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Rangoon | Film Review
Being a huge fan of Vishal Bhardwaj’s cinematic craft, Rangoon was undoubtedly one of the most awaited films on our list. In fact, a lot of times, the audience tends to have certain pre conceived notions about his films. The process of storytelling is entangled, characters are intense and the impact is consuming. Well, it's easy to say that Rangoon is a great blend of it all. But, there is a lot more to the film than just stereotypical notions. Set in the 1940s, with the backdrop of World War II - a turbulent time for most parts of the world, Rangoon is a gripping tale that is mostly centred around its lead protagonists - a renowned filmmaker (Rusi Billimoria - played by Saif Ali Khan), a famous stunt queen (Julia - played by Kangana Ranaut) and a sincere Indian soldier from the British army (Nawab Malik - played by Shahid Kapoor). But, does Bhardwaj's period drama manage to keep you hooked on right till the end? Read on to find out.
Needless to say, the trailer had given away the basic fact that the film is set in the 1940’s with a love triangle evolving in the times of war. Indeed, the different shades of love portrayed on screen capture Julia’s relationship with Rusi and Nawab Malik beautifully. Amidst the bombs, bullets and war, Julia is also fighting a psychological turmoil, while trying desperately to connect with herself. The shift in Julia's personality cannot be missed. While her relationship with Rusi looks controlled and forced, the second half sees her set out like a free bird, who is madly in love with Nawab Malik. But, how far will this take their relationship? What happens when Rusi learns about Julia's relationship? You have to watch the film to find out.
As expected, Rangoon is packed with some terrific performances from the lead cast. Shahid Kapoor nails it with his nuances and fabulous act as the calm, intense and sincere soldier, Nawab Malik, who is torn between his loyalty for the country and passionate love for Julia. The best proof of Kapoor's powerful performance? The very fact that even in scenes where he has no dialogue, the actor makes a strong impact with his eyes and remarkable body language.
Ranaut's Julia is real, feisty and daring. She excels with a fine performance, that has the perfect balance of excellent dialogue delivery and expressions. Khan's Rusi looks powerful and performs very well. His classy demeanour was a perfect fit for the role. Apart from the leading trio, there are some really interesting characters in the ensemble cast. The supporting actors have acted well and contribute in helping the story move forward.
In the technical department, it is Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography that strikes out as the hero! Every frame looks visually stunning. Additionally, the grim look and feel helps in establishing a connect with the turmoil and complexities throughout the film. The unique song and dance sequences are something to watch out for, as everything about it looks and feel different. The dialogues penned by Bhardwaj served as interesting hook points in the film. Despite a few patchy parts here and there, director Vishal Bharadwaj does a good job of diving deeper into the subjects of his film and presents a soul stirring love saga, packed with a gripping plot, while doing justice to its backdrop quite wonderfully. Overall, we certainly feel Rangoon is one ‘Bloody Hell’ of a ride!
Verdict: Amidst bombs, bullets and darkness, love blossoms. Do yourself a favour and watch this visually stunning, poignant love saga on the big screen.
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