The long awaited 'Rangoon' directed by Vishal Bhardwaj has been on Bollywood movie watch lists for almost 2 years now. Very little information had been made public and the release date had been delayed multiple times, making the movie that much more anticipated by audiences.
But the wait is over, as the first official trailer for 'Rangoon' has been released.
Starring Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor & Kangana Ranaut in lead roles, 'Rangoon' is a love story set against the backdrop of World War II in India. The trailer showcases and introduces each of the characters and the basic plot of the film.
Kangana Ranaut plays a highly popular actress being sent abroad to entertain the Indian troops in an effort to boost morale. Presumably. Although ulterior financial motives may be at work as well. Her lover and / or manager seems to be the dashing Saif Ali Khan, looking all dapper and elitist. And accompanying her on her tour as her security is no nonsense Sergeant in the military, played by Shahid Kapoor.
The trailer makes it obvious that the story is essentially a love story, with other topical subplots at work. The trailer conveys a very '7 Khoon Maaf' vibe (one of the director's previous films) with many supporting characters, background sub plots, and even other national and cultural influences in the story.
Honestly speaking, this trailer is kind of a hot mess. It's a lot of everything and not enough consistency. The opening of the trailer is very muted and gritty, while we shift gears to bright and glamorous in Bombay showcasing the night club and Ranaut scenes, then back again to doom and gloom during Shahid Kapoor's entrance. While I understand that this separation of tones within the film may be intentional, symbolizing each of the character's personalities, but it feels disorganized in the trailer.
The story itself doesn't seem to be anything spectacular. I expect a lot more from Vishal Bhardwaj, as even the trailer seems to focus less on the characters but more on the unnecessarily grandiose sets and backdrops. Even more upsetting is that the action sequences seem poorly choreographed as bodies can be seen flopping through the air in very poor wire stunt work. The 4 CGI explosions featured in the trailer look very much Television quality graphics. While the Trailer may have unfinished graphics, it's still concerning to see this kind of quality coming from a filmmaker known to be nuanced and measured.
Khan doesn't look to be giving us anything different from him than what we've already seen. Even Kapoor does his best to look dashing in uniform and looks wholly generic, except in one bandana clad badass avatar. It's a little disappointing given both Khan & Kapoor have probably give the best performances of their careers with Bhardwaj in 'Omkara' and 'Kaminey' respectively.
Ranaut has always been hit and miss for me, and her more annoying characterization seems to be at work here, throwing hissy fits and histrionics that are her least likable qualities.
While Vishal Bhardwaj has definitely earned the benefit of the doubt with his amazing body of work, the 'Rangoon' trailer is definitely the wrong foot forward. The Trailer is cut very sloppily, with poor graphics and scenes, an overwhelming sizzle reel of action and a tone that switches between period piece, comedy, tragic love story and epic war movie. Will hope against hope that this is not a representation of the film itself.