Rangoon': A familiar thriller
with lots to like (Review By Haricharan Pudipeddi ; Rating: *** )
There's so much to like about Gautham Karthik's "Rangoon", despite the
familiar path it takes to narrate a story of friendship, betrayal and
loss. This is the kind of film where you walk out with the feeling of
having watched it before -- more than once -- but still don't have
major complaints. It's the kind of film that works solely because it
has cracked the knack of winning over audiences with familiar content,
and the whole credit goes to its director Rajkumar, a former associate
of A.R. Murugadoss.
There have been umpteen numbers of films on friendship and betrayal,
and "Rangoon" isn't any different when it comes to its story and
presentation. But the way it is narrated, in a gritty and taut fashion,
is where it scores big, making it a cut above the rest of the films in
the same genre. The friendship between the lead characters is
crackling, and the actors perform with such earnestness, you're
convinced their bond is real. Since you connect with them on an
emotional level, you empathize when one among them is cheated.
The story is set in north Chennai, and Rajkumar captures its milieu
quite authentically. It only reminds me of another Tamil film,
"Madras", which was also set in a similar milieu and was unimaginably
real. Set against the backdrop of smuggling, just like Suriya-starrer
Ayan, "Rangoon" shows us that it takes a lot of creativity to smuggle.
We are shown how gold biscuits can be hidden in all sorts of things --
from cylinders and statues to Mysore paks.
"Rangoon" has its issues, especially the way it treats its heroine.
Sana, unfortunately, in her debut has very little to contribute. This
is the kind of story that would work wonders even without a heroine,
especially if she has no better job than to look pretty on screen. She
is introduced as an aspiring singer but we don't quite follow her
journey. It's sad because the story is also about finding one's
ambition. Gautham has a dream; he aspires to open a jewellery store,
while willing to ditch the career of smuggling for his lady love.
Nevertheless, "Rangoon" doesn't disappoint. Gautham, for instance,
hasn't been so impressive and it's easily his best work yet. From
getting tanned to picking up the local accent, he is a treat to watch,
and he is the sort of hero we really need to root for.