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