Directed and partly written by Vishal Bharadwaj, Raangoon is a welcome experiment this year, especially after all the clichéd ridicule that hit the big screens in 2016.
The makers have successfully created an awe-inspiring depiction of British India during the Second World War. However, the movie manages to portray this over-chewed chewing-gum of a concept in an entirely new perspective. It is a nice blend of realism and make-belief with a dash of Bollywood masala. But then towards the end, the masala and the make-belief gets so overdone that all the magical impact of the previous realism is utterly ruined.
The same goes with the brilliantly written and very well acted upon characters in the film. Though the characterization and the acting skills of the performers add to the realism of the film, they suddenly snap out of their bearing towards the end and turn into a split personality derivative of themselves.
On a different note, Rangoon is one of those movies which have achieved a level of visual perfection that can match with that of the Hollywood expertise. Not only are the frames richly colourful and with the appropriate retro tone, but the graphics and animations are also created with utter conviction and dedication. Yet again, towards the end, the perfection is so over the top that the story loses its grip and the effects let you down.
The songs of this film are very different in composition, singing and filming as well. Maybe that’s the Vishal and Rekha Bharadwaj effect.
To sum up, Rangoon is one of the best pieces of Art with a huge commercial value, of course, with the most idiotic climax.
It may seem from the review that I am discouraging you from watching the film, but that isn’t true. In fact, I would insist you all, to watch the film at least once to admire the confidence with which the movie makers have risked so much in a highly successful and magnificently beautiful experiment. Although do keep in mind that you are going to hate the ending.
Neeraj S. K.
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