Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Duration: 2 hours 47 minutes
Bayside Rating: 2.5/5
Love, jealousy, betrayal, and war–Rangoon tries to bring all these elements in one frame. This love triangle story has a few things right and some wrong. There are moments that keep you hooked while there are others that make you yawn.
Plot: Rangoon is a love triangle set in World War II during pre-independence India. The film takes you back to the 1930s where Gandhi followed the path of non-violence and Subhash Chandra Bose founded the Indian National Army. Amid all this, you are introduced to Miss Julia (Kangana Ranaut) who is a popular stunt actress and everyone’s darling. Julia is a muse of studio owner Russi Billimoria (Saif Ali Khan) who is in love with her. Enter Jemadar Nawab Malik (Shahid Kapoor) who falls head over heels for Julia. The problem starts when the lives of these three collide.
Vishal Bharadwaj’s Rangoon is a complex story that takes the entire first half just to establish the storyline.
The second half is where the film really comes to life. Bharadwaj brilliantly portrays the various layers of emotions but the screenplay doesn’t match up to Bharadwaj’s vision.
The intimate scenes are shot beautifully and are well written but Shahid and Kangana’s chemistry isn’t good enough to ignite passion on screen.
Saif’s character is edgy and Shahid is good as well, but Rangoon belongs to Kangana. Her character is inspired by famous stunt actress Fearless Nadia, and Kangana gives an outstanding performance. There is no one in B-Town today who could have pulled this character off so well. From her bold body language to stunning action scenes, she does it all effortlessly. Kangana’s expressions, emotions and acting, is something that will stay with you even if the film doesn’t.
The cinematography by Pankaj Kumar is exquisite. From grim war scenes, tender moments to peppy dance numbers, the movie has a mix of everything. However, the sum of the parts falls short of the total. Bharadwaj has given us Omkara, Maqbool and Haider but Rangoon is a disappointment.
Bharadwaj has tried to do too much in Rangoon and loses his way in all the love, war and deceit portrayed in the film. The songs in Rangoon will stay with you, especially Rekha Bharadwaj’s ‘Mere Miya Gaye England’ and Arijit Singh’s ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’.
On the whole, Rangoon is one of those films with a great cast who turn in solid performances, a brilliant director, great cinematography and wonderful lyrics but the whole essence of the film is lost.