Rangoon Dazzles and Stumbles as Vishal Bhardwaj brings you Romance from the Dark Days of India’s Freedom Struggle

StarringShahid kapoor (Nawab Malik), Saif Ali Khan (Rusi Billemoria), Kangana 
          Ranaut(Miss Julia), Richard McCabe (General Harding)
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Cinematography: Pankaj Kumar

Sassy music, picture perfect locations, docile actors with bold acting performances
and a romantic tragedy, have all been notable ingredients of the tried, tested and relished recipe of Vishal Bhardwaj’s films. As we have seen the director flourish with a Shakespeare touch to his films iacross his career, his films and their class speak for themselves. Rangoon, which hit theaters this Friday is another passionate love story from Vishal Bhardwaj’s gallery and the film does dote a lot on his style of drama and romance.


Rangoon’s journey begins with vigour and is completely packed with a series of events
that transpire in the Bombay of 40’s. A charismatic but emotionally wrecked 
Kangana Ranaut, playing an actor, Miss Julia, is in love with Saif Ali Khan, who plays Rusi Billemoria, a young and flamboyant production house owner, amidst the chaos of the Second World War and the INA’s revolt, is your first 20 minute guide to Rangoon. As the journey unfolds and we pass stations after stations the film picks up momentum and interest. Majorly a love story, Rangoon plays its cards in the background of the INA’s war for freedom of India from the British.


As the train moves from Mumbai to the picturous and war torn, Burma, Vishal Bhardwaj unleashes his captivating tunes that make you fall in love with Rangoon instantaneously. It is during this journey that the director introduces his third wolf of the pack, Shahid Kapoor, who plays an army man. Emotinally rattled and stuck in the wild forests of Burma, Shahid and Kangana  fall for each other and the film takes a typical Vishal Bhardwaj turn. Pictures and locations by Pankaj Kumar are exquisite and appealing as the sizzling lead pair and their chemistry is even more appreciated in these sizzling locations.


Rangoon plays around Vishal Bhardwaj’s standard template of films, which despite being praised at times have also got the stick. In an attempt to alloy a ravishing love triangle with the war for freedom, Vishal Bhardwaj feels lost at times. As the story tends to reach the 3 hour mark one is partly glowing with the onscreen brilliance of the film but at the same time feels uncomfortable about some lose ends in this engrossing love story.


Despite some of its serious flaws Rangoon’s dialogues flirt with the quirky Indian inside you as the writing team make no miss in its cheeky and punching dialogues. The negative role of a British general played by Richard McCabe abuses the linguist inside you with his clumsy Hindi-Urdu phrases and lacks the negative persona that Saif had in Omkara and Irrfan Khan had in Maqbool. On the contrary, Rangoon is all about its protagonists. As we see Saif raise the bar, Kangana Ranaut’s bold and mature avtaar of Miss Julia wins your heart. Mostly silent through the first half, Shahid’s second half performance is breath taking as we see him taking charge of the film.


Despite 3 hours of spellbound cinema, Rangoon ends with bloodshed and a daunting feeling of patriotism. The actors leave no stone unturned to make Rangoon Vishal Bhardwaj’s finest film but they miss out on their target by just a few inches. To sum up, Rangoon is the film you can try this weekend but there’s a possibility you may end up leaving theatres with a frown.

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