If nothing else, Vishal Bhardwaj deserves credit for his audacity. His vision, whether he is interpreting Shakespeare for modern times or recreating India in 1944, is always ambitious.
For Rangoon, the filmmaker says that he wanted to evoke Saving Private Ryan, Casablanca and Moulin Rouge! Talk about an almost impossible challenge.
The movie is a love triangle set around the time of the Burma Campaign in World War II, during which Indian armed forces were drawn into battle against The Axis’s invasion led by Japan.
It’s the 1940s, so the fashion on screen is reliably vintage and dreamy. Kangana Ranaut’s matinee queen Julia, a feisty ass-kicking superhero, is an obvious nod to the legendary Fearless Nadia.
The trailer lays out the story’s bare bones: Julia is commissioned to entertain troops in Burma by her benefactor/lover (Saif Ali Khan) and meets the army man (Shahid Kapoor) she will eventually fall for.
Because this is a wartime romance, expect some bittersweet moments, impassioned monologues and difficult moral choices.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s history with Shahid and Saif is memorable, with both actors delivering some of their finest work in his films. Rangoon will be worth the wait just to see if he does the same with Kangana, already one of Hindi cinema’s most versatile stars.
Watch the trailer below: