A review on Bollywood Action-Drama feature length film, ‘Rangoon’ (2017) [Former Capital of Burma]. The Production Houses are Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, VB Pictures and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.
- Written, Music, Directed & Produced by Vishal Bhardwaj
- Co-Written by Matthew Robbins and Sabrina Dhawan
- Cinematography by Pankaj Kumar
- Edited by Aalaap Majgavkar
- Co-Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
The project is a period film set during World War II (1939-1945) with the leading actress supposedly playing a character based on the life and times of Mary Ann Evans aka Fearless Nadia, Bollywood’s first original stunt-woman still remembered for her fiery role in the movie ‘Hunterwali’.
Rangoon is inspired by ‘English Patient’ (1996), while some scenes by ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998) and ‘Apocalypse Now’ (1979).
Although this film was viewed for Adults only but still there were several scenes which were opted out by our censor board that I believe was totally unnecessary. Well, first of all the viewers are ADULTS ONLY and secondly those were just kissing scenes. What’s the BIG deal about it? No sexual scenes or references or nudity or political references or hateful content were made / shown in them.
+ Main Cast
- Kangana Ranaut as Miss Julia
- Saif Ali Khan as Rustom “Rusi” Billimoria
- Shahid Kapoor as Jamadar Nawab Malik
- Richard McCabe as Major General Harding
- Satoru Kawaguchi as Hiromichi
- Surendra Pal as Maharaja
- Alex Avery as Major Williams
During the year 1943 as the world is about to witness ‘World War II’, the Indian National Army (INA), Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and British Indian Army (BIA) are in combat with each other. During the trip, Jamadar Nawab Malik is assigned to bodyguard Miss Julia, a young reputable, fame daring film actress. Miss Julia happens to be love interest and mistress of Rustom “Rusi” Billimoria who is one of the leading film directors in British India.
+ High Points
i – Kangana Ranaut performance is very good while Richard McCabe as Major General Harding performed great in the supporting role. Other Honorable Mentions: Shahid Kapoor.
ii – There are some worthy, symbolic and in-depth meaning dialogues were spoken in the film.
iii – The art direction in most scenes is well established and of first-rate quality.
iv – The costume design has done a worthy job.
+ Low Points
i – The film’s first half, where the two main characters are isolated till they are found was totally unnecessary for the film. There was no need for these scenes. It didn’t help the film to progress as such. Instead they could have shown their character shift while their long stays with the BIA, far away from home.
ii – BTW the film’s story is hardly of one hour whereas the film full time length is of 02 hours and 47 minutes. It means that the entire film is stretched till they possibly could.
iii – The way two lead characters are carrying out their secret love affair, anyone can easily notice this. But no one notices this including the army personnel and her to be husband until much later in the film.
iv – When one of the characters is presumed dead by the BIA but later on we get to know that that person has survived, no one in the army investigates how this is possible and where he was all this time?
v – After going from near death experiences (several times), yet in just couple of days Miss Julia starts doing singing, dance shows. In reality that person becomes sober due to such trauma and would refuse to work for several weeks if not months.
vi – If a well reputed actress is engaged and to be married soon, will she or her to be husband (director) would allow her to sing and dance shamelessly in front of army personnel even if it is done to boast up their morale to fight for their country? In Hollywood’s classic war film ‘Apocalypse Now’ (1979), several playmates are called in to sing and dance in front of their army for same above reason. Vishal Bhardwaj clearly failed to understand the difference between these two film characters.
vii – Honestly, I had no good expectations from Saif’s performance but since the director was Vishal Bhardwaj; then yes, I changed my mind and expected his performance to be somewhat similar he gave in the Bollywood film ‘Omkara’ (2006). Unfortunately, here it was not so. Saif Ali Khan’s performance is weak and disappointing.
viii – There are so many movie mistakes in the film such as during the mud scene, where the two lead stars are slightly drunk and having fun. We know well that experienced army personnel have muscular physique and by hitting softly on their leg, would not make fall down (at least not so easily). But he does fall several times. And in the same scene, both of these characters are completely covered in mud but in the very next scene we are shown that one of character’s clothes and slightly face is in little bit of mud otherwise almost completely clean.
ix – Not even once does the film mentions that Miss Julia is an expert in knife throwing but in a song, we suddenly showed that she is one. However, the problem does not end here. You see, in much later in the film she feel the urge to rescue her lover and literally runs on top of running train while dismantling up to 8 – 10 army personnel in able to reach to the Major’s room and disarm him too. This entire scene may have happened if Miss Julia was either an elite commando or that this was just a dream sequence.
x – Shahid Kapoor’s character was written very limited (intentionally), but if Shahid was given the chance, he would have performed even better than Kangana.
xi – After the interval, the film became so predictable that viewers started guessing the film’s next move / scenes.
xii – To show a mole / traitor in the army, it would have been better if that secret was exposed to the main character and audience at the same time. Here the audience already knew who that ‘Traitor’ was.
xiii – No contact of the ‘Traitor’ is shown with his/her base to know and understand fully his/her tasks and intentions properly.
xiv – The visual effects of this film are as cool as of ‘B’ grade TV film.
xv – After watching this film, you can make a personal top 10 list of WTF moments. The entire film is so unrealistic, even for the standards of Bollywood film making. In comparison to South Indian films, one does expect highly unrealistic and illogical scenes in their films but not in a Bollywood film, (at least not like these) whose director is famous for directing wonderful films like ‘Haider’ (2014) and ‘Omkara’ (2006).
xvi – In its ending, most of the audience was laughing out so loudly where some of them had to cover their mouths. The film turned out to be a huge comedy for the viewers. Besides the joke, there was a minor reference in the first half of the film regarding of the main character’s stunt that he/she performs in the end. But, please! This CAN NOT happen in real life or in a given situation as it is shown in the film. But since so many illogical and impractical things were happening throughout the film therefore this scene would just be a cherry on a pie.
Rangoon is a shameful entry by the fame director whose work we usually look forward to.
Rate: 0.5 out of 5 stars