Vishwaroopam – A Giant Leap in Tamil Cinema
Vishwaroopam is one movie that would be remembered for decades to come, for all the good and bad reasons. The expectations of the movie shot to astronomical heights, thanks to all the controversies during the past couple of weeks. A ‘spy thriller’ in Tamil cinema is a rarity and a brilliantly made one like Vishwaroopam is truly an unparalleled viewing experience for the audience.
Vishwanath (Kamal Haasan), a classical Kathak dancer is married to Dr. Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), who is a nuclear oncologist. Nirupama is attracted to her boss, who has links with the terrorist group led by Omar (Rahul Bose). There is another side to Vishwanath, which is revealed when he and his wife are tortured by the terrorists. The rest of the story revolves around how Vishwanath and his team protect New York from the terrorists. The movie travels back and forth in time and traverses to Afghanistan as well.
Kamal Haasan as the effeminate Kathak dancer is a show-stopper in the first half. His body language and dialogue delivery with shades of feminine prove why Kamal Haasan is one of the best actors in our country. After his transformation into a fierce RAW agent in the first half, he is a different person altogether. One would doubt if any other actor could show such diverse acting skills. The movie relies heavily on Kamal’s screen presence and he walks away with the honours at ease.
All the other actors revolve around Kamal Haasan’s character in the movie and everyone has given their best. Pooja Kumar’s character is interestingly sketched and is definitely not one of those run-of-the-mill types. She comes out with a convincing performance and her dialect is unique too. Andrea has limited scope in the movie but she makes her presence felt whenever she is on screen. Rahul Bose is not as deadly as one would have liked the lead antagonist to be. Nassar, Shekhar Kapur and Jaideep Ahlawat and the rest of the supporting cast have done justice to their roles. However, a little more care could have been taken in the dubbing phase.
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is laudable. The songs and background score help the visuals to create the right impact on the audience. The sound effects team has done a remarkable job as it would have been very difficult to create the right aural impact during fight sequences involving thousands of gun shots and many helicopters.
Hats off to Sanu Varghese for coming out with breathtaking visuals! He has made sure that director’s vision is aptly converted into visuals. Kudos to the art department for recreating Afghanistan landscape in Chennai with such authenticity! Editing by Mahesh Narayanan is crisp and fast-paced.
Script and Direction – Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan’s detailing in the script is mind-boggling. The amount of background research he has done for the script is pretty evident. For instance, he deals with the ‘Faraday shield’ concept at an important juncture in the film.
The screenplay does not deviate from the main plot at any point. Every single scene is woven into the central story.
Some of the scenes are revisited such as the warehouse fight sequence in the first half. The revisiting of scenes leaves a pounding impact among the audience.
In spite of the heavy nature of the theme, Kamal has not failed to include some subtle human emotions. A 'jihadi' asking Kamal Haasan to push the swing for him is one such scene.
Only low in the movie is that the Afghanistan portions seem to move a tad slower compared to the other sequences.
To sum up this review, “Yaar endru purigiratha, ivan thee endru therigiratha, thadaigalai vendrae sarithiram padaiththavan, nyabagam varugiratha”... Vishwaroopam is a giant leap in Tamil cinema!