Movie Review: Rangoon

Rangoon: A Beautiful Canvas without the soul

Rangoon-Official-ReviewVishal Bharadwaj the ace film maker has mastered the art of narrating complex stories on human relations and he is a master in adapting Shakespeare’s work in Hindi movies. All of Vishal’s adaptation of Shakespearian work has been a critical and box office success.

With “Rangoon” Vishal tries to keep it simple with a triangular love story in Broadway style with a back drop of World War 2 and Independence Struggle in 1944. “Rangoon” set in 1944 tells the story of Julia (Kangana Ranaut) a successful actress who is controlled by her mentor Rustom Billimoria a.k.a Rusi (Saif Ali Khan) a movie baron who started as an actor, but due to a fatal accident had to retire as an actor and became a film producer. A much married and pro British, Rusi thinks Julia is his property which he bought when Julia was 14 years from her mother in Rs 1000, in a nutshell he is obsessed with Julia. Julia on the other hand thinks Rusi’s obsession as love and dreams of becoming Mrs Billimoria one day. In the mean time the British Major General Harding (Richard McCabe) comes up with a proposal of sending Julia to the Burma border in order to entertain the soldiers there to Rusi which he agrees. Jamadar Nawab Mallik, a soldier in the British army is given the responsibility of taking care of Miss Julia in her trip to Burma Border. In the course of many events in the journey Julia and Nawab fall in love. What happens to Julia’s love for Rusi, how does Rusi react to the liaison of Julia towards Nawab, and is Nawab hiding a secret, is what the rest of the movie is all about….

Story by Matthew Robbins has too many sub plots namely a triangular love story, the world war, the INA and their Japanese alliance and the freedom struggle. The screenplay by Matthew Robbins, Sabrina Dhawan and Vishal Bharadwaj himself is a case of too many plots spoil the screenplay. “Rangoon” suffers from an identity crisis, neither is it a full blown love story, neither a spy thriller, neither a movie on world war and neither a story a story of INA and freedom struggle. Though primarily more emphasis is given to the triangular love story of the principal characters of Julia, Rusi and Nawab but the sub plot fail to blend with the love story that is intended to narrate, which confuses you what exactly the movie wants to convey. The other problem is the narration; the format is like “Casablance” meets “Chicago” which not only makes the movie leisurely paced due to too many songs but it also stretches till the point of exhaustion. The first half is still tolerant as far as the pace goes but in the second half the songs in a drop of a hat just tests your patience. The worst part of the screenplay is its climax which suddenly goes ballistic and melodrama seeps in and you feel you are transported to the 80’s genre of Hindi movies. In the last 30 minutes of the movie the patriotism is almost thrust down your throat till you scream “Bloody Hell”. One thing that the script gets right is its three principal characters, especially the character of Julia which is the most layered and complexed, it oscillates from being a child woman to a matured woman, next is the character of Nawab which keeps you guessing his moves and motives till the end, the third being the character of Rusi Billimoria, the suave and shrewd movie baron who oscillates from being obsessed  and being in love with Julia, his insecurities and his eccentricities due to Julia are relatable. The worst character of the movie is Major General Harding who becomes more of a caricature than menacing what with his Urdu shayari in British accent, which I thought was entirely unnecessary and extremely out of place. Too many characters also play a spoil sport in the narration; some of the characters just do not make any sense in the overall scheme of things. Overall an extremely average writing, not expected from Vishal Bharadwaj.

The dialogues written by Vishal Bharadwaj oscillates from being serious to funny to out rightly outlandish, especially the dialogues of Major General Harding and his Urdu shaiyari was extremely annoying. The patriotic dialogues sound amateurish.Rangoon-Movie-Review

“Rangoon” is a must watch for the performances of the three principal characters, starting with the portrayal of Julia, the complex of the three has been portrayed beautifully by Kangana Ranaut, she does not only look great as a vintage actress but acts effortlessly, you just cannot take your eyes off from her when she is on screen. Kangana yet again proves she is an actress par excellence. Shahid Kapoor who always does wonders in a Vishal Bharadwaj movie, gives a restrained and impactful performance as Jamadar Nawab Mallik. Shahid acts more with his eyes in this movie and each of his expressions creates more depth for his character. At the end it is Nawab’s character which stays with you, thanks to a brilliant performance by Shahid Kapoor. Saif Ali Khan who did wonders with his last association with Vishal as Langda Tyagi in Omkara, gives yet another riveting performance as Rusi Billimoria, though his screen time is less as compared to the other two characters, but still he shines as the shrewd and obsessive movie baron with flying colours. Richard McCabe as Major General Harding hams and his urdu shaiyari is hardly funny and looks caricaturish, one of the worst performance of the movie. Other actors like Gerson Da Cunha, Shriswara, Rushad Rana, Gajraj Rao, Atul Kumar, Satoru Kawaguchi, Alex Avery do not have much to contribute but they do well in whatever little screen time they have.

