Vishwaroopam 2 movie cast: Kamal Haasan, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Shekhar Kapur, Rahul Bose, Anant Mahadevan, Waheeda Rehman, Jaideep Ahlawat
Vishwaroopam 2 movie director: Kamal Haasan
Vishwaroopam 2 movie rating: One and a half stars
The derring-do doings of RAW agent Major Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri aka Vis were mostly entertaining in a comic-book way in Vishwaroopam part one.
Part 2, sadly, is an incoherent mess.
It opens with a battered, stitched-up Vis (Kamal) being transported in an airplane with two familiar lovelies Nirupama (Kumar) and Ashmita (Jeremiah) on either side. The former is his wife; the latter is a clear case of wishful thinking, always coming on heavily flirtatious, making you wonder just what this threesome is up to.
The plot is choppy, carelessly hopping continents (India, US, Afghanistan) and time zones. When the characters—spooks and traitors, forgetful mothers and sentimental sons, and pretty women making up to the great spymaster— are not killing each other, either via hand-to-hand combat, knives and guns, they are busy flitting about in all manner of transport, and deploying weapons. Helicopters are whirring away, missiles are being launched, grenades are being flung, and Vis, armed and dangerous, is on top of everything, saving India’s capital from being bombed out of existence.
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The best spy thrillers give us plenty of high-octane action, colourful characters who blur the line between heroes and villains, and athletic male and female leads equally capable of kicking serious butt. No such luck with Vis and gang, most of whom are back, reprising their roles. Jeremiah is made to high-step archly around hotel rooms, looking for bugs (in one of the several unintentionally hilarious scenes which feature her) and has only one sequence in which she shows off her martial skills; Kumar, who is described several times as a ‘nuclear oncologist’, is all coy and coquettish.
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None of the others fare much better. Shekhar Kapur and Anant Mahadevan, both playing senior backroom boys who give orders to the guys in the field, add to the hilarity quotient. Rahul Bose re-appears as the man from Al Qaeda, who gets to scowl and throw about such dialogue as ‘yahaan gadaaron ko takht nahin taaboot diya jaata hai’. Jaideep Ahlawat, as the guy with the hand on the trigger, is here too: all these parts are sloppy. About the only one who has a few good moments is Waheeda Rahman as an elderly woman struggling with Alzheimer’s disease: her grace is immense, and lights up her scenes.
That leaves Kamal Haasan, who has co-written, directed and produced the film, as the patriotic RAW agent, to do all the heavy lifting. In the first edition, the veteran star-actor led from the front: here the ‘dirty soldier turned bloody espionage agent’ is all thundery lines like ‘main mazhab nahin mulk ke liye khoon bahaata hoon’. But even he can’t rise above the shockingly inept script, which he rescues only in a few places, when his trademark intelligent, wry self-awareness manages to kick in. The rest can be safely ignored.