Kamal Hassanís experience in the field of cinema dates back to the days when he stood in front of the camera as a child. At 57, this Ulaga Nayagan(universal hero) is considered to be one of the leading actors of Indian cinema, south Indian films in particular.
The actor is currently busy with his home production, Viswaroopam. He has additional responsibility in this movie as he is not just the movie’s lead actor, but also its director and scriptwriter. “ It’s amazing to see how easily he makes the transition from actor to director,” says Samrat Chakrabarti, the New York-based Indian actor, who is also working with Kamal on Viswaroopam.
Everyone involved with the project appears to be extremely optimistic about the movie and hold high regard for the man behind it all. Says Pooja Kumar, one of the leading ladies of Viswaroopam, “When I look back, I believe that it’s my good karma that landed me this film. I must have done something good in my previous life to work with a legend like Kamal sir.”
Kamal essays the role of a terrorist in his latest venture. “ However, there is a twist to his character which will definitely thrill the audience,” sources add. The actor seems to be working extremely hard to make Viswaroopam as slick as possible. He had reportedly narrated the entire plot of the film to the film’s lyricist, Vairamuthu, who upon hearing the story’s premise, was awestruck with the elements of the plot, and got down to working on suitable songs that will be sung to the tune of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Helping Kamal shape up Viswaroopam is his daughter, Akshara Hassan who, it seems, always wanted to be a filmmaker. “She is busy on the sets of the film,” sources inform. “Akshara is very much part of the crew. She has been checking out the
monitor and is very helpful. Since Kamal sir is directing the film and playing the lead role, Akshara is reducing her dad’s burden,” sources explain. Simultaneously being made in Tamil and Hindi, Viswaroopam’s first shooting schedule has been completed. The remaining scenes will be shot in the United States and the United Kingdom. The cast and crew are yet to leave for these foreign locations.
Kamal, who was maintaining a low profile until recently, can be seen sporting a completely different look for Viswaroopam. His only recent public appearance has been at the wedding of P Vasu’s son, actor Shakti. “Kamal has finished shooting those portions in which he maintains the ‘different look’. His new look is bound to be a treat for his fans. Now, he has reverted to his old look and is filming the remaining portions of the movie,” sources contribute. †
Sources also add that Kamal strongly believes in the importance of content. “He was ready with the whole script before beginning with the film shoot. A team of experts from various fields had assisted Kamal in penning the screenplay and dialogue. As the film is a bilingual, Kamal has ensured that all the actors have learnt their dialogues in both languages.”
Kamal is also filming Viswaroopam in a digital format. He has been batting for this change for years now. In Kamal’s very own words, “The fact that cinema is going digital is the biggest technological change today. We have to accept it, as it is happening globally and it will happen in Tamil Nadu too.”
Bollywood actor-filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who has carved a niche on the international circuit with Academy-nominated flicks like Elizabeth —The Golden Age, will also be sharing screen space with the legendary Kamal in Viswaroopam. The filmmaker has tweeted, “Doing a small cameo in a film directed by an old friend, Kamal Hassan! Life is such fun”.
Cinema, however, is life for Kamal. And, he aims to prove just that with Viswaroopam.