Beyond Rangoon is a dramatic Myanmar movies involving numerous deaths and bloodshed. The main character of the movie, Laura Bowman, played by Patricia Arquette, has recently returned to her home in the United States to find her husband and young son murdered. In order to clear her mind and get her back on track, Laura’s sister, Andy Bowman, takes her on a trip to exotic Burma (Myanmar).
This Myanmar movie takes on some international issues as well based on the fact that Burma is an unstable country led by a military dictatorship. The filming of this movie was done in nearby Malaysia since Burma and the United States are hateful of each other. Burma’s government is very aggressive and is not afraid to kill its citizens, especially during a democratic uprising as shown in the movie. A female named Aung San Suu Kyi, still alive and on house arrest today, was responsible for creating hope and joy that democracy would one day take over Burma.
While parading with her supporters in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi was met by military force. She forced the men with guns drawn to stand aside while she continued her march with Laura Bowman watching the whole time. Bowman would later return to her hotel after watching Aung San Suu Kyi with admiration to find that the military police were waiting for her with her sister. They were all ordered to leave the next day since Bowman did not respect Burma’s curfew laws for Americans.
While preparing to leave Burma for safety, Laura Bowman realized she had her passport stolen the night before while at the democracy demonstration. She was forced to stay behind in Burma while her sister Andy and their friend flew into a nearby country. Laura decided that even though there was much shooting and killing happening in the streets due to the democratic uprising, she would hire a tour guide to visit the countryside. Her tour guide takes her through numerous military checkpoints while bribing the military guards in his 1970’s Chevrolet. The two of them eventually stop by a house full of Burmese college students who are talking of their love for Aung San Suu Kyi. However, after a brief stay, news reaches them that the military is coming to kill them all since they are not in line with the dictatorship’s beliefs.
The group piles into three cars and leaves for the local train station. The tour guide ends up being shot while trying to escape after the military recognizes him as a professor and rebel against the dictatorship. Laura, who had already boarded the train to leave, comes back to save the professor and drives him away in the Chevrolet. They end up being pursued by the military who are trying hard to kill them, when Laura drives the professor’s car into a river. The two must swim down the river under some brush while being shot at in order to escape.
They eventually find a local Burmese man with two young boys who take them down river to find medicine. The professor has been shot in the chest and is fading quickly, but Laura Bowman is a doctor and can save him if they can find medicine and surgical tools. Laura and the professor eventually stop at a Burmese village where Laura sneaks through military guards and finds a medical structure. She obtains her tools and medicines and is ready to leave when a guard catches her. He decides not to kill her, but instead wants her to perform sexual favors. She was lucky enough to borrow a gun from the man who floated her down the river in his boat, and shoots the military guard in his leg allowing her to escape.
Bowman and the professor board the boat again and float down the river more until they get back onto land and attempt to escape to Thailand. There are thousands of people still being killed and trying to flee the country, but the two manage to board an ex-military truck full of refugees on their way to safety. Again, they are chased down by a military jeep which forces them off the road and into the river again. Laura and the professor manage to escape again with many of the refugees, and start wandering through the forest.
After walking through the forest for several hours, they are again met by military resistance. The common theme in this Myanmar movies is that the Burmese military does not care who you are; if you look suspicious they will not hesitate to kill. A friendly, underground-type military group also arrives and fights off the cruel military group allowing the refugees a chance to cross a bridge over the river and safely enter Thailand. The dictatorship military keeps firing rockets and guns from afar and kills another three or four refugees when they had safety in sight. A young man is killed while holding his baby and is forced to hand off his child to his wife while he floated down river to his death. Laura makes sure to comfort his wife once she and the professor cross the bridge into Thailand.
Overall, this movie was very intense and somewhat cheesy at times. There is some obvious bad acting by some of the foreign actors in the movie. Also, at the end, the bridge to safety in Thailand has a big sign that reads “Welcome to Thailand”. This part of the movie seemed very unrealistic and like it was too happy of an ending. When everyone crosses into Thailand there is a Red Cross hospital set up where Laura puts her skills to work in caring for all of the injured Burmese people. This Myanmar movie had a very good plot and gives much history about Burma and its diplomatic relations with the world. I rate this movie a 3.5 out of 5.
Daniel Breedlove is the owner and manager of Corner Office Books, the internet’s premier website on business book reviews and sales. For hundreds of reviews of the best business books available, visit the website at [http://CornerOfficeBooks.com/]