Vishwaroop 2 Review

Not too long ago we watched a 56 year old Tom Cruise outrun everything, jump into a helicopter and climb cliffs in Mission Impossible. So you don't think how ancient Kamal Haasan looks when he acts out his James Bond, rescuer of the world fantasy as Wisam Kashmiri. Or how unfortunate it is when a seasoned actor of his calibre has to include, 'Perhaps I am a good actor' as a dialog in the film. And he was superb. Once upon a time. His 'Thakita Thadhimi', the drunk dance on the well in Salangai Oli is matchless, so is his monkey dance in Sadma. When you think of 'sad lullabye' you cannot but list 'Surmai Ankhiyon Se'. A list of his fabulous performances is endless. And even though part one of Vishwaroop won awards, this part ends up looking like a vanity project of an aged superstar.


To be real, he has not aged well. And even though he is shown kicking and fighting hand to hand and maiming dozens of baddies, it is tiring to watch him. The close-ups and love-making scene are a bit much to watch. And yes, the fantasy of an older man who has two young women falling all over themselves over him is unwatchable. You wish he had simply directed this film with a younger man in his role. When an older person attempts to look and act young, it's a tad weird watch.


This film uses a whole lot of footage from the earlier film to make us understand who Wisam Kashmiri is. And the pivot point camera movement or the Bullet Time shot, which you first saw in The Matrix, is helpful here. It freezes the frame and you see the action from almost everyone's point of view. This technique is used again and again and again until you want to fast forward the film and say 'get on with it'!


The action continues from where part one left off and we are reintroduced to Wisam and co flying to England where Al Qaeda is about to blow up a shipwreck full of World War two bombs (in neat stacks like you saw in Wonder Woman) with a nuclear device ('Eh, what?' you say) so that London drowns in a gigantic Tsunami. They don't call the British Authorities because one guy they call is stuck in traffic. Stupid? Ridiculous? What? And of course one the two women Wisam is with is a Nuclear Medicine! She must dive in the waters to identify and diffuse the bomb. Of course the terrorists are so dumb that they leave the 'audio switch' that will set off the bomb right above the bomb on the jetty...


If you thought the insulting game with a political stooge played by Anant Mahadevan was terrible, the underwater fight for the 'audio switch' for the bomb tops it by being ridiculous. Water (and high tide is approaching fast) restricts movement and to see this kind of fight without displacing any sand (there's even a starfish!) is silly to say the least.


The action shifts to India, thankfully (the audience is tired of token 'foreigners' and a visually fake backdrop of the MI6 building in Anant Mahadevan's office window). The story gets predictable here, with the women in Wisam's life getting kidnapped by Al Qaeda guys in Delhi while Wisam is waiting for some meetings in South Block. Don't ask why, but watch Jaideep Ahlawat play a scary sidekick torturing Wisam's wife and mother with jalebis. Thankfully the other woman in Wisam's life his partner Ashmita (played by Andrea Jeremiah) is dead, and the mother (played by Waheeda Rehman) has Alzheimer's. The nuclear medicine doctor wife (pooja Kumar) gets to be plain awful when she mouths dialog like,'God will punish you!'


But you are yet to see Rahul Bose of the weird eye. He is Omar, the terrorist who first befriended Wisam and took him to Afghanistan. He's now suffering from radiation poisoning, so he eats but cannot keep his food down, his voice box is affected and so is his skin. On top of it you see super hamming. The worst part is that he just doesn't seem to die. He doesn't die when he falls off a building, by American missiles, a nuclear device, and lives even after being shot at by the hero He does not even die when he gets burnt. This new age Bhishma dies only after seeing his family in the hospital and after hearing homilies about how as a terrorist he would have killed his own children...


And even though this is an action film, it takes effort to stay awake through totally implausible things happening on the screen. And for a Kamal Haasan fan, a huge disappointment to acknowledge that vanity overtook his talent.

Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri is an Indian spy who has infiltrated deep into Al Qaeda, and has helped not just finding Osama Bin Laden, but has helped rescue American soldiers, diffused a nuclear bomb in New York. If you buy this, then you'll see him in a fistfight underwater, and hand to hand fights all over the world, diffusing more bombs and rescuing the heroine. Alas, the pace is so slow, you may fall asleep... (1.5) - Manisha Lakhe

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