Patchy period drama

Patchy period drama

Hindi (U/A) Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor
Director:  Vishal Bhardwaj

The canvas is vast. And it belongs to Kangana. “Bloody hell,” she embraces it all with an endearing disdain. Ignore the oft-repeated phrase and Ranaut’s dainty “Miss Julia” towers over the two powerful men she oscillates between.

A stunt queen scorching the screens, Kangana is a tamed “kiddo” before mentor and lover Saif Ali Khan. But when it comes to forbidden fruit Shahid Kapoor, she is a lustful femme fatale, demanding her pound of flesh.

Set against the backdrop of Indian freedom struggle, Rangoon goes picturesquely deep into the jungles on Burma border, exploring everything that is fair and unfair in love and war. At 2 hours 47 minutes, the period drama isn’t painfully stretched, but Vishal Bhardwaj doesn’t win any brownie points either for his half-hearted dissection of a patriotic slice of history.

The film depends heavily on the fledgling Indian National Army, and uses soldier Shahid (stiff with hatred for the British) to meet its jingoistic goals. He is required to dead-pan most of the time, but one wishes the sergeant relaxed a bit at least during his muddy romps with Kangana.

Saif Ali Khan, on the other hand, is in terrific form as the man torn between his mistress and business.

Rangoon would have been a winner had its perfect cast been given more meat and depth.

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