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Rangoon Movie Review: Seizing Good Acting, It Had The Potential To Do Poetic Justice As A War Movie.


Rangoon is a movie depicting a love-triangle against the backdrop of World War II. Set in 1940s, we have Mr. Rustom Billimoria, an action star-turned producer of the action flicks of Miss Julia. We are introduced to Miss Julia through an action-sequence, where she is seen hanging from a chandelier and taking down a dozen men. Pressed by Major General David Harding, Rustom sends Miss Julia to entertain the troops near the Burma border. Jamadar Nawab Malik has been given the duty to keep Miss Julia safe and during an attack by the Japanese forces, Miss Julia and Nawab Malik get separated from the rest where their love blossoms. Parallel to these, runs the story of freedom through Bose’s Azad Hind Fauz. What shall be the end of it all – the love-triangle? the war?

If British ever leave India, this is going to be one of the corrupt societies of the world.

Tumhe maarne ki zarurat hai kahan? Tum apne jism mein dafn ho.

Apni Jaan se bhi zyada keemti kuch hota hai kya? Hai.. Woh, ki jiske liye mara jaa sake.


Vishal Bhardwaj had set rumors straight by saying that Rangoon didn’t follow the life of various actresses of that era (Fearless Nadia, Miss Zebunissa, Miss Padma or Ramola), though Kangana’s character has been said to be inspired by Fearless Nadia. Rangoon was previously titled as ‘Julia’, after Kangana’s character. Rangoon has been extensively shot in Arunachal Pradesh.


What To Anticipate:

Rangoon is a love-triangle that is set against the backdrop of World War II and perhaps that is where the problem lies. Vishal Bhardwaj aptly shows the well-made background of the Azad Hind Fauz and World War II, but fails to utilize it well. The movie leaves you thinking of ways that the movie could have turned and utilized the back-drop. The first half of the movie gives ample time to the budding romance of Kangana and Shahid and it seems that the second half was rushed to bring a proper culmination to all loose ends. Be the love-triangle or the idea of helping the Azad Hind Fauz, or supporting the British troops.

Kangana Ranaut impresses with her amazing acting skills. There is a natural flair to her moments in the film. She is funny, intense and lovable as Miss Julia. The fiesty action-star that falls in love with a small-time soldier. Both Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut have given one of their best performances till date [especially the mud scene]. Shahid’s flawlessly presents the soldier’s idealistic determination and the pangs of love for Miss Julia through his character. There is a sense of individuality that has been given to all the characters in the movie. Be the small characters like Zulfi or Japanese soldier Hiromichi, or the lead actors, the movie does justice by giving every character the required depth and presence.

Not just Shahid and Kangana, Rangoon boasts one of Saif’s best performances, perhaps, better than Omkara. Saif’s character falls perfectly in place to the royal attitude and his silence and stares convey a lot more. Caught up between believing to be serving his nation and helping the Britishers, his final act has been brilliantly written. The part of General Harding as the ghazal-singing and Hindi-speaking Britisher falls short of menacing and tends to turn towards unintended comedy.

One really needs to appreciate Pankaj Kumar for his brilliant cinematography. The lyrics of Gulzar and the music by Vishal Bhardwaj add charm to the scenes. The authenticity of the era has been well placed with costumes, weapons and equipment. It’s good to see women leading things in a movie with two other male characters.


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