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VISHWAROOP - A masterpiece before intermission and a let-down later with a shaky climax. (Review by Bobby Sing)
01 Feb, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

A film made on World Terrorism directed by Kamal Hassan was itself enough to promote the project all over India and abroad. But unfortunately the film became the target of “Cultural Conflicts” within the country and the news reached all corners overnight, even to those who were not interested in seeing it otherwise. The controversy added to the excitement a lot along with a strong perception that being a responsible creative genius Kamal Hassan can never cross his limits insulting any particular community. And as expected the notion was proved right as the film has no degrading scene or dialogue against any specific religion but on the contrary it strongly portrays the shocking strategies adapted by both the extremists as well as the people searching for their tough hideouts with a great vision & an exceptional execution on the screen.

To give it all in few words, VISHWAROOP is an outstanding achievement in film-making before the intermission but sadly the same cannot be said for its later part leading towards a weak, mediocre and overconfident climax announcing its sequel too. It begins on an unusual note with Kamal posing as an Indian dance teacher (indicating a gay) and her wife having an affair with her boss. Within no time the viewers are introduced with some more characters including Shekhar Kapoor and its simply great to see the two maestros together on the screen sharing the same frame. The narration quickly comes to the point with sequences indicating towards a secret mission and then comes a terrific, well conceived action scene of Kamal revealing his real identity which brings you on to the edge of your seat at once.
And from here onwards we have a masterpiece made by Kamal Hassan undoubtedly, till they announce a break saying intermission on the sreen. To say the truth, this first half of VISHWAROOP gives the Indian viewers a taste of world cinema with many shockingly well directed scenes which many may recall seeing in some Documentaries or famous Irani movies acclaimed widely. To add further there hasn’t been such realistic and terrifying depiction of terrorism in an Indian film before and this is not at all an over enthusiastic statement if you take my words. Right from the selection of its amazing locations, designing the costumes, defining the languages used, executing the action and then capturing it in the camera exactly like an international film, it all seems to be an unbelievable achievement made by the talented team lead by Kamal Hassan. In fact such is the quality of this exceptional show offered by its creative team that it in turn raises your expectations to many folds regarding what’s going to come next after this.
And that’s exactly where VISHWAROOP fails to deliver sadly which doesn’t allow me to rate it as a complete Classic from all angles. Before intermission it progress with a vision and remains a treat to watch (not for the faint hearted) for the ones who strongly believe that medium of cinema is not meant for entertainment alone and it does have a social responsibility too to make us all aware of many harsh truths. But post intermission the focus gets disturbed and the script suddenly turns into a usual one with the same nuclear device scares and efforts made to put it off in the climax.
The abrupt drop in its second half which is simply nothing as compared to its first one also gives you an impression of having watched the works of two different directors in its two halves. And if only the later one had something more impressive and engaging to offer, VISHWAROOP could have easily become a new age masterpiece of India, equivalent to many World Classics made on some similar themes. The film scores very high in departments such as Background Score, Stunts, Cinematography and Art Direction, but on the other hand has many unexplained loopholes in a routine storyline questionably adapted for such a mega venture. It doesn’t have complete songs as such but does give you something to mention in the Classical Dance number in the beginning and lyrics like, “There's a place far away and I wanna go there one day” playing at the back in the scenes showing the painful sufferings. At times it also shakes you hard with dialogues such as, "Sab mard bander hotey hain bas unki dum aagey hoti hai".
As mentioned above the film is a winner by director Kamal Haasan in its first part and I really wish he could have made it better in the second. However as a performer the veteran is in his full form playing the lead role, though I don’t rate his act above than the one earlier seen in his another meaningful venture called HEY RAM (2000). Jaideep Ahlawat along with Naseer and the girls perform their roles well but in my opinion Rahul Bose was a complete misfit for the character of a deadly leader. In a similar manner Shekhar Kapoor is also there just for the namesake and has got nothing significant to do in the script contrary to what the promotion conveyed in its poster showing the team lead by Kamal. Moreover, I really couldn’t find any strong relevance of its title which should have been something else with a more universal appeal (because the present one itself sounds as a regional movie dubbed in Hindi).
To wrap it up, VISHWAROOP surely deserves to be seen for its initial 90 minutes since it has something exceptional tried in Indian Cinema with such honesty for the first time. The film is a Kamal Hassan show from the start to finish and going for it with some controlled expectations you will not come back disappointed.
Rating : 3 / 5

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01 Feb 2013 / Comment ( 0 )
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