3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)
To all avid movie lovers and the liberated minds that appreciates art in its original form, Viswaroopam is the movie for you.
KM Sun, 03 Feb 2013
"Yaam Petra Inbam Peruga Ivvayagam (Joy you experienced, let it inundate the whole world)". As the saying goes, I find it fitting for those who watch "Viswaroopam". A call to action - "spread the joy".
First up - To all avid movie lovers and the liberated minds that appreciates art in its original form, Viswaroopam is the movie for you. All else who are bound by other motives, Viswaroopam is also the movie for you. The justification for Whys? - to follow but for now, does everyone feel like they are included and believe that we all can COEXIST? OK good, if you think or say "Yes" please proceed further, or Thank you for your time ?. Now, on to the business!!
Straight to the point, if money paid for the movie can be compartmentalized, 90% of the share goes to the scene at the warehouse. Just when you start to get aloof with the dancer whose character is flawlessly portrayed with a subtlety of a woman, the next 45 seconds is a real treat. For those who were caught by surprise and didn't get a chance to get a good glimpse of the whole action sequence, No Worries, the director plays it back for you in a slow motion. Heard of "Once more....Once more..." chants during stage events??? It's exactly that...Edge of the seat moment, which Tom Cruise or Denzel Washington would yearn for! You know where I am going next, right?? Yes... straight to Hollywood.
Review of Viswaroopam wouldn't be complete without a reference to Hollywood, almost in all departments except that few stars are born and brought up in India. When Tom L. Friedman works on his next edition of "World is Flat" he should consider writing about the level playing field emerging between Indian movie industry and Hollywood. Seriously!! Kamal Haasan has ventured out with an earthmover to level set the playing field and narrow the disparity. This to me is just a curtain raiser. His next-stop, a full-fledged Hollywood movie, conceived, produced and directed in Hollywood.
Now to the other moving parts (& bodies) of the movie. The scenes where Shaikh and his accomplice Omar (Can you believe you are watching Bin Laden in silver screen?) meet inside a cave, Afghan village setup, look very real. Kamal weaves the lives of Taliban leaders with the fictional character of Wizam Ahmad Kashmiri, the crossroads at which the director's creativity and imagination meets with reality. Vishwanath, a secret agent from India adorns a fictional name of "Wizam" is on a mission to uncover the recipe and the plan to attack New York city with a C4-Cesium infused radioactive bomb (commonly called as "dirty bomb") being cooked in the mountains of Afghanistan. If one can use their intellect to clearly differentiate between the real-life characters (who orchestrated the unfortunate events of 911) and the fictional aspects of the movie, I am sure it makes the movie watcher believe Kamal hasn't done anything to defame any religion but has only attempted to take the finesse of Indian moviemakers to a different league. With that, the cultural terrorism and the events leading up to the delay in screening the movie could all have been avoided, Secularism would have prevailed unharmed.
Not sure if Kamal himself will brag too much about his movie but I want to because I think the movie deserves that. The technological excellence, AURO 3D sound (first of its kind in an Indian movie), the versatility in Kamal's acting, be it a dancer, Al-Qaida trainer, or the Secret Agent teaming up with Shekhar Kapoor, Miles Anderson, Andrea Jeremiah, and Shankar Ehsaan Loy's background score are simply superb.
Kamal's pair played by Pooja Kumar as Nirupama, a nuclear oncologist, is US based up and coming actress full of promises. Not known to many but all poised to turn some directorial eyes towards her in the future. Poor girl Andrea didn't have much scope except going down in the record books of heroines paired with the universal Hero. Kamal is too busy going after the bad guys to romance (the niche he is known for), maybe he reserved that for the sequel, the Viswaroopam II, which he hints at the end of the movie...
3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)