Travel back in time with Vishal Bhardwaj’s romantic drama set against the backdrop of World War II

Director Vishal Bhardwaj’s Casablanca-like love story, Rangoon, promises its viewers a ride to the British-ruled India, at the brink of the Second World War. The film was a journey for its artistes and crew members who toiled to recreate the era with costumes, dialogue and picturesque locations.

Shahid Kapoor in a soldier’s uniform, Kangana Ranaut in her vintage dresses and Saif Ali Khan in his fitted pants and suits bore the brunt of what they felt was the toughest schedule of their lives.Rangoon was shot in Arunachal Pradesh whose weather never fails to surprise.The artistes were greeted with torrential rain, followed by a drop in temperature and ice-cold breeze. If the state offered great landscape, it lacked network, civilisation in most pockets and toilets. It was also difficult to travel from one point to another. Vishal reasons, “I like to keep my cinema as realistic as possible.We had to depict the Rangoon border of that era. The raw, unchartered terrains of Arunachal Pradesh were the closest we could get.“

Kangana learnt to juggle knives and ride a horse for a 30 second shot. She plays the fiery actress, Miss Julia.While playing the nation’s heartthrob, Kangana was reminded of herself when she’d debuted in the movies.She says, “Rangoon has a Broadway-like treatment.

It’s colorful, larger than life and an entertainer with a generous dose of drama, action and emotion.“

Shahid plays Nawab Malik, the righteous soldier with a sense of humour. He took intense training to seamlessly pull off the battle scenes and was bruised quite a few times on the set. “I’ve been offered roles that allow me to explore my versatility as an actor.Nawab, the ultimate hero, loves passionately , fights fearlessly and being a soldier, is willing to do what is needed for his country . Being a part of Vishal sir’s films is always special,“ says Shahid.

Saif Ali Khan, who plays Rusi Billimoria, a suave film producer from the 1940s, says, “Rangoon is set in such an interesting time zone. The research was authentic and all of us had to bring out the turmoil of the country back then through our performances. Rusi has a feudal approach with the British. He’s brutal, rough and consumed by his thoughts about Julia.“

Artistes from different ethnicities were handpicked for the shoot. The cast boasts of Indians, British nationals and even the Japanese. While shooting, the set hence employed at least five translators at any given time to ensure there was smooth communication.

Producer Sajid Nadiadwala beams, “Rangoon is a tribute to an era of filmmaking when my grandfather was in his formative years. This film will always be special for me. Rangoon also brings together one of the most talented set of people. Vishal, Kangana, Saif and Shahid are immensely gifted.“Ajit Andhare, the COO of Viacom18 Motion pictures, sums up, “Rangoon is a fiery romance set in the times of revolution. This studio is committed to produce compelling cinema with a difference. This film, with its stellar performances, will connect with the audience.“

Rangoon, presented by Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures Pvt Ltd and Sajid Nadiadwala releases tomorrow.


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