Director: Kamal Haasan
Cast : Kamal Haasan, Rahul Bose, Andrea Jeremiah, Pooja Kumar, Shekhar Kapur
The modestly hyped yet much anticipated Vishwaroopam 2 has just hit the screens, and most of us were hoping against the odds that an exciting, high-octane spy thriller would unfold. Things like a hero who’d stretch the human physique to the extremes, women who double up as agents and are capable of holding their own, villains who are brutally strong and yet vague enough to not be seen as just ‘bad guys’... Well, part two of this Kamal Haasan directed, produced and written film has some of these elements that work, and a bunch of others that tend to go nowhere.
The story of secret agent Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri aka Vis continues here, and the film opens with Vis (Kamal) in an airplane with his two ladies, Nirupama (Pooja Kumar) and Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah.) Vis’s face is stitched up, and he maintains this battered, sleep-deprived, recently hospitalized look for most of the film. While Nirupama is his wife, Ashmita is nosy and flirtatious to such an extent that it suggests of Vis having a one-way open relationship with his wife (which isn’t really open...)
Then the story begins, and the narrative is a back-and-forth between the UK, flashbacks from Afghanistan, and another alternative timeline in India. Right now, Vis doesn’t know of his own goals until the conspirators, who are threatening to submerge London under water, trickle down one by one. Meanwhile, the truth of his activities in part one in Afghanistan is revealed over the course of the film. Omar (Rahul Bose), his Al-Qaeda ‘buddy,’ has plenty of qualms and exacts to take revenge on Vis for all the sufferings he has endured. And in the middle, we get an interlude that shows Kamal’s mom (Waheeda Rahman) suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Although forever confined to a nursing home, her poise and strangely open-minded take on things (due to her disease) is a heartfelt moment in an otherwise harsh landscape.
Vishwaroopam 2 has one too many sub-plots to make it coherent. Will the battered and bruised Vis save London and the UK? No worry, his wife, who’s a nuclear oncologist, suddenly shreds her demure nature and becomes a woman of action. In the middle, he casually saves Delhi from a bomb blast, and towards the end, when even more bombs threaten his own back and his family, not even the beatings and bruises of a lifetime will stop Kamal from freeing his chains and defeating his adversaries.
To be fair, most of these stunts and action sequences are riveting and enjoyable. Kamal is ever present with his dry wit and self-aware punch dialogues, which also brings his political aspirations to the fore. He is relentless and although he looks burnt out due to Vis’s heavy workload, his brains never tire and is always a step ahead of his numerous halfwit villains. Enjoyable in parts!