Vishwaroop Opens to Mostly Poor Reviews

Vishwaroop, the Hindi version of Kamal Haasan’s Tamil film Vishwaroopam, opened mostly to poor reviews in India.

Here are review excerpts from a bunch of Indian movie critics:

Hindustan Times

Vishwaroop….is too cartoonish to be taken too seriously. Rahul Bose, with his mouth permanently twisted down, makes for an unintentionally hilarious terrorist boss.


For a spy thriller that takes bits and pieces from Hollywood hits like True Lies and Indian films like My Name is Khan, Vishwaroop fails to excite you with its dull pace and insipid action sequences….The film keeps dragging on; the spy-hero languidly fights terrorists across Afghanistan and New York; a one-eyed terrorist spews Jihadi fire only to make you laugh.

..As for the cast of the film, Kamal Haasan looks his age now; a spy needs agility and suaveness which Haasan lacks as Vishwanathan; Rahul Bose as one-eyed terrorist-villain reminds one of a similar funny character played by a Chinese-looking villain in the film Farz, also a spy-thriller helmed by Jitendra. Only Jaideep Ahlawat looks and acts like a terrorist.


Vishwaroop is a very average action flick at best and shouldn’t be considered any more than that….Almost everything about Vishwaroop seems superficial. The dots aren’t connected well.

Live Mint

Vishwaroopโ€™s story is preposterous at the best of times, but it is directed with 100% conviction…..The movie most definitely doesnโ€™t need to be banned, but it can be panned. At two hours and 28 minutes, itโ€™s too long, unnecessarily replays scenes for effect, and slackens every time its characters stop smashing things or wielding weapons.

IBN Live

…Vishwaroop quickly loses its way, and more than once during its two-and-a-half hour running time you find yourself asking that familiar question: “What’s going on here?”… confused screenplay that lingers on a bunch of needless characters who converse exclusively in Arabic. These bits, along with the plot’s return to New York in the final act turn a tired story into an even more trite one. …A lot of it is unabashedly entertaining, although you’ll wish the film was shorter and smarter.

India FM

…with a fare that prides itself of mesmerizing action, stunts and combat scenes and marries form [technique] and content [drama] to the delight of the spectators. The film is not without its share of hiccups — it’s way too lengthy and the second half is sketchy — but the effort is laudable, nonetheless….But a stretched second hour and far from dramatic finale dilute the impact. Yet, all said and done, those with an appetite for well-made thrillers might relish this effort!

20 Responses to "Vishwaroop Opens to Mostly Poor Reviews"

  1. Vinith   February 2, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Some of these same websites also have a positive review.

    Btw, Rediff has another review by another critic and it’s positive.

    But the general word of mouth for the movie is that it’s a good spy-thriller and Kamal has raised the standards of Tamil movies. Now, I can’t comment on that because I’m yet to see the movie.

    Some people though, had a problem with the film’s pace and graphic violence.

    Graphic violence? This is a movie that deals with terrorism. What did they expect? Responds:

    I doubt you read the full story in the above link you provided.

    They merely provide longer excerpts from the same sources (IndiaFM and LiveMint) I put up in the above post and added Deccan Herald.

    If you read the story in your link, you’ll realize they have the quotes I’ve included in the above post.

    • Vinith   February 2, 2013 at 10:39 am

      “I doubt you read the full story in the above link you provided.”

      No, I didn’t.

      I usually never read reviews fully as the reviewers here tend to include plot spoilers more often. The least they can do is have a disclaimer stating the review contains spoilers. So, I just look at the rating awarded.

  2. boopalanj   February 3, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Watch this flashmob Responds:

    When I think of a flash-mob, I visualize urban teen lumpen in stolen sneakers playing hooky from their minimum wage jobs and creating mayhem in the city center.

    The folks in your link look so bourgeois, so boringly civilized!

    The music ain’t bad.

