Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam 2 (2018) Movie Review
Star Cast: Kamal Haasan, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Shekar Kapur, Jaideep Ahlawat, Waheeda Rehman, and Rahul Bose.
Music Composed by Ghibran
Cinematography by Shanu Varghese & Shamdat Sainudeen
Edited by Mahesh Narayanan & Vijay Shankar
Directed by Kamal Haasan.
Censor Certificate: UA & Runtime: 141 Minutes
I thought when you walk into a theatre that is playing a Mani Ratnam or a Kamal Haasan film, I get ready to learn something from the film rather than judge. In fact, every film these days has become a learning ground to me. In few, I am learning that films are made because one can, in few, I am discovering my sarcasm, in many, I am making an effort to understand what the writer wants to say and hence, I am reviewing lesser films as it takes time to reflect back and come up with some piece readable. Let me discuss, what I got from Vishwaroopam-2. Vishwaroopam 2 Movie Review.
On the face, this film is a “silly” spy thriller that many Hollywood action movies have explored before. A story where the world is under huge threat and Wisam Ahmed Kashmiri (Kamal Haasan), has to save the day. But Kamal doesn’t write anything that is so simple. His Abhay, Mumbai Express, Anbe Sivam, Dasavatharam and Utthama Villain are classic examples of his deep thinking. Gone are the days where he is writing Saathi Leelavathi, Michael Madana Kama Raju and Bhamane Satyabhamane (Avvai Shanmughi) which are more crowd-pleasing and simple, regular for his standards. The problem is his next generation and next after that is also unable to come up with decent and remarkable follow-ups to them.
Here’s him trying to tell a coming of age, story of two Muslim men, grown in two different landscapes and situations, fighting for two different sides of the same coin. In the first part, he chose to feel it with action while this one tries to portray more affection and familial bonds than earlier. One feels, he should have come up with an idea to make everything as one film. Maybe stretching it out, made him discuss few more issues that he is interested in, but his viewers aren’t?
He cleverly decites us to think the movie is all about him following the masala tropes but actually, the film is a story of two equally passionate and driven men, said from one person’s point of view. Maybe if he isn’t too big and a popular star and even Rajinikanth isn’t, a classic case of two stalwarts coming together as good evil and evil good, facing off each other in a bloody battle like Kuruthipunal/Drohi. He can’t make it a two-hero film as he has to be the hero and the other side as to be a villain. If there is more heart-wrenching story waiting for us on the other side, we have to see it from his eyes and explore his story only.
It is like Valmiki, deciding to explore the greatness of Rama only and ignore what all Ravana could accomplish like many do today, to please millions. Even Vedavyas never tried to paint a complete bad picture of Kauravas and never let even Pandavas or Krishna to be the ultimate good people. He accepted Krishna also took wrong means but explained it as a necessity in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, we are not in Hollywood and Kamal Haasan is not Robert Downey Junior, who can share the screen with 20 others while drawing the highest paycheck. He needs to be the one who is threatened, he needs to be the ultimate good guy on whom each frame concentrates and he needs to be the driver.
His ideas like terrorists are political goons, Army is a living example of failed bureaucracy and power-hungry people who care only about power and money-minded will never want peace to prevail using such driven men like him and his enemy, Omar as tools. Even his love is a tool and his feelings are just unwarranted piece of garbage. He may think Omar isn’t bad after all. Omar may think he is the personification of good and Wisam is evil. But who is to blame? Should they blame themselves for being driven? Should they be clever and understand the worldly plots and politics?
Wisam, in the end, thinks he shouldn’t end like Omar in an ICU regretting his choices with a loving family weeping for him. This shows how Kamal wants the geopolitical system to change into a humane ground of peace and love. As an idea, this sounds heavy and great. But as a film, his wisecracks and love story are just as heavy-handed and at the same time silly, as his ambition is higher but the execution couldn’t rise to such level.