You hail 'Allah Hu Akbar', whisper the words 'Pakistani Muslims' or even 'Muslims' in Indian films these days and voila! You land yourself in a nationwide protest. Similar seems to have happened with South Superstar Kamal Haasan had to literally fight a battle to release his mega ambitious venture Vishwaroopam. After repeated postponements and oppositions against its release courtesy the belief of a Muslim wing that the film apparently maligns their religion, Vishwaroopam finally sees the light of the day. We give you a detailed review of the Hindi version of this mega budget venture - Vishwaroop.
A marriage of convenience happens between Vishwanath alias Wiz (Kamal Haasan), a Kathak exponent, and Nirupama (Pooja Kumar). Each has an agenda and seems to have achieved their wishes in three years of matrimony. Nirupama gets her Ph.D and Wiz runs his dance class in New Jersey unhindered by each other. All is fine till Dr. Nirupama aspires for more and wants to opt out of the arranged marriage. She cannot cite any specific reason to leave Wiz as there is nothing much to complain about him. Every male according to Nirupama must have a flaw. So she decides to find out something about him to feel better about her decision to part. She hires a detective to rake up something on him. Wires get cross-connected and all hell breaks loose.
The multi-faceted superstar Kamal Haasan ambitiously aims at erecting a monumental piece of work by lavishly indulging in foreign locations and stylishly shot action sequences, however, in the process he turns a blind eye to the repetitiveness of his story line. The film dwells in a plot that has already been seen in umpteen other films in the past. An extended version of Sachin Joshi's Azaan or Salman Khan's Ek Tha Tiger further blended with Hollywood films like Mission Impossible or Bourne Identity and staged on a Hollywood scale is Haasan's Vishwaroop for you.
To set things straight, Vishwaroop turns out to be just a harmless bait in the hands of the politicians for the film doesn't actually malign the Muslim clan in any way. It's surprising how just by the mere sneak preview of the film can people get carried away and oppose the film without having a look at it. The film is anything but a medium that hurts the Muslim sentiments.
Coming back to the film, Vishwaroop has its fair share of flaws starting with the excruciatingly long run time. The writer Haasan completely sets the grip on the film loose and needlessly dwells on each scene for more than what is required leading to the annoyance of the audience. The Afghanistan sequences in the film are too long and keep recurring through flashbacks.
Another sore point is the hackneyed plot of the film. Vishwaroop is a typified espionage thriller that stereotypes the Indian spy making him a multi-tasker in any stream under the sun. So our lead star is capable of pirouetting to the beats of Kathak while simultaneously beating the goons to pulp. He can hide his identity so much that even his better half wouldn't know about him and at the same time be so intelligent that the entire world police may fall short to match up!
Although the over the top antics of the spy can get hard to digest, our superstar Kamal Haasan makes it all believable and realistic with his flawless histrionics. He is a sheer delight to watch right from the very first scene. He plays the part of a mujahideen as effortlessly as he gracefully dances to the Kathak steps. If it wasn't for his stardom and larger than life persona the film wouldn't have worked for the audience at all.
Rahul Bose as crooked, one-eyed Omar also steals the show. Jaideep Ahlawat as Omar's sidekick also does a good job while the like of Shekhar Kapur and Pooja Kumar appear clueless throughout the film.
Vishwaroop minus Kamal Haasan is nothing but a hackneyed plot shot with mighty grandeur. The film may work primarily for the south superstar's brilliance and star power!