Director Vishal Bharadwaj is known for giving us some great films like 'Maqbool', 'Haider', 'Omkara', 'Makdee' and few more. Though, most of these films were adaption of William Shakespeare's classic play and Vishal succeeded in transforming them brilliantly in Hindi films.
The film maker had some issues with his other films as except for 'Kaminey', none of his other big films managed to make the right mark. He returns back with one more original work, but this time has big stars attached to it. The trailers look promising and thus the expectations have reached to its peak, also as its Vishal's next film after one of his best work - 'Haider'.
'Rangoon' is a story set in the early 40's era and is based on an action queen actress Julia (Kangana Ranaut) who is in love with producer Rusi Bilimoria (Saif Ali Khan). Looking at the super popularity of Julia, General David (Richard McCabe) request Rusi Bilimoria to organize live shows of Julia for his men who are fighting the World War II in Rangoon. Rusi agrees as he need raw stock to make his next film, which can be only achieved with the help of General David. Jamadar Nawab Malik (Shahid Kapoor) is assigned as personal guard to Julia.
On their way to the base camp, the Japanese strike a surprise air attack due to which Julia and Nawab are separated from the rest. Julia and Nawab with a help of a Japanese solider try to find their way back to India and in that journey fall in love with each other. Julia along with Rusi, starts touring the various army camps and in between she keeps juggling around between Rusi and Nawab. The love triangle takes a massive turn with the track of Indian National Army and people related to it.
The 'Glitz' Factor
The story is interesting and has many sub plots surrounded around it. These sub-plots and multiple layers makes the story interesting.There are some enjoyable scenes in the first half of the film related to Shahid and Kangana followed by some interesting ones involving Saif too.
Thanks to these scenes and brilliant cinematography the movie gets saved from becoming an epic colossal disaster. The locations and setups are beautiful and adds as an additional screenplay for the film. The special effects were great.
The music of 'Rangoon' is more of film based and thus the fast pace songs like 'Bloody Hell', 'Mere Miyan Gaye England' and 'Tippa' are brilliantly choreographed and are well placed in the film. 'Julia' is good in the background. 'Yeh Ishq Hai' is a gem of the song. The whole movie is rightly explained in this song.
The movie could have been among director Vishal Bharadwaj's best works if only the focus would had been more on the soul rather than the facial beauty. Though, 'Rangoon' is one of the better work from his non-adapted films as it has been presented in engaging manner but lacks the soul at many places.
Kangana Ranaut is the true hero of this film. Kangana also shines out in the emotional and passionate scenes. Shahid Kapoor looks great but fails to surpass the standards of 'Haider' due to half-baked character. Saif Ali Khan has hardly anything to offer in this weak role, but still shines out in some.
The 'Non-Glitz' Factor
The narrative is also engaging, but there is no substance in most of the scenes. The movie just keeps going on without proper settling into the main plots or relationships related to the lead protagonist.
The romantic tracks fail to connect as it’s not convincing nor well defined.These scenes are important ones and needed some good writing attached to it.
Editing is terrible as there are many abrupt cuts, which ruins your movie watching experience.You will hardly find the magic of director Vishal Bharadwaj in the movie. The abrupt scenes and unwanted track makes the movie super dragging and boring at times.
Vishal decides to play safe and ends up delivering an average film, which could have been a great one. The entire track of Indian National Arma lacked the substance and is very badly handled in the film. The change of heart of all the lead characters in various situations in sudden and unconvincing.
'Rangoon' is an abruptly colorful film, which works only due to Kangana Ranaut's performance and a half-hearted engaging direction.