‘Vishwaroopam 2’ Trailer Review: Refreshingly Apolitical!

Kaala’s super-loaded political visual innuendos burst onto the screen in communist red, Dravidian black and Ambedkar blue; Mersal (2017) openly derided NEET and the Centre. Recently, a host of actors, including Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth, and filmmakers have taken to politics in the absence of Jayalalithaa, who seemed to have had kept them all at bay.

In the midst of all this comes the trailer of Vishwaroopam 2, that seems to be devoid of any semblance of current politics. And that is where Kamal scores brownie points.

Wing it Like an Actor, Sting Like a Politician "I don’t do politics in cinema, and I don’t act as a politican...If there is resistance to Vishwaroopam 2, I am ready to face it as a politician." - Kamal Haasan, at the trailer launch of Vishwaroopam 2

I belong to a state where it’s considered normal (laudable even) for a politician to meditate over the grave of a dead politician, and then talk to the media about what said dead politician ‘conveyed’.

Kamal Haasan’s plain speak at the trailer launch of Vishwaroopam 2 was refreshing. He spoke about his film, and his film alone. He also threw-back to that time in 2013, during the release of Vishwaroopam (the first part), where his movie was literally attacked by the state.

Kamal Haasan in Vishwaroopam 2.

Vishwaroopam 2, as far as one can tell from the trailer (and from Kamal’s assurance), takes off from where the first part left off, and ups the action quotient. The first ten seconds are from 2013, and if you were a fan of the film, you’d instantly recall the context and the situation.

A major portion of the trailer features clips from the post-credit sequence of Vishwaroopam (2013). 

Will the Present Take Over?

There’s undeniably more action in Vishwaroopam 2, and the focus seems to be more on the present than in Kamal’s character’s background. This is in direct contrast to the first film, where the present only serves as a placeholder for a beautifully layered past to unfold.

The core themes of the impact of war on civilians and the underlying collateral damage would unfold in a tableau of carnage and silent mis-en-scenes. The present would then flash in to bring the movie back to a cool toned crime caper, from a sepia toned Majid Majidi film.

Will the present hold more meaning in Vishwaroopam 2? Hopefully, the actual film will answer this question.

Bad CGI, New Music

This could be a plane from The Incredibles, but it’s not. It’s supposed to be a real plane. So there.

One of the longer clips in the trailer is a shot of a Learjet flying in the sky. It doesn’t look real in the least. The other CGI heavy scenes; Kamal being flung out of a car, a bazooka going off, a chair spinning in the air with Kamal in it; all feel less than real. Hopefully the mood of the film will make the audience ignore the cheap effects. After all, didn’t we accept crappy CGI in Baahubali?

Ghibran replaces Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for the sequel, and the song in the background is his take of the original title track from the 2013 movie. I must admit the song made more sense coupled with the visuals of Kamal’s big reveal in the first film. Ghibran’s take is very 90s rock and might just work. It doesn’t make my hair stand on its end, either in a good way or bad though.

Andrea, Pooja, Shekhar Kapur and Rahul Bose reprise their roles, with Wahida Rehman addind some gravitas to the trailer simply through her presence.

Kamal Haasan and Pooja Kumar’s characters’ marriage is finally consummated in Vishwaroopam 2, after a five year wait. Kamal says the sequel will definitely be worth the wait. 10 August isn’t too far away, so fingers crossed!

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