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Rangoon has been seen and I am quite happy with it, but when I looked around in the theater then I realized there were only 40-50 people saw the film with me, that too on the first Sunday of its release. What happened? Why are people avoiding Rangoon? The trailer was weak maybe or they found the songs different from regular that’s why they thought to skip it. Vishal Bhardwaj is one director who is struggling since long to market his good films intelligently. Or his films are not meant to be marketed and can only be seen in the theaters to experience the class and magic of his brand of cinema. This is a fact, his films never look good in promos but in the theaters, his films get extreme reactions, either one loves his films or completely hates. The section which shower love over his films are small and I am one of them, I loved most of his films specifically Maqbool, Makdee, Omkara and Matru Ki Bijli ka Mandola, in that order, while rest of his films were certainly unusual if not thoroughly lovable be it Saat Khoon Maaf, Haidar or Kaminey.
Vishal’s film largely works on the screenplay because if is not making films on Shakespeare’s subjects then his stories when you’ll look are absolutely cardboard-ish Bollywood and it is his out of the box vision, treatment, and weird but strangely melodious songs that make his films great. His characters are layered despite in a stereotype stories and turn everything new. Here also in Rangoon, his basic story is a love triangle but his treatment is mad yet charismatic. This is by far Bhardwaj’s most ambitious film till date and he has taken many cinematic liberties too in an otherwise very authentic cinematically beautiful movie, the photography of Pankaj Kumar is breathtakingly real and art direction is honest. This love triangle is set against the backdrop of World War II and India’s struggle for freedom and the lead characters are nicely written.
The movie lies on the shoulders of Kangana Ranaut, she right now is the biggest star out the three leads but again the pressure of 80 crore film is too much. The movie is over budget when you look into the subject but actually, I still feel it is underbudgeted because most of the VFX are very childish and third class. And imagine at one place you see frames which look nothing less than Saving Private Ryan and on the other you get to see tacky CGI shots. Our cinema is suffering from many restraints and Rangoon is a victim of it, and it is a big flop despite being a very refreshing cinema and better than 90% of the stuff we produce every year. On the performance front, Kangana shows all her range in the film as Julia, comedy, emotion, intensity, romance, dance and even her action everything is great and she is in full form. Shahid Kapoor as Malik is good in romantic scenes, his screen presence is also very fine but I found him blank and pretentious in the climax of the film.
For me Saif Ali Khan is the best thing about Rangoon, he dives into his character completely and looked the mean and authoritative Billi Moria even when he is not speaking any lines, his body language is fabulous throughout. The songs are very good to look at and have those old broadway musicals feeling, the film is overwritten but as long as it is different I feel you must watch the film because no movie is perfectly perfect. Rangoon is a misfired masterpiece but has the elements to be a cult one in the times to come but for that, you need to see the film and not the promos to give a judgment.