Vishal Bhardwaj can be the sole and enough reason to watch the brilliantly crafted movie Rangoon. Vishal is associated with movies like Makdee, Maqbool, The Blue Umbrella, 7 Khoon Maaf, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, Dedh Ishqiya Haider as a director. His movies are targeted for a specific set of audience and mostly they are well received.
|Movie||:||Rangoon (Hindi: रंगून)|
|Produced by||:||Sajid Nadiadwala, Vishal Bhardwaj, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures|
|Written by||:||Matthew Robbins, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sabrina Dhawan|
|Music By||:||Vishal Bhardwaj|
|Production Company||:||Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, VB Pictures, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures|
|Distributed by||:||Viacom 18 Motion Pictures|
|Release Dates||:||24 February 2017|
|Starring||:||Saif Ali Khan (Rustom “Rusi” Billimoria), Shahid Kapoor (Jamadar Nawab Malik), Kangana Ranaut (Miss Julia), Richard McCabe (Major General Harding), Satoru Kawaguchi (Hiromichi), Surendra Pal (Maharaja), Lin Laishram (Mema), and others…|
Why it seems that we have started taking our freedom as granted? We can express our opinions freely, can do what we want to (within the legal range of course); but it was not always the case. Living under British rule was one of the darkest period India (that is Bharat) have faced in not so far past. We must remember the history and make sure that the uncountable sacrificed given by the soldiers of freedom fight should not go in vein. Have we started to forgetting those days, those fellows? If so, it is the most unfortunate stuff happening to us.
Vishal’s film Rangoon is a kind of tribute to The Indian National Army aka INA (better known as Azad Hind Fauj).
After a long time we had seen a film which remembers those sung and mostly unsung war heroes, who sacrificed almost everything for the better future of the country, fellow citizens and most importantly the generations coming ahead.
While we are trying to keep away the spoilers as much possible, there can be some ahead.
Let us take a bird’s eye view to the plot of the movie.
Jamadar Malik is an Indian soldier of British army who was somehow able to break the prison of Japanese army to get himself free. He is now back into British army and is one of confidantes of his immediate superiors. He have the survival skills and he have the no-nonsense attitude.
Rustom “Rusi” Bilimoria runs a production house established by him family. He himself was an actor once, but due to one mishap he lost a part of his hand is now acting no more. He is very active with the movies he produce, and he adds his creative input into the film much to director’s annoyance. His involvement often crosses the limit to become interference. He is married with a child but is in love with Julia.
Miss Julia is a film actress working with Rusi’s production house. Rusi took her into his wings since she was almost a kid. Julia and Rusi loves each other and they want to get married after Rusi will get divorce. Her roles of action heroin got so much recognition and popularity with the people that even soldiers at border loves her. Her show can prove a motivational factor for the British Army who is fighting with Japanese and other countries in the World War.
Hiromichi is a Japanese soldier. His group attacked and captured Julia. Being Julia’s bodyguard, Jamadar Malik have killed rest of Hiromichi’s team members and kept him in possession to know plans of Japanese army and get service of him as a guide too. Of course he is always tied up with a rope and remain at Malik’s gunpoint.
Major General Harding is a soft spoken British Army officer. He claims to love India and Indian culture. He is at good terms with Rusi and other people of elite class. His sole agenda was to do the things in favor of British Empire. He turns to be divisive, cunning and ruthless at any point. He is like a chameleon.
Maharaja is a wealthy king who have no absolute powers under the British rule. His dislike for British rulers is quite evident. He is married thrice and he possess a valuable sword. It is claimed by him that the sword is so valuable that amount it can generate by auction, can feed a remarkable amount of money to INA (Indian National Army – Azad Hind Fauj). The NIA can then continue it’s battle against British Army and will never run short of the money to buy new weapons or other resources. The Sword plays an important role in the movie.
The incidents of the film are revolved around these characters, and takes us to the climax of the film.
Rangoon is the former name of the Burmese city which is now known as Yangon. Myanmar (aka Republic of the Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma)’s former capital Rangoon have a lot to link with the people of India. It not only played a vital role in India’s freedom movement against Briton, but was also one of places where Indian family head used to go to earn money as well. Remember the famous song “Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon” from Hindi film Patanga?
While the character of Jwala Devi aka Julia was inspired from Mary Ann Evans aka Mary Evans Wadia who is better known by her stage name Fearless Nadia; the similarities end when the character moves out of India (that is Bharat). Julia shown singing the modified version of the above mentioned song and movie lovers can draw the parallel quite easily. Here is the song:
We must say that the script is the real hero of the film. It is well written. Making a period film is a tough job. While film makers can take some creative liberties (especially when the film belongs to the incidents happened quite far in the past) they need to show the authentic stuff, especially when the film belongs to quite near past.
In addition to writing the portrayal of locations is quite authentic too. And the fantastic cinematography adds to the positives of the film. Be it the jungle on the Burmese border or the scatted homes and villages, or the iconic bridge where the climax happens; everything is mesmerizing. The raining scene where the main characters of the film took shelter in a hut is really remarkable. Vishal’s movies are like poetry, it is full of attributes. It is up to you that how much you can explore and from which perspective.
Here is one of the “making of” videos of the film which shows you glimpses of behind the scenes stuff.
While Kangana got the meatiest character of the film, it actually belongs to Shahid Kapoor. He looks convincing in most of the scenes. He is grown as an actor for sure. Kangana of course, got some nice scenes and she shows brilliant expressions at places. Her dialog delivery is a let down for her role and the movie. She need to be more convincing in dialog delivery and she requires to work a lot at many aspects. Saif justifies the scenes he got. The iconic dialog she got in the film “Bloody Hell” could have been effective in that case.
Satoru Kawaguchi (playing Japanese soldier Hiromichi) and Richard McCabe (playing Major General Harding) are the two surprise factors of the film. They both are really nice actors. Especially Richard portrays the “sweet and cunning at the same time” major pretty effectively. The transformation of a sweet and friendly Richard to cunning and brutal Major Harding is worth watching.
We must say that the effectiveness comes from the well written scenes, but no one can deny the importance of the impact of acting here. While Surendra Pal’s role could have been written better, his wives, and especially their womanish jealousy for Julia is explored in some convincing scenes. The scenes between Rusi and his father (and his son too) are worth watching.
The music of the movie is quite nostalgic. It reminds you of the old times. However the album is not the best, it is fantastic without a doubt.
I don’t understand that while we leave no stones un-turned while appreciating some English movies in the same genre, why we fail to recognize similar stuff in Hindi films. This movie can give a tough competition to any remarkable and critically acclaimed English movie in the same genre without a doubt.
If you are an Indian by soul, the national anthem’s life will definitely run a sensation within you.
It is definitely worth watching film. While the historical accuracy can be questioned, the portrayal of the incidents rightly explores one side of the freedom fight. Remembering soldiers of INA and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, this film should be watched at least once. We recommend you to buy a DVD of the film when release and keep it in your archive.
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