Cast : Kamal Haasan, Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose, Jaideep Ahlawat, Pooja Kumar and others
Director : Kamal Haasan
Producer : Chandra Haasan, Kamal Haasan
Music : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Release Date: Jan 25 2013
Genre: Action, Thriller
Run Time: 147 minutes
Legendary actor, Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan starrer Viswaroopam is directed and produced under his home banner Raj Kamal International. Viswaroopam is a terrorism based thriller movie which is being simultaneously filmed in Tamil and Hindi.
Story and dialogues are penned by Kamal Hassan. Initially, Director Selvaraghavan was supposed to direct Viswaroopam. But the dates of the lead roles were not in sync as Selvaraghavan was busy with other projects. Finally, Kamal Haasan has decided to direct the movie.
The film released worldwide, excluding Tamil Nadu, on 25 January 2013 while the Hindi version was released on 1 February 2013. Legal controversies regarding the film’s portrayal of Islamism arose as several Muslim extremist groups protested the film’s release in Tamil Nadu, resulting in an official ban being imposed on the film in the state for 15 days by the Madras High Court. The ban resulted in similar decisions being made in Sri Lanka and Malaysia while release was delayed in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. Despite the fragmented release, Vishwaroopam garnered generally favourable reviews from critics, most of whom had downplayed claims of the film being anti-Muslim. Heeding to the requests of Muslim extremist groups, scenes perceived as controversial were removed, allowing the film for release on 7 February 2013 in Tamil Nadu.
An Afghani Al-Qaeda Jihadi Omar (Rahul Bose), his accomplice Salim (Jaideep Ahlawat) and their international terror network, plots to attack New York with a “Cesium-bomb”. Vishwanath alias Wiz (Kamal Haasan) is a Kathak teacher who lives with his wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), a nuclear oncologist, in New York. Nirupama confides with a psychologist that it’s a marriage of convenience that provided her a safe haven for pursuing her Ph.D in the U.S. The age gap between them notwithstanding, she is put off by Vishwanath’s effeminate traits and is attracted to her boss, Deepak (Samrat Chakrabarti). Doubting whether her husband has secrets of his own, she hires a private investigator to trail him. She learns from the private investigator that Vishwanath is not a Hindu but a Muslim. In a sudden turn of events, the investigator gets killed by a member of the terrorist outfit led by Omar. A business card on his wallet gives away Nirupama and the terror group nabs the couple. The outfit operates from a warehouse on the outskirts of the city where the couple is being interrogated.
Vishwanath is involved in a fight with the terrorists at the warehouse and escapes with Nirupama. Omar and Vishwanath have a past, one that takes the story back by almost a decade, to the Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. What follows is a maze of events that go back and forth in time, unraveling a plot where in the terrorists are accumulating cesium from oncology devices to trigger a blast in New York.
Nirupama is stunned to discover the true identity of her husband Vishwanath, his uncle (Shekhar Kapur), American accomplice Dawkins (Miles Anderson) and the young dancer Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah) at her husband’s dance school. Vishwanath is revealed to be Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri, a Muslim RAW agent who married Nirupama to investigate Deepak and his boss Omar in connection with a bomb blast in the heart of New York. His mission is to bust the ‘sleeper-cell’ of the Jihadis in the US, which is planning to divert the attention through “capsules” capable of emitting mild nuclear radiation tied to pigeons in New York city while enabling Black (James Babson) to detonate the cesium bomb in the city.
Together, the team try to counter the plans of Omar and his group that could destroy the most of the New York city. In the ensuing events, Vishwanath is arrested by the FBI before being rescued by his uncle and Dawkins is murdered by Salim. Whether Vishwanath along with the FBI were able to stop the calamity to be unfolded forms the rest of the story.
Vishwaroopam was born, after nearly two years of being in production.
The script is taut, though there are some rough edges that could use with some fine-tuning. But having watched the end credits, I am convinced that the loose ends of the film have actually been filmed but will be released in Vishwaroopam 2 (yes, there’s a sequel, but please, this movie must be a hit first before Vishwaroopam 2 can be released).