VISWAROOP (Viswaroopam): Watch it Twice! (Review)

Viswaroop (2013) Film PosterKolkata, Feb 5, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio): It is rare for a film to have the ability to have it's audience want to return to the theater for a re-examination of it's subtleties. After generating much controversy, Kamal Haasan's Viswaroop (Hindi, Viswaroopam in Tamil) does it.

A mismatched London-based couple have a dysfunctional marriage. The husband Viswanath (Kamal Haasan) is a dance teacher. His wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), Ph.D. in nuclear oncology, is disgusted with her effeminate husband. She is in a steamy affair with her boss.

Nirupama suspects Viswanath of also having an extra-marital affair, and hires a sleuth to investigate. The detective does not find any evidence of another woman in Viswanath's life, but surprises Nirupama by reporting that Viswanath is actually Muslim by faith.

In the style of True Lies, Viswanath is far from the dance teacher he seems. His deep involvement with Islamic Terrorists and a plan to nuke New York City with a dirty bomb exposes a shocking side of Viswanath that stuns Nirupama, and the chase begins. Al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Muslim terrorists, the reclusive RAW of the Indian government and Jihadi leaders all come into play. Rahul Bose plays a senior Taliban leader in the film.

Written, directed and produced by Kamal Haasan, the film treads an extraordinary path. Managing a serious portrayal of Islamic terrorism along with it's entertaining content, Haasan delivers important messages which the audience will best perceive while watching the movie.

Sweeping vistas of rugged mountain terrain of Afghanistan to remarkable frames of glittering New York City captured by cinematographer Sanu Verghese are visually delightful.

Viswaroop puts the cinematic genius of Kamal Haasan as an actor and a director on full display. Great attention has been paid to detail. Scenes of aftermath of bombing in Afghanistan are graphic with charred bodies and writhing injured horses in overall darkness.


Watch Kamal Haasan Thank Fans for Supporting Vishwaroop

Rahul Bose has also delivered a memorable performance as a Taliban leader. Pooja Kumar looks trite and a bit challenged next to the towering performances of the two men. The supporting cast has been chosen well.

The background score is successful in heightening the visuals. The new Auro 3D sound technology finds a great vehicle in this film to enter Indian cinema.

Watch this one - do not miss it.

- Jyoti Prakash Mandal (jpmandal@washingtonbanglaradio.com)



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