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Film Review – Vishwaroop

Who lets a Kamal Haasan movie go by? Won’t you see his every movie first day first show if given a chance? As I was stepping in to watch his ‘Vishwaroop’, a very desi guy blurted out: “Meri toh samajh main na aayee je thee kya!” I was in peels of laughter.

You know actually the best part is when people are walking out after the movie to the parking lots, you get to hear the actual reviews.

But, in the first 15 minutes I knew I was watching a superb movie which will be raved about for some time. As the titles flashed by and the pigeons flew I read the name of Pandit Birju Maharaj as the choreographer and I wondered how it’s possible for him to do the whole movie! What did I know just how brilliant he was when he did Main Radha teri!

Vishwaroop, the Indian Tamil–Hindi spy thriller is truly a masterpiece. Written, produced, directed and acted as the lead actor by Kamal Haasan, it’s  just a brilliant piece of work as always expected of him. He is Wiz a Kathak teacher who lives in New York with his so-called wife Nirupama who is a nuclear oncologist. Shot in the beautiful ravines of Afghanistan in Jalalabad and Turkman valleys, the movie takes us through the interiors of al-Qaeda and jihadis.

The movie revolves around Omar who is played by Rahul Bose who has a deadly get-up and Vishwa Nath (Kamal Haasan) and how they train jihadis and fight NATO forces, Americans, and the FBI. Shekhar Kapur, whom we get to see on screen after umpteen years, was good. Also Nassar, whom we saw in David recently as Vinay Virmani’s Father Novel, leaves his mark.

Jaideep Ahlawat who plays Salim (Omar’s assistant) is also commendable. We also have Zarina Wahab briefly and Miles Anderson among others. The leading actresses Pooja Kumar (Nirupama) Miss India USA and Andrea Jeremiah (Ashmita) who is from Chennai both have done a few good movies before.

RayBans, guns, Afghani jihadis, kids playing with guns, ammunition being sold in local market, women in burqas, opium trade, swings, pigeons, tall buildings of New York, golden rocks of Afghanistan, dark caves, lots of nuclear devices and buckets of blood are amazingly stitched together and presented for the audiences in Vishwaroop.

The film touches a very sensitive topic with a lot of care. Brilliant fight sequences and the back ground scores are superlative. No loose-ends, no loop holes, I could make out. They wasted no time no where while making this movie. It’s surely a very tight-knitted movie with some brilliant performances by both Kamal Haasan and Pooja Kumar. One outstanding song sung by Kamal Haasan himself “Main Radha Teri Mera Shyam Tu” is such a treat as he dances in abandon.

All the extras who are killed every now and then are also worth a mention. Looks like each one is picked with extreme care. All the character artists are commendable as well.

In all a good watch. Vishwaroop – You gonna go places.


A tweet by Shekhar Kapur when a controversy arose related to banning this film: “Vishwaroopam sends terrible message to filmmakers. Don’t touch anything that could be sensitive, politically culturally, socially or on religion.” But then Kamal Haasan himself said: “I am not saying sorry for saying I wanted to leave the country. I was angry, I still am.” Did all these save much expenditure on the publicity? Not certainly.