Release date: 25 Jan 2013
Haihoi.com Rating : 3.25/5
Director : Kamal Haasan
Producer : Kamal Haasan, Chandra Haasan
Music Director : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Starring : Kamal Haasan, Pooja Kumar, Upendra, Andrea Jeremiah
Universal Star Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’ is all set for a massive worldwide release today. The film will not be releasing in Tamil Nadu and a few areas of Hyderabad(for today only) due to objections from certain Muslim communities. Vishwaroopam has been made with a massive budget and the film has an ensemble cast that includes Kamal Haasan, Shekhar Kapur, Rahul Bose and Pooja Kumar. Let us see how the movie is.
Vishwaroopam is a multi-layered story that is set in USA and Afghanistan, over a period of many years. The movie starts off with Vishwanath (Kamal Haasan) and his pretty young wife Dr. Nirupama (Pooja Kumar). Vishwanath is a dainty fellow who teaches Bharatanatyam and does not have any of the masculine qualities that Nirupama, who is a nuclear oncologist, desires. As a result, she starts developing feelings for her boss Deepak.
But she soon discovers that Deepak is not the suave and intelligent fellow he seems to be. He is a shady operator who has links with a terror outfit headed by Omar (Rahul Bose). As she gets into trouble, she also discovers that her dainty husband Vishwanath has more to him than what meets the eye. He has a past, and he hooks up with Nirupama for a reason.
Vishwanath and Nirupama soon get entangled in a dangerous plot that seeks to explode a dirty bomb in the heart of New York City. Can they stop Omar and his gang of thugs? What is Vishwanath’s past? That forms the story of ‘Vishwaroopam’.
As usual, Kamal Haasan is brilliant in this film. He just excels in whatever he does and being a method actor, he brings so much realism into his performances. The man’s passion towards cinema deserves respect. Sekhar Kapur is dignified and delivers a classy performance. Rahul Bose is highly effective as the terrorist boss Omar.
The surprise package of the film is Pooja Kumar. She delivers a nice performance as the naive nuclear oncologist Nirupama. There is something very charming about her and the voice used for her Telugu dubbing suited her role perfectly. Andrea Jeremiah is ok.
The film’s look and feel is on par with Hollywood flicks. Especially the cinematography and the action sequences. They are outstanding and credit must be given to Kamal Haasan for taking Indian cinema forward in these areas. The scenes shot in Afghanistan and the interval firefight with the US Army stand out for their superb execution.
Screenplay is excellent in the second half. I really liked a narration technique used by Kamal in the film for revealing key flashback episodes, where the camera freezes in Matrix style, and takes the viewer back in time.
A lot of work has gone into making this movie and it is apparent. The locales, the chase sequences and the scenes involving the US Army require tremendous logistical planning.
The film is slow, sometimes quite painfully. This is more evident in the first half, where Kamal is shown for a while as a dainty fellow with feminine traits. These scenes will not go down very well with entertainment seeking movie lovers.
The songs in this movie do not really gel with the film and they should have been avoided altogether . They merely act as speed breakers.
This is primarily a spy thriller, but the gripping narrative that is required to make such films effective is missing here.
Sanu Varghese deserves special applause for his brilliant cinematography. Afghanistan has been shot beautifully. The dusty mountains, the deserts and the vast expanses of wasteland – they all seem so majestic in the movie.
Editing could have been sharper, especially in the first half. Background music is good, though it seems to have liberally used a few sounds from ‘The Dark Knight’. Choreography of the action sequences is fantastic.
As a director, Kamal Haasan excelled in the technical aspects of filmmaking. But he should have speeded up the pace of narration in the first half.
A very slow pace of narration at times and some poorly placed songs spoil the overall effect