A foiled plot
Director: Kamal Haasan
Starring: Kamal Haasan, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Shekhar Kapur, Rahul Bose and others
Rating: 1 and a half
Vishwaroop was a mostly well-made espionage thriller, which left scope for a sequel. Sadly, Vishwaroop 2 looks like it was done just to capitalise on the success of the first, and it would have been better if the computer had deleted the script, such as it is.
The first gave Kamal Haasan — writer, director, star — something to do. From an effeminate Kathak teacher in New York, to an undercover RAW agent in an Al-Quaeda camp in Afghanistan, to a suave spy. In part 2, which reuses chunks of the earlier film, he goes about with a bandage on his face, and a clueless look.
The straying wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar) is now a compliant assistant; the saucy intelligence agent Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah) is back too, following him around making wisecracks; his handler Colonel Jagannath (Shekhar Kapur) worriedly deals with bureaucrats who callously talk of collateral damage (Rajendra Gupta), or sell out to the enemy (Ananth Mahadevan). As the film keeps going into long flashbacks, it gets a bit tough to keep track of the incoherent plot and suffer many boring bits.
Wisam Ahmed Kashmiri (Haasan), flits about from Delhi to London to the English countryside, trying to prevent terrorist Omar (Rahul Bose — hammy) and Salim (Jaideep Ahlawat), from first trying to drown London using a sunken World War II ship (totally giggle-worthy), and then bomb Delhi out of existence. They seem so indifferent to their task — one of them is more interested in eating jalebis than pressing the trigger — that one wonders how they even managed to get this far in the terrorist food chain.
Instead of keeping the pace brisk and building tension, the plot keeps meandering all over. With any other actor, the scene with Wisam going to meet his mother suffering from Alzheimer’s would have been the death of an action thriller, but Waheeda Rehman brings such grace to her part, that this portion is actually the most watchable, flashback and all.
Kamal Haasan can be depended on to give a searing performance at least, but the director fails the actor too in this film; maybe it’s about time he stopped trying to be Bourne and did films worthy of his immense talent.