    • boopalanj   February 3, 2013 at 3:28 am

      he he.. Music is supposedly Beethoven’s ninth symphony… ๐Ÿ™‚ Responds:

      I don’t know why names like Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Mahler et al never give me a high!

      Give me Thanga Thoniyile any day –

      • boopalanj   February 3, 2013 at 3:45 am

        You, I and a few billion others ๐Ÿ™‚

        Thanga thoniyile is one of the favorites of my mother.

        Was just watching it.

        Avatharam – Thendral vandhu Responds:

        Thendral Vanthu Theendum Pothu is no patch on Thanga Thoniyile.

  3. boopalanj   February 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Seems Kadal too received negative reviews.

    One blame is: Mani atnam never understands properly about the field and native people that he tries to project on screen.

    People simply say it is – Ka”Dull”. Responds:

    1. You write: One blame is: Mani atnam never understands properly about the field and native people that he tries to project on screen.

    As if Mani Ratnam understands how to make movies.

    People still talk of his Nayagan as if it were the acme of movies!

    2. According to NDTV, Kadal is running to packed houses. Source:

    It’s hard to believe anything coming out of India vis-a-vis movies.

    • Vinith   February 4, 2013 at 6:07 am

      Yes, Kadal received mixed to negative reviews. In fact, the only positive thing about Kadal seems to be Aravind Swamy and the visuals.

      Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaya is doing much better overall than both Kadal and David.

      “People still talk of his Nayagan as if it were the acme of movies!”

      Although I like Nayagan, it’s no where even close to being a classic. While the film isn’t bad, I feel it’s over-rated. And so is Mani Ratnam.

      About your NDTV link, neither Kadal nor David is running to packed houses. Maybe in the local theaters, but not in any of the bigger multiplexes.

      With the release of Vishwaroopam this week, both are finished. Responds:

      Mani Ratnam’s Guru and Raavan (Hindi and Tamil) too were terrible.

  4. venbas   February 4, 2013 at 6:41 am

    @ this rate Kamal is likely to give 5 more Tenalis to recoup the losses from viswaroopam…Bring on Crazy Mohan for the dialogues and make at least a Kadhala Kadhala type nonsense ๐Ÿ™‚ Responds:

    Kamal Haasan is grovelling now – grovelling before the Muslims, grovelling before the Tamil Nadu government…..

    The fellow has all the makings of a fine house-trained slave!

    • Vinith   February 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Reminds me of Rajnikanth’s dialogue in Sivaji… “I was cornered. I was helpless” ๐Ÿ˜›

      With no support from the Govt and very little support from the film fraternity, he didn’t really have any choice. But if news reports are true, only some audio portions were muted. Some verses from the Quran and references to Tamil Jihadis.

      I wonder if he’s still thinking of making Vishwaroopam part 2. ๐Ÿ˜› Responds:

      Apparently, he sobbed that anything other than muting was not feasible because it’d have to sent to the U.S. for ‘fixing,’ which would lead to further delays!

      • Vinith   February 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

        “Apparently, he sobbed that anything other than muting was not feasible because itโ€™d have to sent to the U.S. for โ€˜fixing,โ€™ which would lead to further delays!”

        That’s what some news articles report.

        Bit sad that an artiste of Kamal’s stature had to get down on his knees just to appease some minority groups.

        Btw, although it’s a bit late now, if you can spare 1 hour of your time, watch the Newshour debate on the Vishwaroopam issue. Although I feel he goes overboard at times, Arnab Goswami(the host) hits the nail on the head.

      • Naveen   February 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        Majority of the reviews (including some that you have mentioned) are largely positive and they have recommended Vishwaroopam. “Poor reviews” seems inaccurate. Responds:

        The excerpts I’ve quoted above are accurate, from some of the best known Indian movie reviewers and say it all.

        Since they are from publications that a lot of us look at every Friday, I’ve used them as a sample of the reviewer population.

        When prominent reviewers use words like cartoonish, dull pace and insipid action sequences, everything….superficial, quickly loses its way, preposterous at the best of times, can be panned, a stretched second hour, far from dramatic finale dilute the impact, they’re hardly jumping up in joy over the movie.

