May 26, 2022


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Rangoon Review: It’s a Colourful Art with Colourless Paint!

Vishal Bhardwaj is back with his new film ‘Rangoon’ and as most of us know that he always make movies for class people and not for mass people. As a result, expectations are same from what we have got from earlier Bhardwaj’s films like ‘Haider’, ‘Kaminey’, ‘Omkara’ and others. Starring Vishal’s favourite Shahid Kapoor in lead, the film also stars Saif Ali Khan and Kangana Ranaut in lead. Now going by this multi-starrer film, moviegoers are having a decent amount of expectations in watching this flick. But before you guys watch it, you must be wondering that the movie is Paisa Vasool or not? Well, let’s find out!

Rangoon’ is a period film set during World War II (1939-1945) and Kangana’s character is apparently portrays the real-life and times of Mary Ann Evans aka Fearless Nadia, who is famously touted to be as Bollywood’s first original stunt-woman and still remembered for her fiery role in the movie ‘Hunterwali’.

The story revolves around three main characters – Rusi Billimoria (Saif Ali Khan), a former actor who now produces his own films; Miss Julia (Kangna Ranaut), who is a top actress and also stars in Rusi’s films; and lastly Jamadar Nawab Malik (Shahid Kapoor), who is a loyal British army soldier and is being employed to keep his own Indian people down. Meanwhile, Rusi is a mentor and lover of this orphan Julia, who he bought her for Rs. 1000.

One fine day British Army requests Rusi Billimoria to send Julia to the Indo-Burma border so that she can entertain their soldiers. Rusi sends her with his troupe along with Nawab Malik as her personal security. However, in the midst of bombs and bullets happening during World War II, Rusi and Nawab manages to escape from Burma. Well, from there onwards love blossoms between the two and soon the film goes into a triangular love story between Nawab, Julia and Rusi. Battle lines are now drawn when Rusi learns about the torrid love affair between a soldier and his lover, where the dramatic clashes between the two are subtle and not overdramatic. What follows next is the crux of the story. Meanwhile, the film also travels parallel with the backdrop of Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in this multiple wars.

Before you get into anything, let me clarify one thing that this is no war film. Vishal uses the World War II as a template, and narrates a delightful love story that entangles conflict, politics, deceit and also history. The story as usual slowly moves forward, and focuses more on art rather than craft. The objective of Vishal Bharadwaj’s determinedly mounted movie is clear: to weave the skeins of love and war in order to make a film which is full of throbbing passion and grand statements. However, the execution part slightly fails here. The first half develops the story between the characters, whereas the second half develops the love-triangle between three prime characters. But the climax part doesn’t disappoint you and eventually the film leaves with several episodes that stay with you much after you leave the screen. And that’s the beauty of Vishal Bhardwaj, who is a great storyteller and narrator, and knows how to use craft well in spite of focussing more on arts. One would definitely be a poker-face many-a-times while watching the movie, but even though how to make and look a scene good, can only be done by none other than genius Vishal Bhardwaj.

Going by the performance, Kangana Ranaut is definitely Queen of Bollywood, and delivers one of her finest performance here. She makes sure to maintain her presence in every of her scene and stands tall in every challenging sequences. Saif Ali Khan is a classy actor whose royal charm was ruling all over the film. Post-interval, he is top-notch and handles his part very well. Shahid Kapoor hits a masterstroke here, and delivers one of his super-best performances. He is a scene-stealer and his act will stay on one’s mind for a longer period of time. On the other side, supporting cast members are wonderful and played their parts with conviction.

Cinematography is remarkably done by Pankaj Kumar, and Editing could be a bit crisper (especially in the first-half). Composed by Vishal himself, songs are passable where the movie could have been worked and more enjoyable without one-or-two songs in it. However, background score done by Vishal again is captivating and maintains the decorum of genre. Dialogues, penned down by Vishal as well, were equally praiseworthy and add weight to each and every scene in the movie.

So is it a Paisa-Vasool film? Well, it’s indeed for some people to some extent who love to watch an artistic love story with a backdrop of war. However, it’s not for masses who are seeking for some masala entertainment. As described best for any Vishal Bhardwaj’s film – ‘Rangoon’ as well is not for masses but for classes.

Rating: 3 Stars

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