‘Everything is fair in love and war’, says Vishal Bharadwaj in RANGOON and we cannot agree more.
This is a Vishal Bharadwaj film,so a few must-know facts beforehand-
- Be ready to expect the unexpected.
- VB films are no quickies.They are elaborate 3hr+ sagas.
- Bring along your brains and not popcorn.
- Similarities with Shakespeare classics are unmissable.
- Superstars actually turn into actors.
- Lastly,VB films are not a frivolous entertainment but a treasure trove for the connoisseurs of cinema – MAQBOOL,HAIDER,OMKARA; to name the few.
Cut to 1943, Rangoon presents day Burma, British-ruled Indian soldiers are waging a guerrilla warfare with Japanese troops in World War 2. At the same time,Bose’s INA is planning to raid Delhi to gain freedom from Gora Sahib but are in need of funds for the same. Help comes in form of a royal sword offered by a princely statesman. This Sword of honour needs to be transported to INA headquarters to raise the funds for the freedom march.
Shahid Kapoor, jamadaar ‘Nawab’ in British Indian Army.
Saif Ali Khan, a studio owner ‘Rusi Bilimoria’ in Bombay film industry.
While Kangna, his beautiful muse aka stunt women ‘hunterwaali Julia’ find themselves pulled into the game of deceit and valour but ultimately choose to sacrifice their love over the altar of independence !!
RANGOON is a classic love-in-the-times-of-war story that does not end into happily-ever-after way. A dark love triangle of unrequited love, Vishal Bharadwaj’s layered drama delves deep into the ocean of emotions to rewrite the notions of love in blood. A classic theme punctured by a loose screenplay and languid pace. Blame it on a lame climax, RANGOON just stops short of an ambitious film.
Yet,the film scores in many ways. For Shahid and Kangana, love blooms in the jungles of Arunachal Pradesh, a land of incredible beauty. Their inhibited love is fueled by raw and intense passion, played out in the backdrop of enchanting emerald valleys, descending monsoon clouds with incessant rains and dilapidated ruins.. goosebumps 🙂 🙂 could almost smell the wet woods.
Rekha Bharadwaj’s haunting track, ‘yeh ishque hai’ simmers like a slow fire throughout; though other songs-of-satire are wasted. Also, the easy camaraderie between Kangana and a Japanese soldier is highly watchable.
Whether its Urdu spewing Indophile Major General Harding or eclectic bunch of nautanki walas or the lead trio, RANGOON’s cast is its strength.
Supergirl, Kangana captivates you completely. Like a chameleon,she changes her shades from being a vulnerable, insecure, injured, adamant woman to a innocent, charming damsel-in-distress,in no time. Kangana literally cracks the whip over Saif and Shahid,leaving them far behind in acting lessons. Bloody Hell !!
Shahid Kapoor matures as an actor and walks-talks- looks like an hardened soldier. His restrained act screams for attention.Well done!!
Saif Ali Khan is a smooth operator in his sophisticated suits, suave demeanour and of course, crisp English. His dark relationship with Kangana hides many facets. Saif’s nuanced act of lost-in-love is brilliant.