        That said, poor reviews and recommended are not the same. The third degree treatment meted out to Kamal Haasan by some Muslims/Tamil Nadu government may have prompted some reviewers to throw him a bone or two.

        Even if some of the above reviewers have recommended the movie, the excerpts unambiguously give the game away!

        • Naveen   February 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

          I don’t agree but in order to debate I will have to start reading and pasting excerpts from reviews which is not worth our time. Quite frankly I am saturated with news about Vishwaroopam.

          Please post some new content!! ๐Ÿ™


          OK, Will have some non-movie content in an hour or so but still within the entertainment domain.

      • Naveen   February 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        //Apparently, he sobbed that anything other than muting was not feasible because itโ€™d have to sent to the U.S. for โ€˜fixing,โ€™ which would lead to further delays!//

        That makes no sense. Theaters routinely cut the length even after a movie is released. Kamal said the sound bites in some scenes will be replaced with something else. Maybe he will put some Kuthu song! Responds:

        You write: That makes no sense. Theaters routinely cut the length even after a movie is released.

        Kamal Haasan explained to the Muslim leaders that he had used the Auro 3D technology in ‘Vishwaroopam’ , said a source. “If he has to remove scenes or cut a few portions he would have to go back to Hollywood for editing. He said this would take at least 15 to 20 days which would further delay the release. He requested us to understand the technical difficulties involved,” one of the negotiators told TOI.

        Source: Times of India,

      • Naveen   February 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        It seems there is another PIL against Vishwaroopam from Brahmin Association.

        There are some cases foisted against Kadal by a Christian group.

        Pretty soon All major criminal cases will be set aside and the High Court will have noon, matinee, evening and night shows of all up coming movies for judicial and government officials! Responds:

        I’m mighty pissed…..High time we NRIs too started protesting about some scenes in Vishwaroopam.

        As an American, I’m leading the charge for a ban against Vishwaroopam because it shows our police/FBI etc in poor light. That shows Kamal Haasan’s bias against Whites and Blacks because more than 90% of our police force and FBI come from these two races.

        I’m stopping my response to you now so that I can quickly fire off an e-mail PIL. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • kage_11   February 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm

          Every faceless organization/individual wants to jump on the band wagon, just to get noticed and have some article scribbled in local newspapers.

          The Brahmin Association says this – “There is a scene which shows Kamal cooking meat for her wife (who is a Brahmin I suppose). This is has hurt our sentiments. We know Kamal is an atheist and doesn’t give a damn for these things, he had once said the thread worn by Brahmins is useful, for scratching our backs. If only Kamal had broken coconuts for the Hanuman temple in Alwarpet, all the blocks he had faced for Vishwaroopam would have been removed” ๐Ÿ™‚

          As for ‘Kadal’, the Christian community is hurt by some scenes. In the news yesterday, the Bishop who filed the case explicitly pointed the PIL letterhead towards camera to highlight his organizations name. Disgusting!

          As you had rightly said in another post, banning movies on grounds of religious sentiments is a new low for Indian democracy.


          I wonder if there’s also a money-grab involved in all these frivolous lawsuits.

          When ‘small people’ see ‘big people’ like Kamal Haasan talking about grossing Rs 350 crore, their appetites too are whetted.

          Sociologists would likely describe these “lawsuits” and PIL as weapons of the weak.

          In his remarkable new novel The Story of My Assassins, Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal writes, Abuse is the revenge of the proletariat (page.58).

          Adding lawsuits, I’d say abuse and lawsuits/PIL are the revenge of the Indian proletariat.

        • Naveen   February 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

          So, the PIL was from a Christian group and not from Brahmins. Now the courts say that the movie was censored and there is no need to change anything!

          Off Topic: Howz the weather there? it has been extremely cold and miserable here. If that wasn’t enough it has been snowing for past 2-3 days. ๐Ÿ™


          Pretty cold here too…but not as bad as the last few days.

