Director: Kamal Hassan
Starring: Kamal Hassan, Rahul Bose, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah
Vishwaroopam Review: Such is the versatility of “Vishwaroopam”, an admirably ambitious though greatly flawed spy-thriller too caricatural to be taken seriously. Despite its negatives, “Vishwaroopam” never ceases to become anything less than a wildly entertaining, technical-dazzler of a film which grabs you by the eyeballs and lets go only when it wishes to. Although the film kicks off with a rather clichéd idea of a suspecting wife eager to know of her husband’s doings, the opening sequences are dealt with a light-hearted tone which incite guffaws but which are quickly disposed off because the tone changes to a grim one in the blink of an eye. We’re transported a decade back in the heartland of Afghanistan where Omar runs a terrorist camp with the help of Vishwanath or maybe someone assuming an identity. The terrorist camps are annoyingly not fastidious in their treatment though Haasan, also the writer and director of the film, stealthily sneaks in some genuinely moving moments, like a young terrorist swaying on the swing with a longing for his lost childhood. Cinematographer Sanu Varghese beautifully captures the ominous landscapes with an eye of a poet and the tastefully done action sequences are sure to earn a few hurrays.
“Vishwaroopam” is one of those films which downplay their seriousness with their redundant attempts at creating comical situations when the plot does not demand one. For one, I couldn’t understand why Andrea Jeremiah has a role which can only be described as a trivial one. Secondly, the film does not provide plausible answers to so many questions that the plot throws up. There are stretches of time when the film drones on and the anomalous dialog tends to get irksome. Of the performances, Kamal Haasan is absolutely terrific, nailing the three characters he portrays with such ease that it’s hard to believe that it is indeed the same person portraying them. Pooja Kumar is slightly over-the-top as the ditsy wife but manages to give a dignified performance. Rahul Bose is surprisingly underwhelming in what could’ve been a great performance.
On the whole, “Vishwaroopam” is a well-crafted thriller that hinges dangerously on the line of absurdity but it’s one film which guarantees you a thoroughly enjoyable 150 minutes. But if it’s logic you’re seeking, I expect the sequel to make an entrancing watch to make up for the many questions that the first part left unanswered.
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