Vishal Bharadwaj ambitiously mounts Rangoon but the execution of this Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor film never manages to match its intentions.
Rangoon haunts in unlikely fashion and, while the director's most straightforward picture, holds enough of its own marvels to justify multiple viewings.Like a song-and-dance troupe trampling all over a map of Europe to tell their own fractured, misguided jokes, or an old man cosily swilling wine after having faked his own death, Rangoon may be direct, but it is never obvious.
Rangoon deserves a watch for its smart sub-plot, Kangana-Shahid's titillating chemistry and of course, Kangana Ranaut's vulnerability as a popular actress turned liberated lover Julia.
At 167 minutes, Rangoon isn’t only long but painful. And this isn’t the pain of love. And it doesn’t end in pleasure.
Rangoon is definitely not avoidable but it is certainly not a Vishal Bhardwaj masterpiece.
Rangoon is wholeheartedly recommended but with a rider: it isn't a stroll in the park because it demands patience and concentration. It definitely helps that the cinematography (by Pankaj Kumar) is so lustrous that you simply cannot take your eyes off the screen.
In his attempt to pack in too much on war, love and deceit, the maker ends up with some haphazard division of war scenes versus love games, leaving the viewer muddled.
Rangoon has grandeur but is a lost cause thanks to its multiple threads. Kangana and Shahid, leave a mark with their characters but do not help the film rise above its inconsistencies.
Rangoon is a mighty effort and worth seeing once.
Vishal Bhardwaj, caught with the duty to serve two movies in one (an old-school romance and a war thriller), doesn't really do a Casablanca though he does give Rangoon his best shot. Nevertheless, Rangoon comes off as probably 2017's most good-looking and well-made Indian film. Certainly, this year's most ambitious, with three great lead performances. Vishal Bhardwaj is in fine form, mostly. And yes, the National Anthem comes thrice in the film. What more do you want?
While the actors give it their best shot, Rangoon just isn’t able to tell its story with consistency. The movie tries to pack in too many set pieces and ideas in one narrative. Its choice of keeping the love triangle with jealousy and sacrifice isn’t the most inspired piece of writing either. Rangoon looks like a beautiful picture but it offers very little soul to support its epic goals.
RANGOON is an epic misfire and the movie has demonstrated the desperation of Bhardwaj in trying to please the gallery in the end and that is more alarming. Bhardwaj's was 'successful' in his unique pail of dramatics seen in his re working of Shakespearean tragedies and remarkable brilliance in KAMINEY that was never designed to please the masses, this attitude placed him in the top ranks of serious helmers but in RANGOON I found that Bhardwaj lost in his junoon ( passion) to get the maximum.
So yeah, this is also very much a musical. As you can sense, too many things have been mixed into one film. But attempted with eye-popping chutzpah. Over years, it's another matter if you've liked all his movies or not, what you have to credit Bhardwaj for is sheer audacity, and flight of imagination. He takes a chance. Even when granted full indulgence, he's been respectful of the mainstream audience's intelligence, if not always their time. 'Rangoon' is not an exception.
Rangoon is far from a perfect film; there are scenes that definitely do not work in terms of the effects. Some of the pivotal moments can have a cartoon-ish quality and that does detract from the immersive-ness of the experience. It can be a distraction just when you need to be with these characters every step of the way.
Rangoon is entertaining but it is also too long, boring in parts and more class-appealing than mass-oriented. It will, therefore, do well in select multiplexes in some big cities, but this will not at all be enough to recover the huge investment in the film even after revenues from non-theatrical sources are accounted for. In the final tally, the film will entail heavy losses to the distributors concerned.
There are reluctant bodyguards, sacrificing soldiers, national anthem being sung, atrocities on common folk, and a bridge on the river Kwai that should have been blown up by at least one warring side. The movie is so long you are too tired to call it names when it is over.
Audience Reviews for Rangoon
"Bleedy hell, it's well made though the story pales in comparison!!!"
The curtains have come down on the 89th Academy Awards & it did have it's share of controversies that everyone would be aware of by now. More often than not, Oscars always featured some World War dramas & this year was no different with Mel Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge". Over the years, Hollywood has come up with numerous WWII movies but it happened to be one event in history that our film makers barely explored even though our troops played a significant part in it. Incidentally, this week we had Vishal Bhardwaj's "Rangoon" which is set during that period & the trailer looked really impressive. So is it one of Vishal's masterpieces???
The Second World Flow was in full swing as the English played an active role in it through their British Indian Army. At the same time, India made strong strides towards Independence under the leadership of Gandhiji with his principle of non-violence. However, Subash Chandra Bose wasn't convinced with Gandhiji's strategy & formed the Indian National Army (INA) with the help of the Japanese. Their combined forces made constant inroads in the Indo-Burma border & many Indian soldiers of British Indian Army were taken as PoW which included Jemadar Nawab Malik (Shahid Kapoor), who subsequently managed to escape. Elsewhere in the country, Julia (Kangana Ranaut) was the numero uno female movie star known for her breath taking daredevilry on screen. She worked for Billimoria's production house & was in an affair with Rusi Billimoria (Saif Ali Khan) who ran the show. In order to lift the spirits of the forces in the war zone, Major General David Harding (Richard McCabe) coaxes Julia & Rusi to make the trip assuring them of top notch security with Nawab Malik as her personal security. But as one would expect, anything can go wrong in a war zone & that's exactly what happened.
