Monday, 27 February 2017

Rangoon has been declared a disaster

As I rushed into the theatre and swiftly moved around searching for my seat, it dawned on me that the theatre was mostly empty. Yes; first weekend; Sunday afternoon show; Rangoon. Or let me put it this way: Vishal Bharadwaj’s Rangoon.

A poster of the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet

Getting straight to the point, so that I have enough time to lament before you have the urge to get out of here (much like my thoughts in the second half of Rangoon), the film started off well and was decent in the first half. The audience had hopes that the film is heading somewhere. But hey, Bharadwaj must have thought, “Why not spoil it right here?”
And hence, it went for a downfall right after interval. Climax is unbelievably stupid and clich├ęd. Kangana is in her elements, had a lot of scope to perform because of her character and does pretty well too. Shahid did pretty well too with whatever his character allows him. Pataudi Saheb is decent but does not have enough scope to perform. Few supporting actors like the one who plays Zulfi (Julia’s makeup artist), are brilliant. All that stayed with me, even after the movie ended, were the songs. 

Shahid Kapoor as NAwab Malik in Rangoon.
Photo Courtesy: Internet
Watch it but just once for Kangana’s flawless portrayal of Julia, Shahid’s calibre as an actor, the soulful songs and because it is Bharadwaj. In fact, it is his weakest film till date. It was not bad but could have been brilliant seeing the star cast and the script he had in hand.

The narrative was heading nowhere after a point. And not to forget, the VFX is third rate. In the climax there is this scene where Pataudi Saheb is walking on a tight rope and another where he slits a British officer’s throat. These two scenes are horrible; much like the arrow scenes in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana. But that was decades back. Technology has advanced since then, I guess.

What needs to be realised in this moment of disbelief is the fact that a film with a subject like Rangoon should never have expected to be a runaway hit overnight. Apart from people’s expectations, the film has hurt its distributors, gravely. The film has just touched the 15 Cr mark in its first weekend, at a snail’s pace. This figure is not a happy one since the investments are huge and the film budget is big. With the negative word of mouth and sad reviews that the film is generating, it is certain that it won’t be able to break even. Rangoon will go down in the history of Indian cinema as a classic example for investors to invest wisely.

A still from the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet
But this analysis of the problem is just the tip of the ice berg. The cracks in the film could have been avoided, had the production house (Viacom 18) had a strong control on where the money is being put and a well thought through plan of whether the same subject could have been made in a tighter budget. Films like NH 10, Badlapur and Neerja are shining examples of small budget films doing wonders at the box office, entirely because of their strong content. The profit these films made was later shared by the makers and the lead actors of the film. This method of wisely putting in money reduces the risk of incurring heavy losses in case the movie bombs at the box office.  
A still from the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet
The situation seems to be extremely gloomy with Rangoon being declared a disaster after its first weekend. 

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