VISHWAROOPAM 2 (2018)

  • Release Date: 10/8/2018
  • Cast: Kamal Haasan, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Shekhar Kapoor, Anant Mahadevan, Rahul Bose, Jaideep Ahlawat
  • Writer & Director: Kamal Haasan

I was pumped about the first installment of Vishwaroopam and still remember flunking work and watching it first-day-first-show. I liked it a lot too even though I found some searing deficiencies in the plot and execution but it was nevertheless a flamboyant and impressive film that was aware of its own silliness and didn’t forget to laugh at its own cheesiness. The second installment of the film was highly anticipated and even though the first film was conclusive in itself, it did leave us with an appetite to see how the rivalry between Wisam (Haasan) and Omar (Bose) would end. Also, I was interested to see how the failed marriage of Wisam with Nirupama (Pooja Kumar) would be revived. If that was not all, the prospect of further nuclear attacks on different soils by the terrorists provided ample reason for intrigue primarily because of the fact that the first film documented the attacks with such finesse.

Vishwaroopam 2 proves to be a worthy sequel to the first film. It has everything that made the first film so very entertaining and it has it all in a much more generous dosage. The tale picks up exactly where the first film left off. As Wisam, Nirupama, Ashima, and Jagannath (Shekhar Kapoor) are on their way back, Wisam recalls how he met and trained Ashima and how RAW used their closeness as a means to get Wisam court-martial-ed from the army and send him off to connect up with Omar. We see many events of the first film but this time from Wisam’s perspective and it gives us some background information about certain things that he did and how he did it. Some loose ends of the first film are also tied off and these sequences really enhance the impact of the first film.

Once all that is done, we get to the film at hand and we see how Wisam and his team take down Omar twice and foil his nefarious plots but before that Wisam has to face some serious loses including the deaths of his near and dear ones. In addition, the romantic track between Wisam and Nirupama also becomes an important catalyst in how Wisam reacts to certain situations. It is evident that he loves Nirupama and that time and again becomes a problem for him in the cut-throat world of international espionage. Even his bosses can’t believe that he is actually in love. The ensuing drama between the two makes for some interesting situations.

Kamal Haasan is a charmer. When he is on the screen you tend to ignore the deficiencies of the film and it happens as a result of the amount of confidence and old world charm that he brings to his character. There is a sequence wherein an important character is about to die a gruesome death and Haasan in his ultra-cool manner asks one of his colleagues to stop the bleeding. That dialogue in anyone else’s mouth would have sounded funny and ridiculous but when Haasan say it, you kind of go along with it. You can clearly see him superimposed against a green screen in many of the action sequences and yet you don’t question his power and physicality. He romances someone who is half his age and yet all of it seems apt and romantic. That’s the power of the man. Vishwaroopam 2 benefits greatly from Haasan’s charisma and it wouldn’t have been the same film had it been cast differently.

The film moves at a brisk pace. Even though it doesn’t have a lot of meat in terms of the story. It must be added that the back and forth between the timelines in a way helps in keeping the film going. The action sequences are well choreographed to the extent that the combats are matched the speed of Kamal Haasan and don’t let his shortcomings become too evident. They are able to bring a sense of physicality to the action which is always a good thing. Having said that, a few things should still have been dealt with better. I am referring to a certain underwater fight which really took the believability factor way beyond anything that can be accepted.

Rahul Bose isn’t there in the film for too long. He is an amazingly creepy bad guy and the things that they do with his character are cool. It would have been really good for the film had he got a little more screen time. Jaideep Ahlawat has become an interesting actor these days but when Vishwaroopam was being made he was nothing more than a side actor and that shows in the manner in which his character is written. Still, he does get some chance to shine here and there. Pooja Kumar and Andrea Jeremiah are scintillating. They are both oh! so good and look so sultry even without shading any clothes. It’s difficult to take your eyes off them when they are on screen. Pooja Kumar’s chemistry with Haasan works well and it does extract some genuine emotions here and there. Shekhar Kapoor is fine.

Vishwaroopam 2 is as beautiful to look at as was its predecessor. The cinematography and lighting are perfect and every shot that doesn’t involve VFX looks charming. The freeze panels do get a bit repetitive and many of the graphic actions don’t hold up too well but if you look at it as a fantasy tale with an insane and outrageous take on the action as well as drama, this should be perfectly enjoyable. Let’s be honest, we have seen far more outrageous action than what we have been served up here and we have gleefully accepted them in the name of “Masala” entertainer. The background score and the editing is apt. My only complaint with the editing was that they could have easily polished off the rough edges from the green-screen shots and made it look cooler and more believable.

Kamal Haasan brings his magnum opus to a befitting end. The film may be marred with multiple issues but it is a well-meaning attempt that would have been a big hit had it not been delayed so much. In anticipation and waiting for this film, a lot of its fizz was lost which I believe hit it terribly. Also, the film’s treatment and pace seemed dated and in the ensuing period between the two installments, we got a flurry of films of a similar topic that did a better job with the treatment.

Having said all that, I still loved this film because of Kamal Haasan, the beauty and scale of it, an interesting story and its apt execution and also the supporting cast who did a fantastic job. It’s a good “time pass” that can be watched multiple times.

Rating: 3/5 (3 out of 5 Stars)

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