Vishal Bharadwaj's credentials as a film maker is well established with premier movies like "Maqbool", "Omkara", "Haider" etc. which showcased a myriad of emotions. In his latest venture as well, there is no dearth of emotions all of which is encompassed within a love story against the backdrop of freedom struggle which he has scripted in the company of Matthew Robbins & Sabrina Dhawan. The war zone has been picturized realistically & the frames looked authentic in terms of art direction and costumes. The main flaw with the movie is the inability to marry the romance with the war backdrop & that would prove to be a deterrent for many in the audience. With regard to the climax, it was hurried, a bit over the top & the CGI used was pretty mediocre. On the technical side, Pankaj Kumar's visuals were fantastic while the combo of Vishal & Gulzar in the music department was excellent. However, Aalaap Majgavkar ought to have done a much better job with the editing.
Kangana absolutely rocked as Julia, whose character was undoubtedly modeled after the yester year stunt queen "Fearless Nadia". She was given a role of substance & she has done justice to it. Equally impressive were her co-stars though Shahid had more screen space. Saif Ali was an apt choice as the suave film maker but he isnt provided as much opportunity as he was given in "Omkara". Richard McCabe has done a decent job as the cunning English General while the rest of the cast were adequate as well.
Verdict: Though the trailer was brilliant & movie was exquisitely made, it still falls short of expectations as the story is rather weak. Another major drawback is the clima which turned out to be rather too melodramatic & over the top. In short, it is likely to struggle at the box office but I would still suggest to check it out!!!
Power packed performances and cinematography will make it a treat for all of you.
Vishal Bhardwaj this time matched his level to hollywood, really Its a hard hitting movie, brilliant lyrics by gulzar sahab, impressive music with a love triangle in war backdrop, outstanding direction by Vishal Bhardwaj, excellent cinematography, brilliant background score, most impressive is kangana & shahid,they have given outstanding performances award winning, hats off to them, probably one of the best movie of our cinema..
Don't miss it
#rangoon directed by Vishal bhardwaj, produced by sajid Nadiadwala (who also produced Haider), known to convert Shakespeare plays into celluloid, this time pens something out of his comfort zone..movie begins with a world War 2 bombing sequence in rangoon in 40’s where Jamaadar Nawab Malik of British army (Shahid) who’s actually captain Nawab of the INA headed by SC Bose, gets shot n caught by enemy and then runs out of their jail (the escape sequence is not shown here)..cut to bombay where miss Julia is painting the town red with her character inspiration from Fearless Nadia and Eros echoes Bloody hell in Toofan ki beti..all her movies are produced by Russi billimoria aka hey hey wow Saif.. Who actually bought her for 1000 rupees as a child..he continues his fascination for girls half his age in reel life too..Rusi to prove his loyalty to the British army is asked to send Julia to rangoon to entertain the British army every night with songs and dance performances.. Here on her trip she almost drowned in the river but somehow lands on a rock..Don’t know how but she had to survive else the movie was over in 30 mins.. Then she entertains the Japanese soldiers as she couldn’t control her sneeze not once but twice..n then Jamaadar appears from no where to rescue her.its Julia’s interactions with the Japanese soldier in the first half which bring you back from boredom.. she owns the film. .by interval atleast 4 songs are in..but it’s only 1 hour n 15 min..n then another 1 hour 35 min to the second half.. Aisa calculation first time dekha Hai.. Rusi had less screen time in the first half but somehow wakes up Vishal in the second half to tell him that I have acted in parineeta n omkara..you gave me a Langda role now with an amputed hand Give me some dialogues..So he says towards the pre climax Hum funkaar hai..jhooth ko Sachai se jeena pesha Hai humara..passion and chemistry is not hot between the lead pairs and thats one major drawback.. too many not so popular songs in the movie also slow the pace down throughout..His songs n melody n lyrics from gulzar is too repetitive now.. May be Vishal shud try some other music director like amit trivedi next time..the CGI is not at all upto the mark especially in the climax where Rusi does The Walk.. Again it’s not shown how he reaches the other side of the bridge carrying such a heavy sword..really unfortunate Bose had to go through all this..so what are the positives.. Just a couple
1. Stunning cinematography..absolutely world class
2. Kangana ranaut..definitely award winning nomination if we don’t have a tough fight amongst other actresses like last year
But like Rusi says in the movie.. Public film dekhti Hai shots nahi.. RANGOON is only about few shots