Viswaroopam (Tamil version) – a review

Rating: 4 stars, out of 5

Verdict: A must see, once, on the big screen. Wish  it deserved repeat viewings

Best parts:
1) Empathetic portrayal of Afghan civilian plight, sandwiched between US and Taliban forces
2) Excellent capture of Afghan terrain, audacious attempt at action scenes to rival international movies
3) Thought provoking, than just drawing a black and white picture of Good Vs. Evil
4) Kamal Haasan’s superb acting and storytelling skills – especially, as a comrade warrior on Afghan soil
5) Exemplary acting of Rahul Bose, Jaideep Ahlawat – credits to them as well as Kamal for envisaging good, meaty roles for them, with superb screen presence potential.

Parts that could have been better:
1) Editing could have been lot more slicker. Either Mahesh Narayanan lost himself in appreciating parts he was enamoured with that he forgot to be objective, or perhaps out of his reverence for Kamal, didn’t antagonize ! In either case, he has let the audience down, especially the US parts of the movie.

2) Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s score is ok enough for songs but quite a letdown for war/vicious scenes.

3) Casting is a mixed baggage – while one set is exemplary, the other is either utterly unconvincing or unnecessarily trivialised.

As regards the Muslim protest angle in Tamilnadu and other parts of India:
1) This movie isn’t about Indian Muslims at all, at the first place. The whole setting is Taliban and the international(ised) terror spectre. In as much as an Indonesian or a South African Muslim doesn’t have to either carry the burden of ‘affairs of the region’ or have to feel overtly sensitive to even a discussion on the subject, Indian Muslims don’t have to feel a sense of outrage.

2) The overwhelming feeling any sane audience will have, as they leave cinema, WILL NOT BE one of viewing a nearby Muslim or the whole community as terrorist. Nor would they have a feeling of “Us vs. Them” reinforced. Instead, they’ll have a lot better appreciation of:

a) How savaged and ravaged hapless children, women and other gullible are, in war torn Afghanistan, who grossly outnumber those who supposedly fight on their behalf

b)The complex morality of what goes on, in either the name of religion or in the name of taming those who claim to have a ‘handle’ on this – it certainly does not trivialise the conflict as to show all as incurable radicals. It actually does present a very empathetic narration from ‘trenches’!

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3 Responses to Viswaroopam (Tamil version) – a review

  1. Avinash says:

    Excellent analysis put in immaculate words. Reading it, triggers desire to watch the movie. Let me watch the movie and share my views too.

    • exerji says:

      Thanks a lot, Avinash.

      Look forward to hearing your views too. Kindly post them in English as well as Marathi too – here as well as in your blog. Just desire more people to ‘see’ it for what it is.

  2. hesh says:

    Nice post.. although Kamal’s efforts and an attempt at this kind of a movie needs to be appreciated.. hmm.. still feel this movie has many chinks … I still do not understand how Rahul Bose came to know the real side Kamal !! One thing for sure, you should depend on SMX for specific areas.. Dasavatharam could have been even more confusing if not Kamal asked for KS Ravikumar to pitch in.. Kamal needs to understand his limits.. but again, he has the guts to do this kind of movie which is admirable..

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