A Languid ‘Vishwaroopam 2’ Tries Hard But Doesn’t Justify a Sequel
Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Video Producer: Abhishek Ranjan
Vishwaroopam had a tumultuous release in 2013 with a generous serving of controversy, which almost always helps a film. In that case, people thronged the theatres to see what the controversy was all about – only to find a pretty decent film, with nothing really objectionable.
Turns out Vishwaroopam 2 is where all the “offensive” cinematic misdemeanours take place.
Written and directed by Kamal Haasan himself (Atul Tiwari credited for the Hindi dialogues), the events in this latest instalment take place partly before and partly after all that transpired in Vishwaroopam.
Our spy Wasim Ahmed (Kamal Haasan) is slightly bruised but rearing to go after his old enemy Omar Qureishi (Rahul Bose) to decimate the tentacles of terrorism his dreaded organisation nourished.
The familiar tropes of an espionage thriller can be spotted, with deception and surprise attacks all present in the film. Wasim’s nuclear oncologist wife, played by Pooja Kumar, and his partner-in-crime Asmita, played by Andrea Jeremiah, retain their roles, as does Shekhar Kapoor as his boss. But the one question you keep asking yourself throughout the 144-minute run-time is – “What was the need to make a sequel?”
There is terrestrial warfare and underwater action, freeze frames employed to give context to the frenzied back-and-forth between timelines. But to what avail? It’s all on expected lines and very amateurish in its treatment.
The ‘Mulk-Inspired’ Moment
Somewhere in the first-half, Vishwaroopam 2 also has its Mulk-inspired moment with a long dialogue about how the country is more important than dharam.
“Musalmaan hona gunah nahi hai, but aap jaisa insaan hona haram hai,” says Wasim to a babu-type character that Ananth Mahadevan plays with finesse. One understands that considering the current political climate, these things sadly have to be spelt out loud and clear, but just good intentions don’t make compelling cinema!
Wasim is a dutiful son, a loving husband, a sachha desh bhakt and the other characters exist to simply showcase this. They hardly have an agency of their own. Even Waheeda Rehman in the role of his Alzheimer-stricken mother is wasted.
The only character allowed some screen time is that of Rahul Bose, but even here his venom-spewing scarred face act goes through the motions, and at places is more comic than menacing.
Vishwaroopam 2 tries hard but remains stoically below-average. A smarter screenplay would have done the trick.
I give it 1.5 Quints out of 5.
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