Movie Review - Vishwaroopam: Saga of faith in troubled times

DELHI Mon Feb 4, 2013 4:44pm IST

1 of 4. A handout still from the film ''Vishwaroopam''.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

DELHI (Reuters) - For a spy thriller that has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, "Vishwaroopam" is surprisingly tame.

What I'll remember most about "Vishwaroopam" is its technical finesse, breathtaking locations, stark imagery and a crisp edit.

The film features at least three different religions and five nationalities. It never takes a stance on which God is greater, nor does it brand you a freedom fighter or a radical militant. The central message is that bloodshed will lead to more bloodshed.

But first let's talk of Kamal Haasan -- writer, producer, lead actor -- who plays a dance teacher in New York. His wife hires a detective to tail him, setting off a chain of events that sees the action shift from the skyscrapers of Manhattan to the dusty sands of Afghanistan.

The build-up is steady, with dialogue that doesn't induce boredom and the twist which reveals a layer to Haasan's character is absolutely unexpected and brilliant. To reveal any more of the plot would be an injustice.

Let's just say that the al Qaeda and the travails of living in a post-9/11 world play an important role in the film. "Vishwaroopam" is also not for the queasy. You might want to shut your eyes for the bloodied combat sequences.

Rahul Bose impresses as the main villain of the piece while "Elizabeth" director Shekhar Kapur makes a delightful cameo. But it's Haasan who single-handedly shoulders the film -- in three different roles, no less.

A couple of over-the-top sequences aside, "Vishwaroopam" is a work of art that surpasses Bollywood potboilers and tries to initiate a conversation about a not-so-perfect world and its great religious divide. Watch it for Haasan and your right to freedom of expression.

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
velavan wrote:
Nice review. I think you meant ‘Kamal Haasan — writer, DIRECTOR, lead actor’. He did produce the film though.

Feb 07, 2013 10:31pm IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Celeb Buzz

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Brother's Role

Brother's Role

Paul Walker's brothers to fill in for late actor in 'Fast 7'.  Full Article 

Sir Alex's Collection

Sir Alex's Collection

Alex Ferguson's wines expected to score with buyers - Christie's.  Full Article 

Waning Interest

Waning Interest

'Mad Men' premiere draws 2.3 million, lowest season debut since 2008.  Full Article 

Health Resort

Health Resort

Time slips quietly by for Austrian nuns' resort.  Full Article 

New Band

New Band

The Vamps launch album and ride London Underground.  Video 

MTV Movie Awards

MTV Movie Awards

Highlights from the 2014 MTV Movie Awards.  Slideshow 

Party At Coachella

Party At Coachella

Highlights from the Coachella Music Festival.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage