And finally after much hiatus Vishwaroopam opened in Tamil Nadu on 7th of Feb, 2013 and thanks to my buddies, I got a chance to see this on the same day. So as I headed to the movie I had this mental checklist of what to expect out of a Kamal movie and sort of put a tick against each of those as and when I experienced it.
- Kamal the protogonist - Checked (obvious)
- Kamal singing songs - Checked
- Kamal the lyricist - Checked
- Kamal and new heroine - Checked
- Lots of characters, though many may less screen presence - Checked
- A typical Kamal praising song - Checked
- A punchline from a past Kamal movie - Checked
- A share of 'let the audience figure out how' content - Checked
- A role Kamal hasn't donned before - Checked
- Experiment or bring on something new to local cinema- Checked
- Controversy involved - Checked (becoming obvious too)
- Costing a fortune to the producer - Checked (Home production in this case)
- Attention to detail (in all aspects) - Checked
Now some things that did not feature in the checklist but impressed me.
- The idea of choosing a story that would appeal to global audience than just the local or national ones.
- No fancy & disconnected between-the-scenes dream songs.
- In the world ample with showcasing the terror humans, this has something to offer about humane terrorists for a change.
And those that failed to impress me
- Probably my expectation of a performance on par or bettering சலங்கை ஒளி made me feel disappointed in this Kathak piece.
- Flash back and forth placements.
- The extent of 'let the audience figure out how' quotient.
- Is that all needed to, not just get inducted into Al-Qaeda team but be looked upon as trustworthy as well, or did Kamal leave it to the audience to fathom themselves on how that could be possible?
- I would have taken lesser notice of the logical flaws in first fight sequence had it not been played again in slow motion, well sorry Kamal my bar is certainly very high for a perfectionist.
- Understandably a high budget one for an Indian movie, however still the movie couldn't seamlessly superimpose the different layers of real footage and surreal CG, imperfect still.
- Most fans as well as fanatics play the "I've never seen an Indian movie so good before, only Kamal can do" card. Well it implies that the fan is either an English movie frequent and hence is able to compare the finesse or a normal guy unexposed to worldly cinema and is all awe by this never seen before visuals. Come on guys stop the apples and oranges comparison.
Lastly, on the controversial protests and cuts
- If muting / cutting those little scenes has upheld the sanctity of the religion then looks like we're heading to old-age future (in terms of freedom of speech and expression)
- The instances of jabbing at Hinduism or a specific caste and no protests or censor cuts has raised interesting questions.
- Are those belonging to it understood that it does not affect what they are or where they belong to?
- As it has been proved time and again across various movies 'these' people could be taken for a ride, for whatever reasons?
Vishwaroopam is a high budget Kamal roopam and may NOT go into the book of movie classics for Indian Cinema, to those with the love for cinema its watchable once, to the cheque and MO sending ones nothing needs to be said & the maddening history repeats itself.