SHORT TAKES Vishwaroopam is definitely Kamal Haasan’s magnum opus and will not disappoint his admirers
Justice was delayed, but at least not denied. At one stage it looked like Kamal Haasan was fighting a losing battle. The certificate issued by the censor board seemed to have no value and the honourable judge advised the aggrieved parties to sort it out amongst themselves which defeated the very purpose of his presence. The rumour mills were churning out reasons for the ban ranging from the bizarre to the slightly believable. Some even suggested it was divine retribution. “This is God’s way of showing Kamal he exists,” said a friend. Was it more personal than political? Was it because the usually politically correct actor inadvertently praised a political foe? The suggestion that viewing the film could trigger violence seemed to be more a veiled threat than any kind of apprehension. The smartest thing Kamal did was taking the legal path. He has always faced adversities alone, notwithstanding the obligatory sounds of support his colleagues made much later. His fans will have to now ensure that this is not a pyrrhic victory for Kamal. They have been steadfast in their support bombarding the micro blogging sites with updates and keeping a vigil for unauthorised prints. His fans are a unique lot. They know he’s one of a kind and egg him on in every endeavour of his. He disappoints them sometimes when he doesn’t live up to their overwhelming expectations but they know his films are more brain than brawn.
‘Vishwaroopam’ is Kamal’s most awaited film for various reasons ranging from the cost to the controversies. It’s definitely his magnum opus and will not disappoint his admirers. It’s a spy versus spy thriller that keeps you engrossed most of the way. It’s a layered script that moves back and forth while traversing between Afghanistan and New York. The transformation from effeminate to an exterminator is chilling and typically chameleon like. Kamal likes to challenge the actor in him while trying to make a meaningful movie. The best thing about director Kamal is that he does not treat his fans like nincompoops. He makes them think and he knows they will understand his subtle style of conveying things. ‘Vishwaroopam’, in a nutshell is about the futility of violence as realised by the antagonist. Kamal has hired the best in the business and each department stands out be it the cinematography, the authentic looking sets or the action sequences. Pooja Kumar is pretty, but her Tam- bram accent gets on your nerves like Asin did in ‘Dashavatharam’. Rahul Bose is a casting masterstroke. Kamal doesn’t portray him like a marauding maniac. The humour is subtle and the songs play in the background thereby not intruding into the narrative. This is definitely not his best film, but with Kamal you also have to appreciate the enormous efforts in his endeavour to excel.
Ramya sounds relaxed and her boyfriend Raphael is definitely the major reason. Raphael has a soothing effect on anyone he meets. “I’m not easy to handle,” confesses the actress. Raphael is visiting his parents in Portugal and Ramya can’t wait for his arrival. On the professional front she’s turned prudent. Never the one to grab anything on offer, she’s just turned down ‘Neer Dose’ with Jaggesh. Her fans will be relieved because they were not too happy with her choice. She’s pretty excited about her film with Prajwal. “That’s shaping out well,” says Ramya.
She’s just been offered a role in Vasanthabalan’s next Tamil venture co-starring Siddarth. The music is by Rahman. “I play a princess from Mysore and have great trust in the director. I’m comfortable with Siddarth because he’s a good friend.” She’s also investing judiciously. An online portal selling memorabilia with her partner and pal Anjana Reddy will have a grand launch in the near future. “All this doesn’t mean I’m planning to retire. I’m just compartmentalising my life. I’ll be around till my fans want me,” sighs the satisfied sounding star.
S. SHIVA KUMAR