By Taran Adarsh
There’s something about World War II that fascinates me. Perhaps, it has a lot to do with my fondness for the long-gone era. However, what I find odd is that whenever we — like-minded friends who are enthralled by history — discuss World War II or Adolf Hitler’s aggression/ambitions, the conversation *always* veers towards the American and European perspective.
Hollywood’s fascination for World War II is equally evident as you recall several brilliant and a number of okay-ish movies dedicated to World War II. Vishal Bhardwaj also sets RANGOON during that era, when India was still under British rule. But, let me clarify, this is no war film. Vishal uses the World War II template, but narrates an enchanting love story that entwines conflict, deceit, politics and of course, history.
Irrespective of how his films are received by the audience or reviewed by critics, you cannot deny the fact that Vishal knows the craft well. RANGOON too has the by-now-famous stamp of an accomplished storyteller and you realize this fact during the intense moments in the narrative. Sure, RANGOON has its share of flaws, but there’s no denying that several episodes stay with you much after the screening has concluded.
RANGOON is a World War II drama primarily revolving around three characters — Rusi Billimoria [Saif Ali Khan], an actor who now produces his own films… Julia [Kangna Ranaut], an actress who stars in Rusi’s movies. Incidentally, Rusi is also her mentor and lover… Nawab Malik [Shahid Kapoor], a soldier with the armed forces.
Julia is asked to visit the jungles at the India-Burma border to entertain the English and Indian troops. In the midst of battles and betrayals, Julia falls in love with Nawab and learns some truths about the dream of Indian independence. Battlelines are drawn when Rusi learns of the torrid love affair.
Does the plot summary sound familiar? Does the story give the feeling of déjà vu? On paper, the plot of RANGOON may …read more