half. The fight for a sword between the two territories plays a major part of Rangoon and what these characters do amidst this fight is told in this 167 minute period film.
Kangana Ranaut nails her character and is the best part of Rangoon. Shahid too, does an amazing job and the casting is on dart which makes it easy for director Vishal to convey the emotions in the right proportions. Few scenes are very well shot and the movie is a happening one that keeps us interested. Vishal’s biggest advantage is that he has stuck to his content.
On the lighter side, the scene where Kangana gets caught with the 3 Japanese warriors will leave the audiences in splits and the best part is that none of it is forced humour. The role of the Japanese soldier who accompanies Shahid and Kangana is well sketched and out of the blue. Rangoon has war, art, love and survival of the fittest, all packaged in a convincing manner.
It leaves you to decide what is right and what is wrong and there is some level of tragedy that makes it quite realistic. There is justification to the choices people make and these choices define their future. The second half does slow down a bit with the song placements and this hampers the flow of Rangoon. The twists are not predictable but since they come towards the fag end, the impact is slightly less.
It is also a technically sound film.The shot division by Pankaj Kumar is an added bonus and the music by Vishal himself is apt. The interval block and the climax are goosebumps moments in the movie. There is an emphatic end to the first half which in itself looks like the completion of one movie and you will not know what to expect from the second half which is a slight let down for the way the first half ends.
On the whole, Rangoon is an artistic film based on love and war told to us in a convincing manner by Vishal and his team. Kangana as an actress (Miss Julia) is in prime form and her acting is sufficient to hold the audiences glued to the screen. Both Shahid and Saif do their job well too and director Vishal has made a good effort with Rangoon!