Film Review: Vishwaroop- II

Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating: 2/5
145 minutes
Director: Kamal Hassan

‘Collateral damage’, utters a minor character in the film a couple of times, which left me wondering whether he was referring to the fate of this film — directed, written and co-produced by Kamal Haasan.
For those who missed the prequel in 2013 — Wasim Ahmed Kashmiri (Kamal Haasan) runs a Kathak academy in New York, apart from being a RAW agent. He’s foiled a terrorist attack by Al Qaeda’s Omar Qureshi (Rahul Bose) who’s now baying for Wisam’s blood.

Haasan has expanded this two-line premise to a 145 minute eminently forgettable sequel. This time, Omar Qureshi wants to resuscitate WW II bombs buried underwater in London — bombs which will result in tsunamis so huge it would cause destruction in almost the entire world, we are informed. As if the audience hadn’t enough by now, Haasan bothers to add a mini course in geology (tsunami) and history (Hitler and WW II).

RAW, seemingly bent on helping countries thousands of miles away, gets into the act via its ever-dependable Wisam. (The film may as well have been sub-titled ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.) Of course, Haasan isn’t alone in his (mis)adventure. His supportive boss Col. Jagannath (Shekhar Kapur), wife Nirupama (American actress Pooja Kumar), RAW colleague Asmita (Tamil and Malayalam actress Andrea Jeremiah) give him a helping hand — the last named much more than a hand, with oodles of come hither looks, leaving the audience wondering whether the ladies were asked to switch roles midway through the film.

Kamal Hassan clearly seems to be losing his grasp on cinema. Lengthy set-pieces apart, Kamal Haasan doesn’t conceal the fact that Hindi is not his main language, his dialogues coming across so gratingly, leaving one wondering whether he would finish some of his lines. Ananth Mahadevan, as the traitor Rajesh Mehta, seems to be uncomfortable in his brief role while Rahul Bose as the radiation-scarred Omar tries out a different style of dialogue delivery.

Some of the CGI induced action sequences are clearly forgettable. The underwater shots are well panned as is Jeremiah’s fight scene. Pt. Birju Maharaj’s choreography is a revelation and one wishes there were more scenes of veteran Waheeda Rehman. Kamal Haasan’s dialogue ‘ – – – mulk ke liye khoon bahaata hoon’ should remind viewers that there’s a markedly better film running alongside in cinemas — Mulk.

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