Viswaroop-world view of global terrorism! Movie Review

4.5 / 5.0

Multi-version films from the South suffer a perceived discounting factor by Bollywood audiences. However, the sheer brilliance of the intense spy thriller that is “Viswaroop”, and the vast international canvas it spreads across, have overcome this trend, and the film has stood out as one of the best productions of 2013, not for technical brilliance only, but the narration style of Kamal Hasan as well as the combined acting skills of some of the best-known names that embellish this film. 

No doubt that the initial controversy that preceded the release of the Tamil version also added to the curiosity and expectancy about the movie. “Viswaroop” has a plot that covers activities happening globally, unfolds mostly over either New York or Afghanistan, being an out and out film on international terrorism with even blurry background shots of the dreaded OBL.

Being a spy thriller it would be a spoiler to reveal all the secrets in a review, but the multiple numbers of times the real identities and backgrounds of the main protagonists are brought into question makes it a nail-biting thriller, with the next set of events defying even logical guesses. The film begins with Viswaroop, alias Viz portrayed by a versatile Kamal Hasan. He is an Indian classical dance teacher in New York, and his nuclear oncologist wife, Nirupama, the character being played in the film by Puja Kumar. Nirupama’s sole purpose behind marrying the seemingly effeminate dancer Viz was for wrangling a research slot in the USA.

After several topsy-turvy events involving other important characters on both sides of the terrorism divide, portrayed by acknowledged actors like Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Samrat Chakrabarti, the film heads towards the climax keeping the audience guessing till the last moment if the protagonists end on the same side or not. Both the settings, recreating terrorist dens at New York and Afghanistan, and the camera work of Sanu Varghese are exemplary, making it one of the best-produced films from a technical angle. No doubt that Kamal Hasan hogs the whole limelight as he handles on his own most of the important areas of the movie, but like always, even in his character he portrays multiple shades with equal ease.

As far as others are concerned, Rahul Bose in a role unusual for him as the deadly terrorist Omar does his part remarkably convincingly and no wonder Kamal Hassan has given him almost equal footage as his role. For the slick and professional way the movie has been made, it can stand alongside any Hollywood movie in quality and depth of treatment. The only compromise seems to be the introduction of songs that act as unwanted diversions, and one wished Kamal Hasan would have been bold enough to resist this.

From that point of view, although Shankar Ehsan Loy’s music is on its own appropriate, it does not contribute much to the film as a whole. It is not essential to be only a lover of thrillers to be able to like this film. Categories of filmgoers can enjoy for its treatment of the theme, the acting skills of the main actors, and of course for the extent of research, hard work and emphasis towards perfection that the film has attempted in all areas of filmmaking.

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