Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vishwaroopam - Movie Review

As Kamal mentioned in an interview looks like the idea of  Vishwaroopam had its roots from  Viraata parvam of Mahabahratham where the Pandavas spend their time incognito in Viraata Kingdom.Here is the story(Spoiler alert)… Kamal(Vishwanath) is a RAW agent who spends his time in  Afghanistan
as a Jihadi warrior and penetrates  the inner echelons of Al Qaeda by being in the good books of Afghani Jihadis Omar(Played by Rahul Bose) and his accomplice Salim (Jaideep Ahlawat)
The plan by Al Qaeda Jihadis to create havoc in New York city by detonating dirty bombs was neutralized by Kamal with the help of FBI in US. Truly international subject to capture everyone’s imagination. Well, the way the story was told and the technical brilliance employed in different aspects of film-making leaves us dazzled.

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It starts with a Kathak dance tutor teaching his students in a New York apartment. The graceful kathak steps combined with elegant and artistically combined dance movements portrays the feminine nature of dance teacher-Kamal Hassan. This is a clever screenplay ploy to hide his previous Afghan Jihadi warrior past and to make the screenplay go in jet-speed just after this revelation. Initially the story is told from disgruntled Kamal’s wife Dr.Nirupama’s(Pooja Kumar) perspective, a nuclear oncologist,
whose company is used as front for terrorist activity by her boss which she is unaware of.

Camera showing the drops of water that falls from the ceiling in the warehouse when Kamal and his wife were interrogated by terrorists creates an ambience in the screen play to
tell something is brimming in the background and to show the suspense involved in the scene.Then suddenly the prayer reciting Kamal transforms himself to an aggressive combatant
which creates ripples in the mind of viewers and clearly makes us dumbstruck. From now on the story takes its own course. Tells us how Kamal ends up in the company of Jihadi’s Omar and Salim
and the every day life in Afghanistan. It makes us to think when an Afghan women who sees people getting killed every day by American/NATO bombing laments..
”First the Britishers came, then the Russians,Talibans and now American’s”

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The cinematography is at its best when an Afghan teen-ager who was assigned the task by Omar to become a suicide bomber requests Kamal to push him in the swing.
The lighting in the scene, the expression on both of their faces (one enjoying his last moment of happiness, and the other perplexed) coveys what words could not.
The story switches between rugged Afghan landscape and New York. Editor Mahesh Narayanan has handled this location shifts gracefully and has done a good job
to maintain the pace of the movie

In such a heavy thriller movie, the screen play is strewn with humour.
Watch-out for the dialogues when the terrorist gang comes to Kamal’s house to grab them and the subsequent dialogues when they were interrogated. Hilarious.

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Shekar Kapur,Andrea Jeremiah and Pooja Kumar  have played their roles well.. People will be disappointed if they come expecting something from Andrea!
Omar and Salim’s acting is  awesome.They fit the bill.
Not sure if the “still picture technique”(freezing the picture) employed to tell a flash-back/give background information is used in  any other movie. Slick and cool.
The first song in the movie “Unnai Kaanadha Naan” is sweet. Other one comes as background music which keeps us humming even after coming out of the theatre.
Music was composed by trio  Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy. The aesthetic Kathak dance was choreographed with the help of Birju Maharaj. Stunts scenes were choreographed by Lee Whittaker
and a stunt team called Jaiko.

The general opinion is that the climax could have been more action oriented rather than just diffusing the bomb.But who cares..the movie itself is full of action.

You need to be a  master in many disciplines in movie making to direct such a nice movie..
Kamal sir, it is a treat to watch Vishwaroopam.
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