Nothing succeeds like success just like nothing guarantees viewership for a film than a generous serving of controversy. So while many are flocking the theatres to see what the fuss is all about let me assure all that actually there is no big deal.
There can be only two reasons for watching Vishwaroop – curiosity and Kamal Hassan. While the former only kills the cat because there is really nothing in the film that targets a particular community, the latter shines through. It’s a treat for Kamal Hassan diehards. Although for those who expect to be treated to something more than just star power there is lots to be desired for.
Vishwaroop is our regular Bollywood thriller. The film opens with a detailed Radha - Krishan dance sequence and we are introduced to the Kathak dancer husband Vishwanath. His wife Dr Nirupama an Oncologist confesses to marrying him only for the green card and is rather put off by his effeminate mannerisms. “Every character here has a double role” – this dialogue in the movie actually is the crux of the story. The effeminate Kathak dance or Mamaji (Shekhar Kapoor) aren’t what they seem to be. Its smooth sailing for the first 45 mins of the film as the pace and premise promises to be entertaining.
Kamal Hassan gives a stellar performance. He dons three different looks in the movie – the much in love Kathak dancer, mujhahadeen trainer at the terrorist camps and a dapper RAW agent and is his usual brilliant self. Priya Kumar with her “forever surprised” expressions successfully provides the intermittent doze of humor. Shekhar Kapoor and Rahul Bose actually don’t have much to do. Jaideep Ahlawat impresses with an act as powerful and delightfully different from GOW where he was last seen.
The story revolves around and after the 9/11 attacks. There isn’t much that we don’t already know. The action sequences drone attacks and militia fights are quite well done. However post interval there are bits that drag. Rahul Bose’s hideous makeup coupled with his specially acquired spooky voice is comic rather than menacing. And the climax is lacklustre to put it mildly. As guns and missiles ricochet off the screen we are left wondering about what is in store for us. What we would really have liked from a genius like Kamal Hassan is a much smarter screenplay.
Vishwaroop is stoically average. While the performances save it to an extent, a rather damp end spoils the fun. I suggest go for it if you want to witness Kamal Hassan’s acting brilliance on screen. This movie doesn’t deserve a ban but rather a better constructed climax. As for cocking a snook at all those unnecessarily protesting against Vishwaroop, Vishwaroop 2 is well on its way we are told!