review for Beyond Rangoon on AllMovie

Beyond Rangoon (1995)
by Michael Costello review

John Boorman's tale of adventure set amidst the political repression of Burma is an entertaining travelogue that ultimately seems pointless. The film stars Patricia Arquette as a woman who has come to Burma to recover after the violent deaths of her husband and child and gets caught up in the tumult surrounding Nobel Prize-winning political leader Aung Saan Sui Kyi. It would seem that Boorman wanted to make a film dealing with the problems of contemporary Burma and took the familiar route of using a Westerner as a surrogate. But, as is so often the case in his work, myth takes precedent over history, as the travails of Arquette become the film's focus and its political framework quickly evaporates. Arquette also lacks the talent to make one believe her interest in, much less compassion for, the suffering of the Burmese people. As in Emerald Forest though, Boorman's photography of the lush jungle foliage is spectacular.