Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vishwaroopam Movie Review

Movie: Vishwaroopam (Thamizh, 2013)

The Kamal Haasan pet project is finally out in its homeland and going by the word-of-mouth the film has gathered over the last few days of run elsewhere, it could enjoy quite a rollicking run in theatres. Giving due respect to fans, this review had to wait for the film to release in Tamilnadu & now that that has happened, Wait No More! Off to the review..

The Plot:
A Kathak dancer is captured by a terrorist outfit when a spy his wife sets on him knocks on the wrong doors! The fact that the dancer is a Muslim under cover, opens and spills a can of worms and the leader of the terrorist gang reminisces of the times he spent with the now escaped hero of the tale in an Afghanistan Al-Qaeda training base. The saga later, shifts back and forth between Afghanistan and USA and an attempt at detonating a dirty bomb has to be thwarted and who else can do it other than the man who has planted himself in USA for years waiting just for this moment after getting a clue during his tenure in Afghanistan.

The Plaudits:
The film begins with the same dialogue The Godfather begun with (" I believed in America; America has given me fortune"); In parallel, doves are shown to fly across the city and there begins the smart, subtle & intricate details that the director actor Kamal puts in and they appear all through the film, some of which I could decipher in my 2 attempts so far!
The intention of Kamal is clear! He wants to say and say aloud that he can make an entertaining film that can rake in the moolah and when the Siren sound of the title song starts the warehouse scene it is sheer exhileration! A scene that is ample proof of the massive screen presence the man carries - A treat to savour for Kamal fans.
When the film shifts base to Afghanistan, we see a lot of Kamal touches making one realise later, the importance of a scene shown earlier: Clint Eastwood-ish!
The latter half of the film in USA is all about thrilling chases, providing answers to some questions put forth in the first half & a nice build-up to a riveting climax sequence and a lot of scenes in the last hour gives one a pleasant deja-vu of Dasavatharam.

The Performances:

For once, Kamal the actor doesn't overpower the director and enacts his two-folds role to perfection. The Kathak dancer's effeminate ways and Brahminised accent is no surprise for anyone who has seen Kamal before but the Terrorist Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri is a pleasant surprise!
Rahul Bose was not chosen for nothing and he shows it in a nicely played role. Shekar Kapoor, Pooja & Andreah have very less scope but some of the dialogues they mouth make their roles prominent (E.g.: "Pottunu poiten naa?, Vela Irukke.." from Shekhar)

The backbone of the film is the music of S-E-L who have combined to give some amazingly apt tracks and a nice background score ( The 'Allah' hum gaining momentum towards the climax & the Thuppaaki music in Afghanistan being notable ones)

Another praiseworthy effort is that of Art director Lalgudi Ilayaraja; His sets for the Afghan action scenes are breathtaking for a Thamizh film considering the limitations in budget. The aerial shots in Afghanistan and America escalate the grandeur of the film, a nice effort from photographer Sanu John Varghese.

The film takes cinematic liberties at places but loop-holes - There aren't many to be seen; All questions are answered and some of the incomplete ones are in store for V-2 and snippets of proof are shown in the teaser.

The title Vishwaroopam is no misnomer! This one's got everything in it to set the box-office ablaze! Experience it.


When the film ends and the teaser of V-2 is shown, there comes a sequence when Shekhar Kapoor says " Wisam is our only live agent" and Wisam is shown in his various moods and missions; The franchise film effect this scene sets is a delight for fans of Kamal. Hope V-2 is made and made the way it was meant to be, not giving in to any of the events that marred the release of Vishwaroopam!

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