First thing first, Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam is not an anti-Muslim film. It is technically brilliant with world class making and a subject which is truly international on global terrorism.
The film is set in New York City with intermittent flashbacks going back to Afghanistan, and not even one scene in India. The film is for those who love well made intelligent thrillers based on espionage.
Kamal Haasan has made a film which has a touch of class. The story begins in New York with Viswanath (Kamal Haasan) an effeminate Kathak dancer who has a marriage of convenience with his wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar).
Nirupama is a nuclear oncologist who is having an affair with her boss, a shady guy with terrorist links. The terrorist group is led by Omar (Rahul Bose), who has connection with terrorist in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile Nirupama realizes that her husband is not what he is and there is another side to him. Soon they are caught in a dangerous situation as Viswanath’s past catches up. Here is superior quality cinema, a miniature masterpiece of how a terrorist evolves through training camps, the atrocities and how children are made human bombs and how America is fighting a losing battle in Afghanistan.
The action scenes first in a ware house in New York and battle between American forces and the terrorist running around in caves and mountains, turns out to be one of the most brilliant action set pieces in Indian cinema. However, we don’t wish to reveal more as it will be a spoiler.
The highlight of the film is the way it has been narrated by Kamal the director and his performance as an actor. He brings the house down as the effeminate dancer with his body language and eye control. And later looks very agile and dashing as an action hero.
Rahul Bose is deadly as Omar the terrorist and the director in Kamal gives him as much footage as the hero. Shekhar Kapoor, Andrea and Pooja Kumar have very little to do and there is also a long shot of Osama Bin Laden.
Technically it is one of the best films to emerge out of south. The camera work of Sanu Varghese is terrific, especially the way he has taken New York and Afghanistan replica in some studio in India. Shankar Ehasan Loy’s music and back ground score is adequate. The down sides is that film should have been a little more crisp and the second half with an open ended climax for a sequel looks a bit stretched.
Vishwaroopam is a must watch for those who seek classy, stylish and extra-strong entertainment.