Movie Review: 'Beyond Rangoon'
John Boorman’s film is the sort of Third World-in-crisis political drama that would have been made 20 years ago by Costa-Gavras, with Jane Fonda getting her consciousness raised. An American tourist, Laura Bowman (Patricia Arquette), stumbles into the middle of a revolution: the democratic movement in Burma, where thousands of citizens rose up in protest against the country’s military dictatorship. At the heart of Beyond Rangoon is an embarrassing contradiction. The heroine is presumably there to be the audience’s representative. But since the focus is almost entirely on her naiveté, her struggle, her growth, the film effectively reduces the Burmese quagmire to a vacation from hell. It might have helped if we were remotely engaged by Laura Bowman. But Arquette gives her no special curiosity or vigor. D+