Chennai, 11 Aug 2018 13:21 IST
While it is better than Vishwaroopam (2013), the film still fails to make the cut as an entertaining and engaging action thriller.
Vishwaroopam 2 starts off from where the first part left off, with Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent Wisam Ahmed Kashmiri (Kamal Haasan), his wife Dr Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), and colleagues Ashmita Subramaniam (Andrea Jeremiah) and Col Jagannath (Shekhar Kapur) safely on a private jet to the United Kingdom.
It is during this trip that Wisam recollects, for our sake, how the Indian government, through his handler Jagannath, got him dishonourably discharged from the army for ungentlemanly conduct, to convey the impression that he had turned renegade.
The original motive was to make Wisam a celebrated terrorist in Pakistan and thereby help him to infiltrate the network there. The plan succeeds and Wisam gets entrenched in the terror network in Pakistan, working in tandem with another mole under his command.
As the flight lands in the UK, Wisam's flashback ends. He and his team are received by an Indian contact who volunteers to drive them to their destination. And the action begins.
An attempt is made on the lives of the team by a bunch of assassins. Wisam, as always, saves the day and kills one of the would-be assassins. From the clues left behind by the attackers, the team begins to unravel the terrorists' plot. One thing leads to another and soon they discover what Omar's next destructive plan is.
They learn that Omar plans to use over 1,500 tonnes of explosives still lying in the SS Richard Montgomery, a warship that was sunk off the Nore Sandbank, near Sheerness in England, during World War II.
The ship's explosives, we are told, are still lying unattended at the bottom of the sea. Omar's plan is to trigger a blast in the sunken ship, the impact of which would then cause giant tidal waves that could wreak havoc in London. The impact would be far greater if the explosives were to go off at a time when the tide is coming in as the waves might then drown London.
Wisam's team begins to work feverishly to stop the attack. But even as they are busy planning its moves, the bad boys are formulating their plan to beat them. Wisam learns that he does not only have to fight terrorists on the other side but also double-crossing agents claiming to work for the Indian government.
Will Wisam Ahmed Kashmiri manage to hunt down Omar, as was the stated objective in the first part? Vishwaroopam 2 gives you the answer.
If one compares Vishwaroopam 2 with the first part, it is much better in terms of logic for the simple reason that at least a few, if not all, problems showcased in Vishwaroopam are brought to their logical conclusion.
The sequences are more orderly and the flow a lot more uniform in Vishwaroopam 2. However, if Vishwaroopam 2 is to be weighed as a standalone entity, it fails miserably to make the cut. In other words, both Vishwaroopam and Vishwaroopam 2 fall short in several departments, including the all-important department called storytelling.
The film lacks the credibility that usually renders a story endearing to the audiences. Only when a director's research into the subject he is trying to showcase is thorough does s/he manage to deliver a certain credibility to the plot. In Vishwaroopam, this is missing.
Take, for instance, the code language that R&AW agents use with their handlers. It is just unbelievable, to put it mildly. The best way to describe the conversations is "amusing".
The film is more about Kamal Haasan's heroics and about glorifying his character than about the efforts of a top-class Indian Intelligence team trying to track down and take out one of the world's most notorious terrorist outfits. Take, for instance, the fight sequence in which Ashmita defeats one of the terrorists in close combat. She delivers a blow and then tells the terrorist something to the effect of having been trained by Wisam!
Call it oversight, carelessness, or simply a lack of interest, it is evident that the sequel is just a half-hearted attempt. In fact, it looks like the makers were in a hurry to conclude what they had begun and quickly finish with whatever they could.
Ironically, while important portions that need to be told in great detail are skimmed over, the film has far too many sequences that are totally unnecessary. One such is the introduction of Wisam's mother (Waheeda Rahman) as an Alzheimer's patient and her subsequent interaction with one of the terrorists, who treats her to sweetmeats. The melodrama that Kamal Haasan tries to bring in using this character just does not work. In fact, it is annoying.
Pooja Kumar as Dr Nirupama is found desperately wanting in quite a number of sequences. Her inadequacies at expressing pain, anguish and anxiety come to the fore, particularly in the climax. When Nirupama is told that her husband has been eliminated, one would expect to see fear (of losing her husband, for her own life and for that of her mother-in-law), anxiety, anguish and confusion on her face. Instead, all we get is a half-hearted attempt at sorrow. The effort is far from convincing. In fact, it is depressing.
Kamal Haasan, in this film too, makes it all about himself. Seldom is there a scene in which he does not appear. The only sequence one can think of where his face is missing for a while is the one in which Nirupama goes to a coffee shop to find Jagannath talking to a diplomat about her husband's love for her. Otherwise, the man appears in almost every sequence, irrespective of whether they involve the good guys or the bad guys. The filmmaker seems to have happily forgotten that he has aged and his age shows in close-ups.
Andrea Jeremiah as Ashmita does a reasonably good job. As the sly, flirtatious deputy to Wisam, she scores well. However, when it comes to action sequences, sequences in the Indian army or horse riding, it is clear that Andrea is out of sorts.
Rahul Bose plays his part to perfection, but the scope of his character is limited by the manner in which the story is told. Shekhar Kapur as Jagannath, Anant Mahadevan as Iyer and Waheeda Rahman are wasted. Such talented artistes deserved better.
Ghibran's score for the songs is mellifluous. His background score is also apt. The cinematography by Shamdat Sainudeen and Sanu John Varghese are reasonably good for the most part.
On the whole, Vishwaroopam 2, while better than Vishwaroopam, still fails to make the cut as an entertaining and engaging action thriller.
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