Vishal Bhardwaj is an auteur in Indian cinema, who literally owns every venture he sets out to embark upon. His last 'Haider' was a masterpiece that etched history in the minds of viewers. His latest film 'Rangoon' is a completely different tale where although World War II plays a crucial backdrop but he essentially happens to narrate a love story.
Yes! 'Rangoon' is a love story between three characters—Kangana Ranaut (Miss Julia), Saif Ali Khan (Rusi Billimoria) and Shahid Kapoor (Nawab Malik). Miss Julia, the famous actress, is a creation of Rusi Billimoria, who not only makes her a star but also loves her like his 'own property'.
Kangana in her parts is supremely the 'queen' and her 'bloody hell' dialogue again proves she gets into the skin of her character like a boss! Julia is sent to Burma for entertaining the Indian soldiers with her dance, drama antics and Nawab is the man protecting her. How they fall in love amidst war, deceit and struggle to survive is worth a watch on the big screens.
Jamadar Nawab Malik, protects her, disses her and then eventually makes love to her. The love triangle gets intense only in the second half and the heavy dialogues like “Apni jaan se bhi keemti kuch aur hai kya? Hai, woh ke jiske liye mara jaa sake” bring out the best emotions from the central characters.
Saif's angst and the moment when he finds 'his creation' no longer belonging to him presents a plethora of emotions on his face. Vishal knows how to get his 'Langda Tyagi' in form. Besides, the shots between Shahid and Saif are intense.
Nawab Malik has been portrayed by Shahid in a way that we can think no one but him for this brilliant young soldier. His love for the woman and for the nation takes precedence over his own life.
The supporting cast of 'Rangoon' especially Major David Harding played by Richard McCabe deserves a notable mention too. He has a meaty part to play and does to it.
Satoru Kawaguchi has done a great job as the Japanese soldier Hiromichi. A thumbs up to the casting director for putting in a great show.
Now, Billimoria is close to the English, and this is the time when India was fighting for its freedom. The struggle to wipe out the British from our country and Subhash Chandra Bose's 'INA' too have been blended beautifully into the screenplay. However, the editing could have been smooth as it leaves a jerk while you are soaking in the intensity of a scene and cut to another one.
Special mention has to be given to the director of photography Pankaj Kumar, who not only beautified the brilliant landscape of Arunachal Pradesh but his mastery of the craft is immense. The way he has projected deep photography makes you feel the difference on big screens, adding value to the scene.
Music is Vishal's speciality and creating melody his métier. The songs in 'Rangoon' are melodious but besides 'Yeh Ishq Hai' and 'Bloody Hell', you will not probably remember others. But yes the background score has that melancholic feel to it and we like it. This film happens to fall in that category where not everyone will get what 'Rangoon' is essentially trying to convey.
Do watch the film for a cinematic brilliance by the storytelling expert Vishal Bhardwaj.