'I'm a hero and a villain. I have done good things and committed sins that even my death will not wash away.' Kamal Haasan's explaination to his wife during the critical juncture of film is more than enough to delineate the character of Taufiq (Kamal Haasan). Traversing through the controversial phase, the film hits great open all over Tamil Nadu with much fanfare. The reason? Of course, it's Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan and what raised the expectation bars further above was the controversial pettifoggery on communal violence.
If the shot pictured on recital of Quran before massacring a person was the reason behind the upheavals on the film, we have seen enomrous clippings aired on news channels posted by the terrorists themselves. Kamal Haasan hasn't fictionalized anything on his own imaginations, but again, it's a religious sentiment when that comes down to the ardent followers of religion. Why does Kamal Haasan always try to project himself as the atheist? Well, we would accept if he had a film like 'Anbe Sivam' to present the audience, certain lines would go well. Well, it's a serious interrogation happening there at FBI room, where Pooja Kumar says, 'Our God has four heads' and a funny counterpunch from the lady officer reads, 'Then how do you crucify him' that ends on a satirical note, 'we don't crucify, but dump him in water.' Yes, we do love hearing such statements, but is it really neccessary to overload them at unwanted places.
When his wife (Pooja Kumar) hires a detective to follow her husband, hell breaks loose out of hell as his unknown past comes into light. Don't assume this to be a edge-on-seat spy thriller to the status of Bourne and Bond legacies. Yes, it's the first time we are witnessing an Indian film based on a top-notch quality, especially in technical panoramas. Coming down to narrative aspects, the film carries a brilliant writing by Kamal Haasan for his exceptional style of juggling between present and flashback sequences are done in a crisp way. Or else, it would have been a kind of docu-drama for the portions involving Taliban and Afganistan seem to be that way. Of course, the emotional quotient's involving Jihad leader (Rahul Bose) and his family, the innocent teen playing over the swing and the next shot to see him a suicide bomber has our eyes moist. The depiction of Osama Bin Laden is a good show indeed. The dialogues like 'My son will be a warrior' and the young boy saying, 'I want to be a doctor' and the montage pictures of him acting as a doctor is heart-touching. 'Jihadis should shed blood, not tears' are exeptionally great as well.
On the front of performance, Kamal Haasan strikes with an awe-inspiring performanace as a dancer and electrifying RAW agent. You don't find leaps and jumps across the stoney buildings and lanes, but a 90-second transition of Kamal from innocence-to-heroism gains thundering claps and whistles is more than enough to prove that he's still young. Pooja Kumar does her best to keep up while Andrea has nothing, but to walk alongside Kamal Haasan throughout the film. Shekar Kapoor is outstanding while Rahul Bose should get a new identity in Indian film industry and Jaideep is super-cool.
The background score by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is brilliant and not to miss the beautiful song 'Unnai Kaanadha'. Sanu Varghese leaves you spellbound over canning the exotic locales of US and Lalgudi Srinivasan's art work of Taliban mud houses and caves deserves lots of awards, we suppose, a National award should be the tangible symbol of his achievement. Birju Maharaj's choreography keeps you engrossed.
Vishwaroopam boasts of stunning visuals and technical bonanzas with a screenplay that keeps you taut. But few audiences might not find it too comfortable to walk out of theatres with an open ending with a small teaser of 'VISHWAROOPAM-2 INDIA' (The villain doesn’t die at end) but overall it's a commercial treat from Kamal Haasan.
Verdict: A commercial movie in hollywood style
Review by Richard Mahesh
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