So there's this scene in the movie where a director okays a shot calling it a brilliant one while Saif's Billimoria (a film producer) asks him to can another one since the audience doesn't go to watch the shot but to enjoy the movie.
Sadly, that's what Bhardwaj's Rangoon ends up being- a film trying to please the crowd.
Star Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut and Richard McCabe
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Producer: Ashish Paul, Vishal Bhardwaj and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Claps For: Shahid Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Richard McCabe’s Performances, Cinematography, Picturesque Locations, Sound Effects and Songs
Plot: 1943. While India is struggling to get freedom from the reigns of the East India Company and is divided between the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose, the latter’s Indian National Army makes a plan to get the much-needed resources in order to defeat the British soldiers and capture Imphal.
Enter Jamadar Nawab Malik, who was a prisoner of war in Japan for eight months. He is assigned to protect film actress Miss Julia and accompany her on her trip to Burma along with the man in her life - film producer Rustom Billimoria.
How this trip to ‘Rangoon’ changes the dynamics between Julia’s relationship with her new bodyguard and Rusi; and how it paves way for the INA to plan an attack is what this love triangle is all about.
Performances: As the rich film producer who is loyal to the English men and has developed a taste for finer things in life, Saif Ali Khan delivers yet another excellent performance. He gets the polished and royal act right; and lets his eyes show his insecurities. He literally nails it and steals the show during his sword fight with his “kiddo” Ranaut.
Sadly, Khan really doesn’t really have much to do than sulk throughout the second half! Despite all the opportunities, his character never gets the chance to turn evil and give us yet another Langda Tyagi.
Shahid Kapoor is in terrific form and here’s another brilliant performance after ‘Haider’. He is the life and soul of ‘Rangoon’ and will easily win your hearts with his restrained performance and charming smile. However, now that we’ve seen him play layered characters in Bhardwaj’s movies, its hard to see him play a role similar to what he used to play in the start of his career- just this time a more matured and serious avatar!
If you find people praising Kangana Ranaut’s performance then that would be only because they are her fans, or prefer praising people who are at the top of their game at the moment. But the truth is that her performance in ‘Rangoon’ is nothing but utter disappointment! The lady cannot help herself from hamming every now and then and starts annoying after a point of time.
The cherry on the top is Richard McCabe! He is a complete delight to watch as the Army General David who believes that he is a “gora” but dil se “hindustani”. From delivering most of his dialogues in Hindi to reciting poetry and playing the harmonica while singing Hindi songs - he does it all with grace and will ensure a huge smile on your face.
About The Movie: ‘Rangoon’ is the ‘Mohenjo Daro’ of 2017. Like the Hrithik Roshan starrer, this movie too would make you raise a question- Was it really necessary to set this movie in a different and long-gone era? And what difference did it really make to the movie?
If you’ve been a huge fan of Vishal Bhardwaj’s work, you’d know how powerful and wonderfully crafted each of his films have been (let’s forget ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ for a while). And then comes ‘Rangoon’- a film set during the times of World War II and filled promise of being an epic love triangle…the ‘Casablanca’ style. From Shahid and Kangana’s little trip to the base camp with a Japanese soldier to our ‘Miss Julia’s intense sword fight with Saif, the movie does have its share of amazing moments that you might take back home; but there’s really nothing great about the movie on the whole.
Technically, ‘Rangoon’ is a well-crafted film with its perfect cinematography and sound effects. However, the film’s plot has nothing new to offer. It’s high time we understand that changing the backdrop of the movie to a different era and presenting the star cast in a never-seen-before avatar won’t do the job. You need to make it an engrossing film too.
The movie has its share of abrupt moments as well. Sample this: a moment ago we have Shahid and Kangana’s characters sobbing over someone’s death and the very next second we have the two stealing glances and smiling as Arijit Singh’s ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ plays in the background. (Like, WTF?)
Despite their top-notch performances, the lead actors are handed over half-baked characters. Unlike Bhardwaj’s previous works, all the characters lack various shades of human emotions; and just appear to be a part of a typical love triangle that could have been executed by any other director. There’s not even the much-anticipated final battle between the male leads who are fighting for the girl.
Bhardwaj’s direction lacks the much-needed grip and consistency. Throughout the film, you’d find him constantly trying to juggle between keeping it realistic and trying to take the fictional route in order to please the audiences.
The visual effects are a disaster. Especially the bridge sequences.
Add to it, the unrealistic and stretched climax which single-handedly takes the graph of the film down.
Overall, here’s a film even ‘Toofan Ki Beti’ cannot save; and you’d just come out of the theater hall saying “Bloody Hell!”
Combo-On-Offer: Romance + Drama + Patriotism
Verdict: It’s quite sad to see actors like Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan fall prey to half-baked characters and a poorly executed film which could have easily been a classic of sorts! We give ‘Rangoon’ SLAPS for not living up to the expectations and lacking the content that would neither cater to the classes nor the masses. It’s an opportunity lost.