“Vishwaroopam II”… A not-exactly-needed sequel, but a solid delivery mechanism for Kamal-isms

Posted on August 10, 2018

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/vishwaroopam-2-review-kamal-haasan-baradwaj-rangan/

What a lovely decision to cast Waheeda Rahman, in Vishwaroopam 2, as the mother of Kamal Haasan’s character! You can just see it — one actor known for graceful dance begetting the other. They’re bonded over generations of cinema — but there’s more. If you recall the first part, RAW agent Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri (Kamal) refers to India as his mother, and this mother — his real mother — lives in New Delhi, the country’s capital, and she has Alzheimer’s, so she doesn’t recognise her son. She’s… Mother India, and she’s forgotten her Muslim children. Note the beautiful song, composed by Ghibran, that plays over the scene: Naanagiya nadhimoolame. It’s in the raga Desh, and the common-noun form of the word means… country. A series of Kamal-isms? I’d say so. The masala-movie trope of “amma sentiment” is transformed into a small commentary about the motherland.

Vishwaroopam 2, written and directed by Kamal Haasan, isn’t the James Bond kind of sequel/prequel, where you can miss one outing and not miss out on anything in the next. It’s more like something from the Star Wars universe, where the films are interlocked, and each new adventure takes off from where the earlier one ended and also takes the story forward. Take Rogue One. Did we really need an entire movie to learn how the Death Star schematics ended up in the hands of Princess Leia? Isn’t it enough that we saw her, in the very first (or fourth, based on chronology) film, feeding the plans to her droid and beseeching Obi-wan Kenobi for help? It depends, I guess, on how obsessive you are about filling in each and every blank.

Vishwaroopam 2, then, is the film for completists who want to know how, for instance, the “Wanted” poster of Wisam came about — the one we saw in Afghanistan in Part 1 — when he’s supposed to be a top soldier in the Indian army. Why was Wisam recruited in the first place? (Because his father is from Pakistan.) What’s the history between Wisam and Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah)? (It involves coy looks and a sexy off-shoulder dress.) None of this is, in any way, necessary — but the first film, now, assumes a little more heft. The best way to experience these two parts may be to intercut between them and watch the whole thing in sequence.

Continued at the link above.

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