It is the technical team which make “Rangoon” a treat to watch. Cinematography by Pankaj Kumar is the best thing to have happened to “Rangoon”, it looks amazing and every frame is a master piece. Production Design by Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray is spot on as per the period, right from the re-creating Mumbai or should I say Bombay of 40’s, the buildings to the cars to the train to the match box, the intricate details by Subrata and Amit cannot be missed, undoubtedly award winning. Costume Design by national award winner Dolly Ahluwalia again hits the bull’s eye, from the skirts to the suits to the army uniforms; all are researched and as per the period depicted, brilliant work from Dolly. Overall the magicians at the back ground make “Rangoon” a visual extravaganza.

Vishal Bharadwaj who normally gets it right, just losses it to his indulgence in making “Rangoon” a desi “Casablanca” in Broadway style movie. It is the writing in a Vishal Bharadwaj movie which shines; unfortunately “Rangoon” fails to shine as far as the writing goes. Somewhere you feel that Vishal  is confused what he wants to convey, and the ridiculous climax just destroys the little credibility the movie had. Undoubtedly “Rangoon” is one of the weakest works by Vishal after “Matru ki Bijli Ka Mandola”.

Music which is Vishal Bharadwaj’s forte shines in this movie as well, but too many songs mars the freshness in the narration. Though the choreography of “Bloody hell” and “Mere Piya Gaye England” by Sudesh Adhana and the choreography of “Julia” and “Tippa” by Farah Khan are note worthy. Melody wise and poetry wise “ Alvida”  and “Yeh Ishq Hai” stand out, what with Gulzar’s beautiful lyrics. Again the combo of Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar creates impact.

“Rangoon” is half baked visual treat, with some brilliant performances by Kagana, Shahid & Saif…I will go with Three Stars…

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

Official Trailer: Rangoon

After the critically acclaimed “Haider” in 2014, Vishal Bharadwaj and Shahid Kapoor team up again for “Rangoon”. Shahid Kapoor fetched his first Filmfare Award as an Actor for “Haider”.. Vishal Bharadwaj also teams up again with Saif Ali Khan after “Omkara” in 2006, for “Omkara” Saif Ali Khan’s portrayal of Langda Tyagi bought him acclaim including a Fimfare for Best Actor in a Negative Role.

Rangoon Official Trailer“Rangoon” is a love story based during World War 2 in Burma hence the name “Rangoon”…

Other than Saif Ali Khan & Shahid Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut plays the female lead and her character is based on the yesteryear actress Nadia…

It is believed that Vishal Bharadwaj wanted to make “Rangoon” just after “Omkara” but due to period setting and high production cost the movie did not find takers. That time the name of the movie was “Julia”…

Majorly shot in the scenic locations of Arunachal Pradesh the movie promises to be a visual treat. The cinematography is by Pankaj Kumar.

The Story & Screenplay is by Mathew Robbins, Sabrina Dhawan & Vishal Bharadwaj…

The music is by Vishal Bharadwaj, and it is said the song sequences have been shot lavishly by ace choreographer Farah Khan…

The movie is a joint collaboration between VB Pictures, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment.

The movie releases on 24th February 2017…till then enjoy the highly impressive Official Trailer hoping the movie would be as interesting as the Trailer.

 

Movie Review: Katti Batti

Katti Batti: Too much of Katti  & less of Batti makes it dull

Love Stories has a come a long way in Bollywood, from rich girl falling for poor boy or rich boy falling for a poor girl and the opposition of the respective parents, to triangle love stories and at the end love triumphs against all odds.

Well that was 80’s and 90’s or even early 2000, but love stories have changed leaps and bounds in today’s Bollywood, and Nikhil Advani tries such a love story, something which he has been successful previously, remember “Kal Ho Na Ho”…..katti-batti-poster-3

Nikhil Advani tries to capture the love story of a modern couple  Madhav (Imran Khan) and Payal (Kangana Ranaut) who meet in college and fall in love. Both are opposites like cheese and chalk, Payal being a high society bohemian girl and Madhav a middle class seedha sadha guy who falls head over heels for Payal. But suddenly Payal leaves him and Madhav is shattered and is hell bent to know the reason, whether they re-unite and live happily ever after well that is what the rest of the movie is all about…..

