The previews of Rangoon started on Tuesday, and the reports are encouraging. It is being said that this love triangle set during World War II could well be filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s first profit earner.
For all the acclaim that his films are garnered so far, none has been a profitable venture for its producers. Says a producer who has collaborated with Bhardwaj, “Vishal’s films are critical blockbusters but commercial failures.”
Rangoon, say preview audiences has a commercial spin to the tale. Says film critic Raja Sen, “I think it could be a commercial success. It is a proper solid entertainer. Definitely Bhardwaj at his most accessible.”
The question is, would the Indian audience care for a film about an actress from the 1940s (suspiciously similar to Fearless Nadia) who is escorted to the borders to entertain war-time soldiers, as much as they warmed up a few weeks ago, to a film about a lawyer from Lucknow who discovers his dormant humanism when an innocent man is gunned down by the cops?
Trade analyst Atul Mohan has his doubts. “It all depends on how the audience reacts to a film that is set in the 1940s. If, God forbid, the movie doesn’t do well then the major responsibility of recovering the investments would be put on the satellite sale of the film. The producer Sajid Nadiadwala and Vishal Bhardwaj may be in a safe zone and the third co-producer Viacom 18 needs to figure out their financial position vis-à-vis this product.”
So will the film do well?
“We all want every movie to do well,” says Atul Mohan diplomatically sounding not too convinced.
The film’s principal actors desperately need a hit. Kangna Ranaut’s last film Katti Batti was a flop. Saif Ali Khan’s last four releases have crashed. Only Shahid Kapoor had a kind of success with his last film Udta Punjab.
Rangoon won’t have the crowds clamouring to get into theatres. But if they read and hear good things about it they won’t mind making that trip to their nearest theatre.