Set in pre-independent India, the year 1944, Rangoon is predominantly a war-romance movie. It’s a story about a love triangle, which is marked by all the various shades such as love, deceit and war. Rangoon utilizes the freedom movement and the war as a backdrop to tell stories of love that are as chaotic and unpredictable as the times that were in the 1940s. Stories of war are seamlessly woven with the triangular love story, which brings out the dark side of both realities.
Julia (Kangana) is an adventurous actress who contributes to the freedom movement in her own special way. The producer Russi Billimoria (Saif) she works for is besotted by her and he would go any length to keep her as his prized possession. At the third point in the plane is Nawab Malik (Shahid), a soldier who passionately loves Julia and is ready to die for her. The interactions between these varied emotions and how they eventually turn out is what the movie is all about. The story of the freedom movement runs concurrently and it keeps adding new twists and turns to the plot and the lives of the three main characters in the movie.
All the actors have delivered good performances, with Saif and Shahid taking the lead. Director Vishal Bhardwaj has again delivered a thought-provoking story, something that has been his hallmark with movies like Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider. Credit also goes to Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography, which effectively reflects the times of war and freedom movement in pre-independent India. The only problem seems to be the lack of chemistry between the lovers. There’s supposedly passionate love between Julia and Nawab, but Shahid and Kangana have not been able to bring it out in the movie.
The movie offers an altogether new experience to moviegoers. Go for Rangoon for its technical superiority, profound war scenes and to discover new definitions of love and lust.