          We still have a bit of snow on the ground although it has not snowed for 24-hours!

          But we do have some snow coming at midnight! 12AM-3AM!

  5. boopalanj   February 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    @SI“Abuse is the revenge of the proletariat (page.58).

    Adding lawsuits, Iโ€™d say abuse and lawsuits/PIL are the revenge of the Indian proletariat.”

    Proletariat? How is that justified? Would it be appropriate to say – Lawsuits is the revenge of the incapables? Responds:

    Incapables? I’d disagree because incapables are impotent in their ability to influence events.

    But the weak/proletariat are occasionally able to move the needle despite resistance from the economically/socially powerful.

    For instance, the Muslim groups brought Kamal Haasan to his knees were not incapable or impotent. But they were weak, both in numbers and public sympathy. Hence they joined forces with a stronger entity, the Tamil Nadu government.

    Other weapons of the weak/proletariat include gossip, rumor-mongering, slandering, false complaints etc.

    An interesting book – Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance by James Scott (a sociologist at Yale University).

    Although the book is set in Malaysia, I believe its findings are applicable across geographies.

    N.B: I’m curious as to why/how you are logging in from two distant cities in a span of four minutes?

    • boopalanj   February 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Good explanation, I’d try to get the book and see.

      But, I was relating it to other routine events that happen in India

      – For ex., There is a big apartment that gets constructed near one’s home / land and the person files a petition over the builder – claiming some of his land is occupied as well and the court stays the construction. Although it’s obvious that it is true, as per law proceedings, it’s evident that it’ll take a much longer time to finish, and the builder won’t either afford or like to lose money – and the company settles it out of court by throwing up few pennies (of course in Lakhs may be) to the petitioner.

      – Another ex., One starts renovating home / building a new property in a city like Chennai, suddenly there pops up a Councillor / Neighbor, demanding some money from the property owner – the owner denies to give it, and the councilor threatens to initiate actions through government bodies – for things such as disturbance to public & transport, nuisance, etc. If it is the neighbor, the neighbor stalls the construction by receiving a stay in a lower court claiming that some of his property is damaged as well.

      Such incidents happen because they’re incapables. Although they’re capable of threatening and grabbing money, at base, they could not do something successfully in the right way. How do we explain it? Your thoughts? Responds:

      While the entire world is Darwinian to some degree, my hypothesis is that societies with scarce resources and fragile political institutions like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and much of Africa the Darwinian impulse is at its apogee, pitting all against all.

      Under such circumstances, the social fabric frays, the humanistic impulse diminishes and the weltanschauung of people is mostly in terms of predator and prey.

      When citizens see each other as either predator or prey, life is an unending series of skirmishes with neighbors, politicians, goondas, members of other religions/castes/language groups etc as every individual endeavors to ceaselessly maximize his opportunity and resources.

      The examples you’ve cited fall with the above framework.

      The daily injustices rampant in India (endemic hunger, corruption, homelessness, lack of toilets etc) are unimaginable in the West, thanks largely to greater resources and their wide distribution among the people.

      The problem is that rarely do we see societies with scarce resources (often with wide income disparities) and weak political institutions like India, Bangladesh or Africa break out of their vicious cycle unless we have extraordinary leadership that practices some form of benign/benevolent dictatorship.

      But it’s easier to see the Halley’s Comet than to chance upon extraordinary leadership that practices some form of benign/benevolent dictatorship!

      Singapore and South Korea were able to break free of their history and today citizens in both countries lead a far better quality of life than other Asian or African nations.

      Bottom line, any ‘development’ we’ve been seeing in India over the last two decades is insignificant, touches very few lives and does not change the larger status quo.

    • boopalanj   February 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Ha ha, Rumors of my Teleportation abilities are greatly exaggerated.

      Not sure, may be the ISP’s problem (changing IP). Did not connect from iPad / phone / anything else in the recent hours.

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