Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vishwaroopam – My Thoughts

I just returned from watching the Vishwaroopam (Tamil) movie. I am not going to write a review.  I am not going to give a synopsis of the story.  Everyone knows now.  I am writing here what went through my mind while watching the movie.

 Excellent movie.

 Worth seeing a second time.

 Spy thriller.  Will put Hollywood to shame.

 Thank God no separate comedy track.

Tamil name (style) is written as though it can be mistaken for Urdu language. Please see the picture above. Even when the title was shown on the screen, the name was written from right to left, imitating Urdu language.  What message Kamal Haasan wants to give through this? I don’t know.

Saw a mistake in the acknowledgements.  List of people they were thanking included “U.S. Embassy, Chennai”.  (Since I was able to see only a few seconds, I could be wrong.  But almost sure I am right.)  U.S. Embassy is in New Delhi.  What they have in Chennai is U.S. Consulate.

The fighting scene between the U.S. Air Force and the Talibans were awesome.  Want to see the movie again just for those scenes only.

Never felt like watching a Tamil movie.  Felt like watching a Hollywood suspense thriller.

Cinematography beats Hollywood hands down.

Kamal Haasan is an atheist.  He has this habit of making subtle fun of people who believe in God and also the Tamil Brahmin community.  He did not fail to do that also in this movie.  For example, he and his wife were shown as Tamil Brahmins speaking their own slang.  He was cooking chicken for his wife.  In the movie he says he is a vegetarian but his wife loves chicken.  Of course, quite a number of Brahmin girls nowadays eat chicken.  But it is considered most of the Brahmins are vegetarians.  (By the way, Kamal Haasan is a TamBram.)

He also uses the word “papaathi”.  Only once in a kind of humorous way.  It is a derogatory term for a Brahmin woman.

One scene shows FBI beating Kamal Haasan during interrogation.  FBI does not beat people during interrogation.  May be this was shown for dramatic effect.

A lady character was being interrogated by a female FBI Agent.  This lady character mentions God.  The FBI agent asks: Which is your God? Allah?  The lady character says “No. My God has 4 heads”.  (Or, did she say 4 hands? I cannot rewind in a theater like I do my DVR at my home.)  Kamal Haasan's subtle way of making fun of believers.

Oh I forgot to mention.  The Talibans (about 10 of them) shoot with their AK 47, a photo of Ex U.S. President George Bush several times, during their training mission.  I was LMAO.  I know most Americans will do the same thing.  Because it is only a movie.  Make believe stuff.  (Updated on Jan 30 - People should view and enjoy movie as a movie.)

Imagine an Indian movie depicting some terrorist shooting the picture (just picture only) of Sonia G or Manmohan S. with AK 47! What would be the reaction!!
I did not see anything against Muslims.  The story happens to be about Talibans.  All Talibans are Muslims.  Therefore, most of the characters happen to be Muslims.  That is all.

In the end, Kamal Haasan shows that he already is planning a Part 2 of this movie.

PS:  I am going on vacation.  See y’all after a while.


  1. I may never see this movie (can see if it available with subtitles in English!) but your observations and the controversy surrounding this movie makes me wish to watch it. Very keen observations you have made, liked your eye for detail!

  2. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. Please see this movie. It is produced in 3 languages, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.

  3. Good to read your review, SG Sir! It is not yet released here, in Tamilnadu. I have written about this movie in my latest post. Good to know that nothing is there against muslims. Yes, Talibans are terrorist and the whole world knows about it. The small fraction of muslims are creating havoc here and the govt. is boosting them by banning the movie here. Feel very sorry for Kamal.

    Yes, he is a non-veg. eating Iyengar brahmin. He proudly says so. He announces that he is a non-believer, whenever he gets a change to say it. Apart from all these things, I like most of his movies for his acting...like Anbe Sivam, Guna, Thenali, etc.

  4. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. Please, Sandhya, I am not a "Sir". Just a simple SG.

    Kamal is an excellent actor. I agree. If he is a non-believer, it is his choice. But I disagree with him making fun of believers.

  5. We may never know what is the real reason for banning the film/delaying its release. The issue might very well be with economic factors than religious factors. So, I don't want to comment anything on this issue. I am glad you liked the movie. I may watch it after a couple of years, when they show it on TV.

    Destination Infinity

  6. Yeah I saw his movie.
    It’s ok. Not bad for an amateur.
    But still it’s not better than either of my recent movies – The Hurt Locker (my Oscar winner that beat Avatar)…or Zero Dark Thirty (my future Oscar winner).

    Oh by the way – has Kamal Hassan stopped acting in pornography?
    I didn’t catch that part. I remember that’s how he got his movie career going as an adult. He was acting in blue films.

    Have fun on your vacation…and before I forget…


    Kathryn Bigelow

  7. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. Watching on TV is ok. But it does not give that "thirilling experience" as watching in a theater.

  8. Thanks for your comments Kathryn. There is a saying in Bible. Do to others what you would have them do to you. You have followed this nicely in your comments. Your movie on Taliban and Osama Bin Laden (Zero Dark Thirty) is all porn and violence.

    Who? Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens? Never heard of them son.

    Oddsmakers in Vegas have favored San Francisco 49ers and given them a 4 ½ point handicap. Go San Francisco for the 6th Super Bowl Championship.

  9. i am so very much interested in watching this movie .. wonder when will the hindi version they are going to release?

  10. Thanks for your comments Rahul. It is a good movie.

  11. Ok! Will definitely check out the Hindi version of this movie then! :)

  12. Even I could collect a garland of roses(good comments) about the movie.In Kerala it travels on the right track,I suppose.Any you have drawn a picture with minute details.nice.

  13. Thanks for your comments Rahul. Please watch the movie and let me know what you think. Thanks.

  14. Thanks for your comments Sarala. I am glad you liked this post.

  15. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful review! I agree with you that Kamal is an excellent actor and taking things in lighter vein may not kill people.

    Wonder why unnecessarily Kolaveri on releasing the movie in TN? Today in India, anyone and everyone has a problem to everything. I am a Hindu and the way certain movie portrays hindus are sad but that doesn't make me go to morcha and demand stupidity.

    India has become a leader in creating fuss over nothing. Anyways I believe this incident may only add to popularity of the movie, even the non keen viewers like me would like to watch it now. Hey, not for controversial scenes but sheer Kamla Hassan's creativity!

  16. Thanks for your comments Ekta. I agree with you 100%. Where have you been all these days? Puleese visit here as often as you can.

    I think there are some politics involved in this situation. I read a news item that the Tamilnadu Electricity Board officials went to the home of the lawyer who is representing Kamal Haasan and tried to cut off the electricity to his home. So, this issue has nothing to do with religion. Me think.

    I think God is punishing Kamal Haasan. He is an atheist. It is OK. It is his belief. But he should not make fun of those who believe in God. Even in this movie there is a scene. An FBI official asks an Indian girl who is your God. The girl replies: My God has 4 heads. This is Kamal Haasan’s way of making subtle fun of those who believe in God.

  17. Excellent review and your keen observations have made me want to see the movie all the more.
    Have a fantastic vacation :)

  18. Thanks for your comments MyEra. See the movie, enjoy, and let me know your views.

  19. Hello!

    long tym no see...how r u?

    Kamal Hassan is indeed a pro in acting and directing but a bit bold with his cinema. I am planning to watch this movie...heard a lot about it recently