Just after a billionaire industrialist (Tomer Sisley) writes off his empire for charity, the International Criminal Court prosecutes him in a case related to a mass-murder incident in Burma. Sisley then decides to travel to Burma and see for himself what had gone wrong. Read the review of The Burma Conspiracy: Largo Winch II for more.
Business rating: 0.5 / 5 stars
Language: English; French and Burmese (with subtitles)
Star cast: Tomer Sisley, Sharon Stone, Ulrich Tukur, Mame Nakprasitte, Olivier Barthelemy, Laurent Terzieff, Nicolas Vaude.
What’s Good: The performances; the well-executed action sequences.
What’s Bad: The uninspiring and unnecessarily convoluted plot; the lifeless drama; the lengthy running time; the clichéd climax.
Verdict: The Burma Conspiracy: Largo Winch II will fail at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: A couple.
Watch or Not?: Watch only if you are interested in watching a drama in French-English-Burmese.
Pan Européenne Production’s The Burma Conspiracy: Largo Winch II is an action-thriller about a billionaire industrialist, Largo Winch (Tomer Sisley), who has just inherited a vast business empire from his late father. As he is not interested in running the business, Largo puts his company up for an auction (to be held a month later), with all the money to be given to humanitarian charities. Largo’s assistant, Dwight Cochrane (Ulrich Tukur), advises him against the move, but Largo goes ahead with his plans.
As soon as Largo signs on the dotted line, Diane Francken (Sharon Stone), a prosecutor from the International Criminal Court, and her accomplices search his premises in a criminal case, blaming his company for a mass-murder incident in troubled Burma. When Largo conveys ignorance before her, Francken tells Largo that his father had bribed a corrupt Burmese army man, General Kyaw Min (Nirut Sirichanya), to finish off an entire village as he (the father) had wanted control of an underground precious metal resource. Largo refuses to believe in the prosecutor’s allegations.
Summoned to Hong Kong, Largo comes face-to-face with the prosecution’s prime witness, Malunai (Mame Nakprasitte), a girl who Largo had met in Burma when he had gone there as a traveller a few years ago. Malunai, who had been Largo’s girlfriend then, accuses him of spying on their village in order to help the Burmese General.
However, Cochrane gets Largo out of the clutches of the police, using the business group’s contacts. Largo decides to go back to Burma and find out what had really happened there and whether his father was indeed guilty of crime against humanity – something for which he is now being held responsible. Accompanying him on his trip is his steward, Gauthier (Nicolas Vaude). He is later joined by an old friend, Simon (Olivier Barthelemy). What Largo finally uncovers, how he comes face-to-face with the General and what happens thereafter constitute the rest of the drama.
The Burma Conspiracy Largo Winch II Review: Script Analysis
Julien Rappeneau and Jérôme Salle’s story is ordinary and of the kind one has seen many times in Hollywood films. Of course, there are some interesting twists and turns in the plot, but they are all predictable. In a manner of speaking, the characterisation of Largo as a Good Samaritan, who is fighting against the world, is something that starts getting on the viewer’s nerves. That Largo can fight, fly, skydive, steer a boat and do all that which is expected of a hero is not surprising. However, one starts getting irritated when Largo is shown to be so stupid that he cannot fathom that his own people are plotting his downfall. Moreover, the reason for his giving away his multi-billion empire to charity is not convincing enough.
The film’s screenplay, also penned by Rappeneau and Salle, moves at a rather leisurely pace, save a few action sequences and the last few reels. Moreover, there is not a single moment, emotional or dramatic, that stands out from the rest because the writers have not been able to make the scenes engaging enough. Even a scene where a young child loses his mother, and cries for her, has been handled in a manner which fails to evoke emotions.
On the other hand, scenes of Largo’s previous visit to Burma are depicted in a very shoddy manner; it is as if all the Burmese, save Malunai and the victims, have no souls at all! Another thing that will irritate the Indian audience, even those from the cities, is that the film has liberal use of the French and Burmese languages alongwith English. Although this is meant to impart authenticity to the drama and the film does have subtitles, it becomes difficult to watch, especially because the drama is not very engaging in the first place. The romantic track between Largo and Malunai is rather thin and not convincing. The confrontation scenes between Largo and the prosecutor are also rather tame.
The track involving a hostile takeover of Largo’s company by a discredited Russian industrialist, after the share price falls post his arrest, is interesting, but ends in a disappointment. The climax is disappointing as it is predictable. The dialogues are natural. Overall, the script is of a kind that does not satisfy the audience’s need for entertainment and engagement at all.
On the flip side, the action sequences – hand-to-hand fights, gun-fights and an airborne sequence – have been executed rather well. Also, a minor track of Largo’s steward exploring the nooks and crannies of Thailand, searching for Largo’s friend, is humourous.
The Burma Conspiracy Largo Winch II Review: Star Performances
The performances are rather good. Tomer Sisley does a fine job as the unconventional humanitarian tycoon. He is very good in the action scenes. He looks handsome and rugged. Sharon Stone, as prosecutor Francken, is effective in a small role. Ulrich Tukur (as Cochrane) is alright. Mame Nakprasitte (as Malunai) does what is required of her. Olivier Barthelemy (as Simon) gives a spirited performance as the gung-ho Frenchman in Burma/Thailand. Laurent Terzieff (as Alexandre Jung, a friend of Largo’s father) is impressive. Nicolas Vaude (as Gauthier) brings a smile to the audience’s lips every time he comes on the screen. Nirut Sirichanya (as General Kyaw Min) is villainous to a fault.
The Burma Conspiracy Largo Winch II Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Jérôme Salle’s direction is appropriate to the kind of script he handles but he fails in making the drama swift and engaging. Alexandre Desplat’s background score is very good. Denis Rouden’s cinematography is alright. Editing, by Stan Collet, could have been sharper.
The Burma Conspiracy Largo Winch II Review: The Last Word
On the whole, The Burma Conspiracy: Largo Winch II will prove to be a flop at the Indian box-office.