Vishwaroopam 2 : A Legend, A Career Switch and Some Leftover Footage.

Kamal Hassan went silent with Pushpak back in 1987. Aamir Khan turned a hearthrob only an year later with Qayamat se Qayamat Tak in 1988. Aamir’s Dil, another regular 90’s Bollywood fare was released an year after Kamal awed us with Apoorva Sahordangal. Aamir was doing Raja Hindustani and still hadn’t earned the perfectionist tag when Kamal hit the screens with Indian and Avvai Shanmughi. His ambitions then just got too big not just for Tamil, but for the Indian film industry as a whole. Marudhanayagam unfortunately was reduced to an YouTube clip. Marmayogi never took off. Vishwaroopam too hit troubled waters with Selvaraghavan leaving , leaving Kamal to take over the reins.

Vishwaroopam 2 starts rolling with an ad for Kamal Hassan’s newly incubated political party and the rhetoric on display resonates conveniently with the central theme of the film in more ways than one. The  actual movie then starts off almost like the next episode of a TV show would from where the first movie ended five years back replete with a recap which also doubles up as the titles. The proceedings then on are too dull for a spy thriller here and when Kamal refers emotionally to an officer played by a nondescript  foreign actor slain by the bad guys in the first installment, you as audience can hardly connect. The jokes are dead even before they’re spoken. Waheeda Rahman is the notable new addition to the cast and Kamal again withdraws into the background when the yesteryear leading lady performs. The movie mostly works like a sleeping pill with occasional jolts of hyperactivity which are when the action sequences happen. You see bad guys looking out of airplane windows like kids on board their first flight. Shekar Kapur gets to relive his Digjam moments,walk around in suits that is. Andreah and Pooja Kumar do their bit nonchalantly. Anant Mahadevan is not quite sure if he’s a bad guy or a good guy. Then there is the hurried climax because even Kamal Hassan himself could’nt take it anymore I felt.

Though marred by manufactured controversy the first Vishwaroopam  was more or less a good watch where Kamal the star actually gave space to the story being told. But then he did that in Hey Ram too. He actually tried to say something relevant and sensible with the Afgan leg of the movie. In Vishwaroopam 2 there’s nothing left to say. Yeah, there’s a twist but you don’t really care after five years. The man’s vision and ideas are too radical for the Indian commercial film format one can’t but help feel. Still he thrives in that space with hits and misfires in equal measure. He went bersek with Aalavandhan and then turned social commentator in Virumandi. His Dashavatharam was underrated I feel so was Anbe Sivam, two works at the extreme ends of the cinematic spectrum.  Anbe Sivam infact held a mirror to his political leanings. Vishawroopam 2 was never meant to be  but when you have enough footage leftover from your first movie to almost make a second one, why let it go down the drain, especially when it might help as an overlong commerical to take the cause of your political aspirations forward.

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