Vishwaroopam 2 Review: Kamal Haasan's movie is a messy slush of the first part
Anwesha Madhukalya August 10, 2018
Kamal Haasan's latest movie Vishwaroopam 2's fatal flaw is that it tries to overexplain its context to the audiences that missed out on the first one. The movie runs for 2 hours and 20 minutes but could really have been for an hour tops. The fault, really, lies in its narration. The narrative is a complex one, replete with flashbacks and attempts to explain plot points from the previous movie. The makers deploy the freeze frame technique generously during fight sequences, dances, general banter etc etc to this end. But what it essentially does is exhausts the viewer who just wants to know what's going to happen next. The makers, on the other hand, want to REALLY drive home a few things before they move on - that Wisam Ahmed Kashmiri is a patriot, is top notch when it comes to combat and has a heart of gold. They are so fixated on him that the other characters are just pawns in this unending paean to Wisam.
The film takes off from where we left the characters in the first movie. A bruised Wisam sits between his wife Nirupama, a nuclear oncologist played by Pooja Kumar, and loyal aide Ashmita, played by Andrea Jeremiah in an otherwise empty plane. No points for guessing - there is a major flashback sequence here. This time it is about how Wisam and Ashmita met during her military training and how the duo along with Colonel Jagannath planned to send the RAW agent to infiltrate the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It still does not explain what Ashmita's role in the mission is. She was unused in the first movie, and she remains unused - except for once - in this movie as well.
Ashmita, with all her expertise, heroism and experience only talks about Wisam and talks back at Nirupama. Nirupama, whose mission in life was to get her PhD in Nuclear Oncology in the first movie, now just accompanies Wisam wherever he goes. It is as if she has no purpose of her degree anymore now that she has a loving husband.
The same fate is met by the characters of Shekhar Kapur and Anant Mahadevan. Not only are they underused, Shekhar Kapur's Colonel Jagannath actually vanishes after a point.
The dying Omar Qureshi's plans to ruin the world and Wisam's life are lame and predictable - no wonder his career as a terrorist is not going well. Rahul Bose, who plays Omar, otherwise does a good job of playing the radiation-poisoned terrorist.
The movie just meanders aimlessly - taking the audience back over and over to the last movie. It is highly possible that the viewer may get confused about which movie they are watching. There are also a bunch of meaningless, inconsequential scenes. For instance the Sheerness mission leading up to an underwater fight sequence or the scene where Nirupama calls the hotel reception to enquire about the nearest coffee shop and how long it remains open.
There are very few things that can redeem the movie - one of them is Waheeda Rehman, who plays Wisam's mother suffering from Alzheimer's. Although a little higher on the emotional quotient, the scenes involving Waheeda Rehman light up because of her presence.
The climax of the movie is quite anti-climactic too. It is not a mission worthy of two-movies worth of build up. But looking at the ending one might finally realise why the makers are hell-bent on showing us bits and parts of Vishwaroopam over and over again. Vishwaroopam 2 does not live up to the hype of its first installment and infusing the latter with scenes from the first part was perhaps the only way to breathe life into it.