Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rangoon - Movie Review

Desi Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Directed by: Vishal Bhardwaj
Produced by: Sajid Nadiadwala, Vishal Bhardwaj, Viacom
Written by: Matthew Robbins, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sabrina Dhawan
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut
Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj

Rangoon is an ambitious film and now after watching the film it seems like my expectations with the film were even more ambitious. Somehow missing out on an award winning Vishal Bhardwaj’s "Haider" made me even had more expectations from this one. Script is full of clich├ęd moments and dialogues. For the first time I felt lucky to have watched a censored shorter version of a film thanks to UAE censor policies.  So for this reason I did not feel any drag as other critics have pointed out (Yes, I do check out reviews done by other people, I am still learning and an infant when it comes to film Journalism). First half is entertaining but in second half writer trio loses grip. There are so many unnecessary subplots, for example character of Haseena , I thought all that jealousy with Julia would built up to something but we get nothing. Rangoon could have lived with less songs as well, I mean we get entertainment value of Julia with “bloody hell” song, there is absolutely no need for another stage performance with in next 5 minutes. Now don’t take me wrong the Script/Screenplay is not a complete wreck there are some seriously good moments in the film especially in the first half.

As far as direction is concerned I got really confused with what Vishal Bhardwaj wants to deliver, an intense love story or patriotic independence drama. Off course one can have both but what is missing is the required equation in between. I was expecting some Saving Private Ryan styled moments of war but war sequences are not more than average, even the opening scene where one can see Shahid Kapoor going through land mine explosions is very ordinary. I also did not get Broadway sort of treatment of couple of scenes/songs, either you go full Broadway mode or stick to regular Bollywood style no need to confuse the audience. I guess this time Vishal has bitten a lot more than he can chew. Rest of the elements such as Music, cinematography and editing are equally ordinary.
The only thing great about this film is the acting from the lead cast. Kangana Ranaut’s portrayal of Julia demands another national award. She is the only factor that elevates Rangoon to an average film status. Saif Ali Khan (as Rusi Billimoria a rich Parsi filmmaker) got a smaller part compared to Shahid Kapoor (as Jamadar Nawab) but both perform with equal sincerity and makes it a lot easier for the viewers to connect and understand the complexity of their characters, in short help survive Rangoon. Another important character is of Major General Harding played neatly by Richard McCabe but somehow concept of Hindi speaking Gora(white man) takes the required seriousness away from the film. This Amrish Puri’s Mogambo feel from main antagonist also prohibits viewer from taking Rangoon seriously.

Overall  what's wrong with Rangoon is that it is a very ordinary film from an extra ordinarily hyped team. I go with generous 2.5 stars only because of the genuine performance by the principal cast.