Movie Review – Viswaroopam

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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First time I’m struggling to write a review for a Tamil movie. And this is the first time ever I’ve not understood a Tamil movie completely. A lot many friends asked me ‘unakae puriyaliya?’ which felt good. And it felt equally good for not understanding everything in the movie. After all if there are things that couldn’t be understood maybe it was meant to be that way. But I won’t give the whole confusion to the intelligence of Kamal Hassan. There are of course some unanswered question and some chaos in screenplay towards the end. Kamal has this habit of interweaving too many threads towards the end. For every scene towards the end I was thinking of what actually lead to the scene and thus was the confusion.


Not getting into symbolisms and hidden motifs, which I couldn’t get, this review would be a simple layman’s one. The movie had a brilliant opening with pigeons flying around and a person appearing from the left far end corner of the frame. Why it makes such a beautiful shot is we never see the gap towards the far end. The shot gives a delusion that if someone comes into the frame he has to from behind the camera. Kamal gives us a test of intelligence in the very first shot. Also it gives a clue to the climax. So are the posters. Such wonderfully crafted ones those.

As soon as we finish appreciating his skills to make a shot then the movie shows how good a writer he is. It’s a known fact that he masters Brahmin slang but this time he mixes it with English with accent which was so lovely to hear. The shift of language from Tamil to English happens so flawlessly, just at the right time, when there is crisis and when they no longer can express what they feel in the language they are talking. Brilliant!

The initial psychiatrist though was good I didn’t like the abrupt way it ended. I felt like that thread was loosely hanging and the story started proceeding from Kamals song with Pooja joining there. Nirupama (a red hot Pooja Kumar) is a nuclear oncologist and is married to a not-so-normal in her words – Viz, a Kathak dancer. Kamal makes a heroic entry to show how good an actor he is but it looked as it was purposefully injected story which evoked laughter as well as applause from the crowd. Even I loved it but not the critic in me. Ashmita (Andrea) is a student of Viz and looked equally stunning. Kamal’s moves and expression were brilliant, given that he’s a natural dancer it is no big surprise.

What comes next is the sequence which is currently doing rounds in Facebook, the transformation scene where Kamal takes Viswaroopam. You a Kamal fan or not, you are a commercial cinema fan or not, whatever may be the case you are sure to get goose bumps when you see the scene for the first time in theatre. Again it is not just another action scene. A scene where, where ropes were used couldn’t be guessed. The fight which happens between the time span of one water drop and the other is rewinded again and played in slow synchro for us to understand better. Yes I accept it; it is the mass scene of the decade. Add to it you have just the right lyrics which are like elaborating Nirupama about Viz and in turn us by being in the place of Nirupama. You now get to see how good Kamal is with actions sequences, there are a few others too in Al Qaeda camp which were as beautifully shot like this one. If you ask me what I liked best about this movie it’s the action and war choreography. And this comes from some who doesn’t prefer action movies.

Then comes the Afghan part which is definitely well shot but my dad who sees some scenes of movies which I watch while he goes by the hall could say that it looked like some English Afghan movies I had an even exponential feel of it. It’s authentic yes but as a knowledgeable cinema person Kamal too would have seen all those movies and it looked like a replication of those. But the special thing here was it was so human. It was a brilliant scene when Omar’s (Rahul Bose) kid, an intelligent child who wants to become doctor doesn’t prefer swing while a terrorist who is about to get bombed prefers the swing is seemingly innocent although he is of higher age than Omar’s kid. Such beautiful portrayal of people and their feelings.

Till interval it was a normal commercial issue based movie. As I hate issue based movies I didn’t like the film that much but once in second half things slowly take a turn. He has a bomb to diffuse, yes, but that’s hardly anyone’s concern, the layer by layer revelation of what happened made me curious. I was expecting an answer to everything but only very few questions were answered. Don’t know whether he’ll be solving the puzzle in second half or it’s a miss in his part. I’m sure that the lady doctor was not killed in the accident. No scene explains what happened there. My guess was it’d have been Omar’s plan to kill the doctor by bombing the entire place and making it look like an accident. May be he kills his own people to make them fight against the Amercians. That’s a lot of ifs and buts to be answered.

Added to it, I thought that he’d be revealing the human nature of terrorists but I could hardly sympathize with them. I hated it when Omar asks his wife to close her face and they beating the shit out of kids for enjoying dirty dancing. It’s their way of living but I couldn’t see that as the right way of living.

Few of Kamal’s usual touch in the movie was treat to watch, especially the first time he asks, “entha kadavul?” What was more special was out of the whole theatre our family were the last ones to cease to laugh for that scene. It’s a great feel when someone else too enjoys what you exactly enjoy. But the second time a dialogue about god happens in the interrogation room was just a joke, it got a little overboard, same with the “Nallavara Kettavara” scene. But Andrea making fun of her was great. So it was a spread of few clever and witty one liner mixed with sloppy over the top dialogues. On the whole the clever ones win with slightly higher ratio.

The climax was again literal with Kamal telling, “onnu naan savanum illa Omar savanum.” It’s okay everyone knows that the second part is in the offing. It was a pleasurable experience. And many had a doubt, why Andrea? I say why not? Why, if some other unknown actor had acted this small role would people have still questioned about the screen space? If she is fine with the screen space why should we worry about her getting a hefty role?

Why people find it tough to appreciate the movie is because it’s an action movie. That’s the reason it’s disregarded as a normal action movie which went well with the crowd. It’s no normal action movie. It’s not to the caliber of Virumandi but it’s a very well made spy thriller. Again what are scenes after the climax?


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