Rating: 3.5/5 (Three and half stars)
Star cast: Kamal Haasan, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah and Jaideep Ahlawat
What’s Good: Pleasurably Entertaining. Dramatically Adventurous. Technical brilliance oozing with great cinematography.
What’s Bad: A clear overdose of Kamal Haasan which spares lesser space for other characters to evolve. The narration tediously slows down in the second half. The end was far less climatic that one would have imagined.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Vishwaroop is a sheer treat for its power packed action sequences which finally match up to Hollywood’s standards. Technically it is a brilliant film which walks us through many sensitive and pertinent issues without passing a judgment.
The plot opens in suburban New York with a regular next door wife discussing her mundane marriage and rocky extra marital affair to her psychologist. Nirupama’s husband Weez, a Kathak Dancer has no visible flaws and was hence a natural choice of convenience for Nirupama. But her impending affair with her boss forces her to ponder about walking out of her loveless, morose marriage. In order to satiate her guilt, Nirupama hires a private detective to bring on surface any hidden in the closet affairs of her husband.
The detective does his job too smartly and ends up dead giving rise to an array of questions and the one crucial last secret he blurted out to Nirupama before his death! Weez is a Muslim!
Then on, the plot alternately shifts between the past and the present telling us a fascinating tale of varied belief systems and convictions which clearly stratifies cultures antithetically. Raveling through militant camps in Afghanistan and the strong faith which drives a Fedayeen to fight ‘Jihad’ is portrayed neatly trying to bring on screens the turmoil of terrorists.
How does the life of a Kathak dancer and his estranged wife intertwine with those of the Mujahideen? Is Weez really a Muslim? Is this plot way larger than life than we can imagine? And mostly, a question that forms the basic suspense motives of the film – Is Weez a Good man or a bad man?
Vishwaroop Review: Script Analysis
The movie is strongly rooted in history and a clear understanding of social sciences. However, the plot fantastically maintains its rhythm without getting preachy or turning into a history lesson. The flow of the film is lucid and it never goes the over the top to deliver a point, or a perspective. The movie elegantly balances the barriers between the cultural tinges of the film and the socio political drama it attempts to be.
The film’s introduction has a brilliant Kathak number which is performed most gracefully. The first part of the film has immense energy which is performed to perfection by fine actors like Kamal Haasan and Rahul Bose. They don’t give us a single dull moment. Contrary to the initial image we form of Weez, he most suddenly and easily transforms into a warrior and an agent.
The film’s back story is let out intelligently and the loose ends and wavering notions are efficiently knotted up in the end. The film definitely doesn’t offend any religious community.
The only hitch I can point out in the film, is that it follows a rather clichéd and American perspective of Afghan image. The film like many of its predecessors, have failed to bring out the true motive of the Mujhahideen’s need for Jehad. Though the film does hint vaguely upon Afghanistan’s tormented past involving brutal Russian, American and Taliban atrocities they had to bear. The film still show the terrorists in a dark tainted light without bringing out to the audiences their side of the story.
However, this hitch can easily be ignored for a commercial movie like Vishwaroop, as it manages to impress both in terms of stupendous action and brilliant acting.
Vishwaroop Review: Star Performances
Research driven and strongly structured characterization play a pivotal role in making this movie stand on its ground. The essential parameters of the film’s themes provide a deep insight into the psychological working of a terrorist’s mind. The movie successfully manages to run chills down your spine, at more than one places throughout the film.
The film belongs to Kamal Haasan. The man deserves a standing ovation for versatility. He renders elegance and sophistication to Kathak, as a dancer. His action sequences are so well designed and innovative, which he performs to the hilt of perfection. The narrative backs his character too sympathetically and only an actor with his creative vision could bring out the plot so vast that impeccably on screen, with almost negligible faults.
Pooja Kumar who plays Kamal Haasan’s wife in the film is extremely sure of her character, the storyline and herself. She is not nailed down by Kamal Haasan’s presence, rather brilliantly carves her space out, enough to be positively noticed.
The man who makes this film what it is, is Rahul Bose. Long after the film is over, this man will haunt you. Bose who hasn’t played a negative character since Thakshak in 1999, reminds us how flawless an actor he can be. As Omar, this man valiantly stands as the film’s evil mouthpiece. This time Bose is back to terrorize!
Andrea Jeremiah and Shekhar Kapur wrap up their roles decently and do manage to look charming in their endeavor.
Vishwaroop Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
Kamal Haasan is a man who makes cinema look better. This time, he works valiantly to put together a script of this magnanimous nature. His effort was bold and finally realizes India’s dream of a good action thriller. The film overrules its flaws by delivering brilliantly at the technical front. The movie’s background score sits well on the plot and cinematography is immensely powerful. The film is shot eloquently at locations which are straight out of Khaled Hosseini’s works.
The film’s climax is however lot less dramatic than one would expect. The mounted excitement for the climax is diluted by its abrupt and wait-for-the-next-part ending. But if Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible impressing to you, I promise Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroop won’t fail you.
Vishwaroop Review: The Last Word
The film is a delicious watch for its dramatic action, brilliant stunts and mostly for the characters that Rahul Bose and Kamal Haasan so flawlessly deliver to us!
P.S : Keep Calm and wait for Vishwaroop 2!
Vishwaroop released on 1st February, 2013.
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