My thoughts on Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam 2 inspired the great cartoonist S.Ravishanker of Zola Zone to make a fantastic cartoon. Following are my thoughts on the film. The  cartoon with my thoughts can be found on his site on the following link

For a man who sang Kadavul pathi mirugam pathi Kalanthu seytha, Kalavai naan,, V2 is definitely a moment of reckoning

First the Bigg boss, then the official political entry and now this, Kamal’s transformation from a movie god to political animal is complete

You know a movie is in trouble

a) when the film begins with an advertisement for Kamal’s new party. i dont know whether MGR resorted to something like this, as far as i know he didnt. He dropped broad hints about his party policies throughout his films, but I never think he went for a full blown ad like this. but even if he did, it would have been forgivable as this was the only medium available for him. But having been peddling his party on every media since its inception, and having the reputation for being someone who has always protected this artistic integrity of his films, this is definitely a new low for Kamal

b) when the same party ad turns out to be the most interesting aspect of the movie, which is supposed to be an edge of the seat thriller. Instead of thrills and spills, we get sheer boredom

c) when you begin you film with a party ad, then everything in the film becomes suspect. So you wonder whether the shots of people repeatedly holding hands is part of the film or part of the party propaganda to showcase the party symbol.

d) when Kamal builds false equivalence by setting up a hindu traitor, an eeshwar and an Iyer who speaks in Palghat tamil to boot, to counter the muslim terrorist angle

e) when he uses the same angle to deliver a lecture on muslim angst that would have captain vijayakant throwing up his hands in exasperation

f) when you conceive 2 strong independent working women, but they come across as nothing more than doing ego massage for the paunchy 60 plus hero

g) when the main record that Kamal looks to break with this film is that of the oldest Indian actor, or rather second oldest actor to kiss on screen having successfully overtaken Amitabh Bachchan. Of course Dev Anand who did it way in to his 80’s in unbeatable and practically the Bahubali in this department. In ways thIs kamal enterprise reminds one of Dev Sahab’s late in the years movie sojourns when Dev sahab decided to do everything in front and back of the camera, one that seems very similar is Awwal number where he played everything from DGP, to cricket selection committee chairman to captain of the team, to Aditya Pancholi’s brother, Aamir Khan’s guardian and few more roles that I cant recollect apart from doing everything behind camera

h) when Waheeda Rehman, turns out to be the most brightest element of this film, an actress of unsurpassing poetry and subtlety who redeems the thankless role of the masala cine mother usually reserved for Nirupa roy. Her casting adds more dimensions than Kamal does with the rest of the subject matter because

  1. a Muslim actress who proudly wore her Muslim identity from a time when actor\actresses changed their names.
  2. Who was as good if not better as a classical dancer as Vyjayanthimala or Padmini.

She brings back memories of manmohan desai’s coolie, perhaps the last big hit muslim lead character masala film, where she played a similar character of a mother who forgets her son.
Who makes Kamal second best in the scene with her subtle performance here, while Kamal resorts to his usual shocked expression topped off by that eye roll that he patented ever since he stared at Srividya coming out of the bath in Apoorva Ragangal

i) When, the more rounded cerebral villain promised in the first part of the film resorts to the age old MN Nambiar\Amrish puri tactic of kidnapping hero’s wife and mother in the climax

j) When last but not the least, the mise en scene of a Kamal directed film sucks as hell and you feel daily soaps are much better in their staging. When you feel that you are watching 2 different films by 2 different directors when scenes shot for the first film comes in between scenes in the second film

So the question is- is the filmmaking so bad because Kamal is joining politics or Kamal is joining politics because he has realized that he has no future in films and his skills have deteriorated. Guess the answer is somewhere in the middle.

All in all I wish that I had gone to Kamal’s next party meeting. That would have been more prudent than wasting time and money on this unabashed cash grab and propaganda vehicle for his party. And I’ll take my Kamlisms from more well made, more well crafted, fully realized motion pictures like Tevar Magan, Hey Ram and Virumaandi.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s