The return of a self-indulgent Kamal

The return of a self-indulgent Kamal


Film: Vishwaroopam 2

Director: Kamal Haasan 

Cast: Kamal Haasan, Shekhar Kapur, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah

Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)

Vishwaroopam had showcased Kamal Haasan's expansive knowledge of cinema. A stylish thriller, the 2013 release had great attention to detail. It was a typical Kamal Haasan film, filled with his strong ideologies, research and smart dialogues.

Despite a few jarring notes, Vishwaroopam was a winner for its filmmaking. For once, we didn't have to bank on the ever-dependable actor to push the story forward: there were interesting characters and intelligent plot points to do that. The movie ended with a nice little opening for a follow-up. 

But the sequel only gives mileage to the popular perception of a self-indulgent Kamal Haasan. He is indeed the Ulaga Nayagan (Universal Hero) and after a mind-boggling body of work spanning over four decades, there is no need to try so hard to reinforce his versatility, as he does in Vishwaroopam 2. The story, at every point, showcases him as a larger-than life hero, and after a point, we are bored.

There is nothing new in Vishwaroopam 2. The film appears assembled work from the leftovers of the first part. Wisam Ahmed Kashmiri (Kamal Haasan), the RAW agent, is on a mission to stop Omar (Rahul Bose), leader of a prominent terrorist group, from destroying the world.

Kashmiri's team remains the same. There's his wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), assistant Ashmita (Andrea) and senior officer Jagannath (Shekhar Kapur). While on duty, the gang throws in heavy jargon (from different fields), but its all talk and no good drama.

The action sequences oscillate between silly and outrageous. The stunts are so randomly placed that Vishwaroopam 2 seems like a documentary on under-cover operations and bomb diffusions. Also, Waheeda Rahman's inclusion feels unnecessary.

The Omar-Kashmiri duel is pushed to the final 20 minutes and that's way too late. The climax had great potential to provide us a masala moment but the chance is squandered by lazy writing.

With no clarity on Sabaash Naidu, Vishwaroopam 2 could be his second last film, with Indian 2 being the last.

Kamal, the legend, deserves a big farewell. When set free as an actor, he can conquer roles of immense magnitude, as seen in Apoorva Sagodharargal, Moondram Pirai, Thevar Magan and Nayagan, among others.

It's now up to Shankar to give us the Kamal we love in Indian 2; the one we want to return again and again.

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