RANGOON – Bloody Hell – an unexciting mock-tail of love and war

By | February 26, 2017

One waits for the next Vishal Bhardwaj film with bated breaths. He has enthralled us with Omkara, Maqbool, Haider, Saat Khoon Maaf’ and even shown us a different world with Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. You normally do not get it completely wrong  with a film by Vishal. However, Law of averages must catch up some time.

Rangoon is simple love triangle. To make it interesting, it is served as a backdrop of war.

There is war. The air-raids are happening on one side and on the other, there is this big stage, high-quality song-and-dance show of the latest heart throb, the daredevil stunt heroine from Bombay. The potent high-voltage romance for which an Indian Jamadar in the British Army finds time to indulge in with a vulnerable but right outside his reach film actress is a bit controlled and underplayed. The sense of betrayal and the twist that is the hallmark of Vishal Bhardwaj’s films are too forced in this adventure. The whole experience is as adventurous or traumatic as the game of ‘Snake and Ladder’.

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 9.41.04 amI would have wanted it to be completely a Kangana Ranaut film. I am biased. She is my favourite, and she is a terrific performer. She delivers again. She maintains a strong vulnerability and a confused look with the halting slightly heavy tongue dialogue delivery, that is her trademark. She makes you relate to her, and you feel for her. It is tough to think of casting anyone else in the role of Julia, the stunt actress.

However, Shahid Kapoor is simply outstanding in his portrayal Jamadar Nawab Malik. We have Saif Ali Khan in such acts in past, and he does deliver a very professional performance as Rusi Billimoria the stunt man turned film producer in love with a stunt queen who he bought at Marine drive for 1000 rupees. He loves her deeply but treats her as his property.

Go and watch RANGOON. It will not give you a high like other Vishal Bhardwaj films, but it still packs decent audience experience. As a reasonably seasoned loyal bollywood audience, you are requested to overlook all the flaws you find in Rangoon.

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 7.25.34 amRussi Bhillimoria agrees to multiple shows of Ms Julia for the Indians in the British Army at the Indo-Myanmar border. The thought seems outlandish, but you don’t complain. It is where Kangana will be seen in full glory. And when Ms Julia is transiting from Bombay to the location of her shows in the war zone; her troupe is attacked. The law of filmy coincidence takes over. She is separated from the rest of the troupe and finds company in Nawab Malik. This completes the love triangle, which keeps the film alive until the last few minutes. At the end, it falls prey to the biggest problem Indian films have, wrapping up a story.

There is enough of Kangana and her lovers in the film. There is that teaser of orgasmic chemistry, which never moves beyond anatomy of Kangana and geography of the film location. Though individual characterisation life of the character is well written, cast and brought alive on the screen. Rangoon fails to make the audience feel really biased towards one of the pairs in the love triangle. Both the pairs fail to create the magic audience want and deserve.

The choreography is as demanded by the film. Farah Khan and Sudesh Adhana do well to retain the retro touch. The Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 7.25.46 amsongs by Gulzar create magic and engage viewers, but other than Bloody Hell- no other number seems to be a possible chart entry.

I hope that more of better technology was used in the scenes, where real life was depicted. They are superbly patchy like the early 1940s, the film timelines. Did the director forget that the 1940 was the setting and ambience for the movie, and the last set of stunts were supposed to be the real life?

The current flavour of Indian films is the National song within the film. Rangoon allows Vishal Bhardwaj to improvise. He nicely weaved in the original anthem of Azad Hind Fauz ( Indian National Army – created and led by Lare Subash Chnadra Bose). It is not surprising that in few shows, there are reports of the audience heavily influenced by latest happenings and reports standing to attention while the song is played.

The backdrop of freedom fight and the word war needed a lot more to be explained to the coy couple in the seat ahead. It was a sad affair when the Girl needed to be explained the setting and define AZAD HIND FAUJ.

Just for the TRIVIA inclined readers, the film Rangoon by Vishal Bhardwaj got nothing- repeat nothing to do with the Fearless Stunt actress of Bombay film industry of early nineties. The similarities start and end with Ms Julia being a stunt actress.

Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

…… BLOG /19/2017…………