Terror with Nuance
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- Saudi Arabian authorities refuse to accept new Indian passports
- FIR filed against Facebook for not discontinuing hate page
DIRECTOR: Kamal Haasan
CAST: Kamal Haasan, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur, Jaideep Ahlawat, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah
Let's see now. What did I get offended by in Vishwaroop? By the fact that Kamal Haasan plays an effeminate dance teacher in an American town? No, Kamal has proven he is good at both classical dancing and being limp-wristed, on screen. Or by the fact that his wife is played by a girl who looks young enough to be his daughter? No, Kamal has given himself an out on this one: the script calls him a "much older man" who is a prize catch only because he has a green card.
Once I was done casting about for things to get offended by, I sat down to watch the film, which turned out to be fairly gripping in true comic book style, covering such current hot topics like global terrorism, jehadis, Mujahideens, and a few good guys. Not that I didn't sigh impatiently here and there because some parts were too stretched, or because I felt it could have finished before it did. But on the whole, once I got past my insistence on realism and wishing it was shorter, I enjoyed the film. There are no complications in the way it goes about its business: it thoughtfully rewinds a super- quick portion in slo-mo so we can easily reach where Kamal Hassan wants us to get to.
It's one of the few Indian films that actually spends time in building up a lived-in Mujaheedin base: almost a third of the film is shot in the bleached mud huts and caves of what looks like Afghanistan and its neighbouring terrain. (There's also, ahem, a sighting of OBL: this must have been done before Kathryn Bigelow turned the dreaded al Qaeda big man into toast). Last we looked, Saif Ali Khan's dapper Agent Vinod was scooting about similar places: before that was John Abraham in Kabul Express. Vishwaroop takes it further, and actually injects some realism in the portions dealing with the Big Bad Mujaheedin's (Bose) wife and child.
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