n18
NEWS|Entertainment 
   |

By Vivek Ramz

Kamal Haasan returns to direction after almost nine years with 'Vishwaroopam'. This big-budget flick, reportedly made on a budget of 95 crores went into issues right from the time Kamal decided to premiere the film on DTH before theatrical release. After much deliberation, he withdrew the idea and decided to go ahead with regular theatrical release first and DTH release after a week (Feb 2).

When the film neared its release date (Jan 25), the Tamil Nadu government banned the film for 15 days fearing law and order issues after few Muslim outfits demanded a ban. Kamal appealed against the ban in Madras High court and the decision is expected today. Meanwhile, the film released worldwide and other parts of India as scheduled, but this reviewer only finally managed to watch it in one of the theatres in Kerala.

What's it about?
The film opens with Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), a nuclear oncologist in a New York organization, confiding to a psychologist that her marriage to Viz aka Vishwanath (Kamal Haasan) is only one of convenience. She is put off by Kamal's effeminate characteristics (he's a Kathak dance teacher) and is attracted to her boss, Deepak (Samrat Chakrabarti). She hires a private investigator to find out Viz’s secrets and to her surprise, she finds out that Viz is a Muslim. From this point on, things turn topsy turvy for them.

Viz leads the investigator to a warehouse located on the outskirts of New York and escapes from there. A member of a terrorist outfit led by Omar, Al-Qaeda Terrorist (Rahul Bose) kills the investigator and the business card in his wallet leads them to Nirupama. They capture Nirupama & Viz along with Deepak and keep them in the warehouse. Omar finds out that Vishwanath is his old friend named Kashmiri, who got trained along with him in the terrorist camps in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Viz kills all the members of the group and escapes from the warehouse along with his wife before Omar & his companion (Jaideep Ahlawat) arrive there. Nirupama is shocked by the discovery that her husband is actually a RAW agent on a secret mission to discover plans of a terror attack planned by Omar & Co in New York. He's helped in this mission by his uncle (Shekhar Kapur), Ashmita, (Andrea Jeremiah) a dancer at his Kathak school and an American officer. Can Viz foil the terror plan in time?

What works?
The film takes its own time to make the plot apparent, but once it does, there is no looking back. The screenplay travels at jet speed and completely engages you with edge-of-the-seat stuff in a few scenes. Though the concept is inspired by English films, Kamal has developed the screenplay with his unique style and touch. The second half of the film proves his craft at a writer as the events go back and forth in time, revealing plot points in Afghanistan and New York and connecting them clearly. Though there are few loopholes in the script, Kamal stays true to the story without introducing too many commercial elements. Kamal’s dialogues are sharp and laced with mild humor in few places.

Casting is neatly done with a variety of actors from various parts of the world for this global film. Kamal simply blows you away with his acting skills and the way in which his body language changes during the transformation of Kathak dancer to RAW agent is to be seen rather than be told. Rahul Bose is not far behind and has given an excellent performance as the terrorist, Omar. Pooja Kumar is perfect as Nirupama and delivers what is expected out of her. Shekhar Kapur, Jaideep Ahlawat, Andrea Jeremiah and others support the leads well.

Technically, the film is solid. Though most of the crew is young and fresh, they have given their best. Cinematography by Sanu Varghese is top notch and captures the skyscrapers of New York beautifully and brings alive the terror camps of Afghanistan in Chennai. Much of the credit should go to Ilaiyaraja’s art work in recreating the sets with great detail. Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music blends perfectly with the mood of the film and the background score also adds value to the film. Mahesh Narayanan’s editing deserves special mention too as it helps in maintaining the tempo throughout the film.

Regarding the controversy around the film, there’s absolutely NOTHING that shows Muslims in a poor light. The film ends with the promise of a sequel and the setting will be in India this time.

What to do?
Overall, it’s a nicely made thriller and Kamal’s show all the way. Go and watch it in a theatre near you (assuming it releases soon in Tamil Nadu) or at least catch it on DTH in the coming week.

in.com rating: 3.5/5

For more news, reviews, photos and videos of Vishwaroopam, go here.

ALSO SEE
Vishwaroopam & other banned films

Tag : #Kamal Haasan #Vishwaroopam #Vishwaroopam review

Dancing with Psy on Shah Rukh Khan\'s wish list

from IBNLive

Dancing with Psy on Shah Rukh Khan\'s wish list

Gurgaon: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has expressed his desire to dance with Korean rapper sensation to the tunes of his global smash hit \'Gangnam Style\'. The 48-year-old actor was formally ap...


Varun Dhawan's 'Main Tera Hero' earns over Rs 20 crore in its opening weekend

from IBNLive

Varun Dhawan's 'Main Tera Hero' earns over Rs 20 crore in its opening weekend

New Delhi: Varun Dhawan-starrer \"Main Tera Hero\" has earned over Rs.20 crore in its opening weekend. The entertainer has collected a whopping net amount of Rs.22.73 crore in its opening week...

David and Victoria Beckham's son makes his modelling debut

from IBNLive

David and Victoria Beckham's son makes his modelling debut

London: Former soccer ace David Beckham and singer-fashion designer Victoria\'s eldest son Brooklyn has shot for a men\'s magazine. The 15-year-old will be seen on the cover page of British ma...

Not comfortable doing intimate scenes, wearing skimpy clothes: Meera Chopra

from IBNLive

Not comfortable doing intimate scenes, wearing skimpy clothes: Meera Chopra

Mumbai: Actress Meera Chopra, seen in \'Gang Of Ghosts\', is not ready to shoot intimate scenes for the screen and she says she has restrained herself from taking up any film offers which requi...

There's no such thing: Katrina Kaif refutes rumours about her marriage to Ranbir Kapoor

from IBNLive

There's no such thing: Katrina Kaif refutes rumours about her marriage to Ranbir Kapoor

Mumbai: Katrina Kaif is unfazed by rumours that she has plans to tie the knot with actor Ranbir Kapoor, and says she will continue keeping quiet about her private life. At an event here Thursd...

'Ankhon Dekhi' review: It is a flight of fancy

from IBNLive

'Ankhon Dekhi' review: It is a flight of fancy

Life is a medley of experiences, but are you savoring them or do you just go through the motions? Through the wonderfully whimsical Ankhon Dekhi, writer-director Rajat Kapoor shows us how the journey could be more meaningful if we lived life the way we choose to. Sanjay Mishra is aptly cast as Bauji, the 55-year-old patriarch of a joint family in Old Delhi.

'Lakshmi' review: It is weighed down by its 'standard-issue' treatment

from IBNLive

'Lakshmi' review: It is weighed down by its 'standard-issue' treatment

In Lakshmi, writer-director Nagesh Kukunoor takes the unfortunate true story of an underage girl sold off to the flesh trade, and delivers a deliberately disturbing film that's often hard to watch. It's a tricky slope, films about exploitation and abuse. For as we've learnt from watching Madhur Bhandarkar's movies, there's a thin line between depicting harsh realities on screen, and in that process exploiting the very tragedy and the victim. We first meet Lakshmi (Monali Thakur), a 13-year-old traded by her alcoholic father for Rs 30,000, huddled in the back of a truck as it barrels through an Andhra forest.