Vishwaroopam Movie Review

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Story:
Nirupama (Puja Kumar) has an affair while being married to dance master Vishwanath (Kamal Haasan). She wants a small reason to file a divorce and to find such reason she hires a detective.

One day when the detective is following Vishwanath (Kamal Haasan), he accidentally stumbles into something messy that would eventually take his life. The people responsible for the mess then find their way to Vishwanath (Kamal Haasan) and Nirupama (Puja Kumar) to finish off all the suspects. But what they eventually end up facing is something even they weren’t prepared for. What happened to the couple and what did the killers face threat from, reveals and forms, the rest of the film.

Performances:
Kamal Haasan is fabulous as usual. He has done it all and yet he still manages to give us few moments of genuine surprise. His transformation across different characters done effortlessly was one such thing.

Rahul Bose got the second best part in terms of screen presence. He is good as expected.

Puja Kumar looks very good but has very small role in overall terms. She is used to provide comic relief whenever she is present on screen as part of narrative. She does her part well.

Others like Sekhar Kappor, Andrea Jeremiah etc act like props and don’t add much to the film with their act.

Positives:
Grand big scale canvas made for big screen viewing.
Cinematography
Theme of the film

Negatives:
Very slow beginning
Documentary styled narration in flashbacks
Distracting gore and violence in action at times

Analysis:
Film begins slowly but picks up right from the first action sequence picturized on title song. From there on director Kamal Haasan takes us down deep into the terror angle. Al Qaeda supported Taliban and its working, training and people involved are shown at close quarters. However it looks more documentary type rather than engaging cinematically as a movie.

Kamal Haasan does try to develop the human angle to let the audience connect with the ongoing but the way he tries to do all these doesn’t let the audience connect with it. For instance the family of Rahul Bose and all scenes involving them, they happen in a very precise and mechanical way. The precision doesn’t allow the human emotion to blossom.

The director Kamal Haasan wants the emotion to be subtle but instead of them being subtle the overall proceedings make them look dry in nature. This is a very difficult balance to maintain and that’s the challenge the director faces here, to humanize the people behind the terrorism by showing them as a regular people but this almost documentary style subtlety makes one watch everything from a distance as a spectator. This ‘spectator viewer-ship’ can be termed as the failure here, with the film, which otherwise has been crafted very neatly and carefully.

Production values are too good and cinematography is of international standards. Even music by Shankar Ehsan Loy is not far behind. The songs are good and they have been used very well in the film. Art Design is fantastic as well and deserves awards. Editing could have been much sharper though.

Bottom-line: A compulsory one time watch despite its shortcomings.
Rating: 3/5

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