“Rangoon”… A not-bad thriller, with a ton of interesting detail

Posted on June 9, 2017


Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/rangoon-tamil-movie-review

Film is a kind of fiction, but first-time director Rajkumar Periasamy — a former associate of A. R. Murugadoss, who is the producer here — fills Rangoon with the factual density of non-fiction. He has done his research, and it’s all up there on screen. The film begins with the arrest of Venkatesan (Gautham Karthik) in 2004, and he narrates a story that takes us back to Burma, 1988. He was born there. His father moved to Chennai. Soon, his mother took Venkatesan and his sister and joined her husband. When they reach the city, on-screen text tells us its name: not Chennai, but Madras. And the place they settle down in? It’s the Burmese Tamils Residential Quarters.

No member of the audience is going to bat an eyelid if Venkatesan did not have roots in Burma or if the family settled down in, say, Saidapet — but this specificity gives the story a unique character. The fact that someone hails from Madhavaram KKR Town or that a government hospital is located in Ponneri. The fact that the gold traders in Sowcarpet belong to an Association. The fact that money (in rupees) is given to the owner of a small shop here and picked up as dollars in Singapore. The fact that gold biscuits are smuggled in gas cylinders and milk sweets. The fact that Venkatesan is stopped by cops on the Rangoon-Mandalay highway. It’s like reading an account in the New Yorker.

Continued at the link above.

Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil