A lot has changed since Vishwaroopam came out in 2013. Terrorism has a new face in the form of ISIS, the President of USA comedy happened, Tamil Nadu’s political scenario changed, we lost two major leaders, two actors got into politics and something so trivial as my life has also changed drastically! So one might feel a sequel 5 years later wouldn’t really deliver the same punch its original film did. After all, Vishwaroopam 2 isn’t one of those franchises such as Singam which had sequels just because the original ended up doing well at the box office. It’s, of course, a film that continues from where the original one ended and that too immediately, so how relatable is the film? The answer is, in short, the film is a worthy sequel to the original and gives us a bit more too. Hey, we’re talking about a man who has often been said to be ahead of his times, so that shouldn’t be surprising.
Vishwaroopam 2, is technically not a sequel but a circumquel, which is, a film that happens partly before and after the original film’s end, which is something to new to Kollywood. So, while we get the answer we wanted on the status of Omar Qureshi (Rahul Bose) following his foiled plans in New York, we also get to know more about our protagonist Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri (KH), his past, his mother, his haunting nightmares which keep him up all day, his connection with Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah) and much more. In other words, we get to see his personal side more and sort of feel the emotions of a man who, in the first part, we thought didn’t have any. While the first part’s transformation scene showed what a badass Wiz can be, a scene in Vishwaroopam 2 shows how he can decimate someone with just his words. His dialogues, especially the pro-Muslim ones are so good that certain outfits should actually apologise for making the release of the first part a pain for the actor. He also uses dialogues to differentiate him from the antagonists. In one scene from the flashback, Omar tells Wisam ‘pombale mathiri pesathey, pombalainga kitte pesathey’. It shows Omar’s chauvinistic character and what he considers the other gender as. Later, in a scene when Wisam is asked if he’s got back up, he cooly says ‘pombalainga irrukange’ citing how he feels safer with the women around.
Speaking about the performance, of course, KH floors us with it considering how much scope he has to perform. He does surprisingly, considering his effeminate cover blew off during the first part. The scene where Wiz meets his mother (played by Waheeda Rehman who returns to Tamil cinema after decades) is the perfect example for it. Thanks to Alzheimer’s, she can’t recognise her son but instead of pulling the ‘naan thaan ma nee petru edutha pillai’ troupe, KH brilliantly uses the opportunity to justify his Kathak skills origins which he used in the first part as a cover. And the scene where the two communicate is nothing but good writing and sheer subtle yet extraordinary performance. Cut to Ghibran’s beautiful Naanagiya Nadhimoolame and what you get is easily one of the best mother sentiment songs since the actor’s Naanaga Naan Illai Thaaye in 1983’s Thoongathey Thambi Thoongathey.
And of course, for every such soft scene, there’s ten times the action, or in this case, enough onslaught to get you reminded of Quentin Tarantino films. I only wish that Omar had more purpose in what he does as all he seems to do is just fail, irrespective of which part of the world he hatches a plan. The nuances and the story Kamal lets the camera angles and works show is seen here as well. So much that this franchise deserves a separate post on decoding and easter eggs! Apart from Chachi 420, KH’s other directorial works such as Hey Ram and Virumaandi proved that he’s a better director when a lot of us considered him only as a good actor and he proves that once again with the Vishwaroopam series. So much that his choice of leaving the industry hits me harder after seeing Vishwaroopam 2.