Written by Nikhil Advani himself in association with Anshul Singhal, they try to put everything which may look or sound modern like live-in relationship, the girl not being holier than thou as she had relationship prior to meeting the hero or the boozing and the partying, in a nutshell a modern urban couple. The screenplay switches from flashbacks to present day trying to put the various pieces of the love story. First half is breezy and likable and you start expecting a new age love story without any pretentions, but the screenplay suddenly takes a U-turn in the second half when emotions are forcefully put in, which is vaguely inspired by Eric Segal’s “Love Story”. But somewhere the emotion just does not connect in the stylish and glitzy love story. It remains superfluous throughout and that is the main issue of the movie. In the second half unnecessary characters are introduced, like the band that helps Madhav. You feel that the movie is going to end but suddenly a new story or twist is introduced stretching the movie. Unnecessary songs do not help either. Overall the writers fail to grab the attention of the audience for too long….

The dialogues though are peppy and funny and very modern in lingo but then as the movie becomes serious the dialogues start becoming less effective and fail to lift the screenplay.

Imran Khan comes after a long sabbatical, but brings freshness to his character Madhav and is quite likeable, though at times he looks repetitive. Kangana as Payal is almost like she reprising the role of Tannu albeit who is modern and a very elite. I feel now Kangana should look at some really strong and different roles. Rest of the casting is fresh and brings certain amount of freshness as well with their performances. In a nutshell the supporting cast is the real back bone of the movie everybody has done justice to whatever they had been given.

Tushar Kanti Ray’s camera work again creates the magic with every frame. Production Design by Subrata Chakraborty & Amit Ray brings the urban modern feel which was required for the movie. Sheetal Sharma’s costume design is cotemporary yet stylish and apt with the theme.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy after a long time give some memorable tunes, especially the “Sarfira” the peppy no. and sufi inspired “Ove Jaaniya”, both are the highlight of the album.

Nikhil Advani gets the glitz and glamour correct in the movie and tries to put some freshness with the way he has shot the movie. But where Nikhil and “Katti Batti” fail is to connect with the audience and is very low in emotional quotient.

This could have been a different love story but alas it disappoints ……I will go with 3 stars…..

Movie Rating: (3 / 5)

 

Official Trailer : Tanu Weds Manu Returns

After the surprise hit of “Tanu weds Manu” in 2011,  Anand L Rai and the makers decided to continue with couples journey in a sequel and hence “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” was conceptualized with Kangana Ranaut playing a double role of Tanu (Tanuja Trivedi ) from the first part and the Haryanvi athlete Kusum Sangwan with  Madhavan reprising his role as Manu Sharma again….tanu-fullsize-story_032315071434

Written by Himanshu Sharma the movie starts from where the first part ends and takes a look at Tanu & Manu’s life post marriage and the marriage issues that subsequently crop up.

Other than the main lead the rest of the cast comprises of Jimmy Shergil, Deepak Dobriyal, Swara Bhaskar, Ejaz Khan, Navni Parihar, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub & Rajeev Gupta…

Music is being scored by Tanishk-Vayu Krsna again after the success of the music of first part….

Looking at the promo it seems Kangana will have another ace up her sleeve and Anand L Rai has another winner after the successful “Tanu Weds Manu” and “Ranjhanaa”…..

Produced by Anand L Rai & Kishore Lulla and presented under the banner of Eros International….the movie releases on May 22nd 2015…..

 

Official Trailer : Ungli

Ungli_2Dharma Productions new offering “Ungli” is something completely different from their usual Candy Floss love stories and Rom com…

Directed by Rensil D’Silva, it tells us the story of a group of five who rebel against corruption and start a group called Ungli, whose main motto is exposing the corrupt and teaching them a lesson…

Rensil D’Silva has earlier directed “Kurbaan” in 2009 for Dharma Productions which bombed at the box office.

The ensemble cast comprises of Sanjay Dutt, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Randeep Hooda, Neil Bhoopalan, Angad Bedi, Neha Dhupia & Arunoday Singh. I must say quite an interesting cast…

The movie was initially scheduled to release last year but the movie got delayed due to Sanjay Dutt’s arrest and later Karan Johar thought of introducing songs which was not there in the original script. Shradha Kapoor is doing an item number in this movie.

The promo is looking promising. The movie releases on 28th Nov 2014…let’s see whether Rensil gets a hit with this one….