Here’s why Kamal Hasan’s Vishwaroopam movie was an Amazing Masterpiece!

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Making a Movie is an art in itself, framing a scene is more difficult than we think, how many of us really observe the scene and in particular a frame, and how much struggle a movie maker go through before bringing it onto the screen? A perfectly placed frame is so good as a big lengthy dialogue to explain the shot. There are few noteworthy frames in films that not just highlight the scene but also the story overall, A few frames, few shots, and few scenes are all part of a beautiful screenplay, we are talking about one such movie and one such screenplay that a frame almost defines a scene or in general whole story through a hidden frame or shot. One such movie that I like is Mr. Universal Actor Kamal Hasan’s Vishwaroopam. It was released in 2 parts, but we are going to discuss part 1 of it. The Movie was released in the year 2013. Everyone would have watched this movie at least once. Now let’s re-watch that again in this article.

So, the first thing about this movie is not to waste any frames including titles.
The titles begin with pigeons being fed and then one pigeon flies and lands on a wall with a background showing New York City buildings. People who watched the movie would know how important pigeons are in the movie, that they carry nuclear radiation with them from Pakistan, which will be disclosed at the climax of the movie, but those pigeons play an important role and the movie revolves around that so our titles also start from there, that is why it is said do not waste a single frame. In this frame, it looks like a pigeon is looking at New York (just an elevation shot from other movies).

Soon after the titles, our hero Mr. Kamal Hassan be seen teaching classical dance to a group of students during that a student (Andrea) joins late, which indicates that she is not a regular student, as per the film she is not a dancer but an undercover agent and in the same song we see that all dancers go one way for a move and she (Andrea) moves in the opposite direction again detailing that she is not a dancer. Look at these 2 frames

In the same song, there is a beautiful frame which is my favourite a mirror revealing a 2-sided statue (male and female) and in the same frame our hero stands showing that there is another version of the dancer that we are watching.

After the song, everyone leaves but Andrea, as she was asked to stay by Kamal revealing again that there is more than a student-teacher bond between them while serving dinner Kamal says that my wife (Pooja) is not coming home for dinner even before she calls, and Andrea asks him how he knew about it and says that Aakashavaani (Radio) has sent a signal to him, that will be revealed in the later part of the movie that her (Pooja) office has been bugged and being monitored, how well in advance that was shown.

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And in continuation to that at the office, Pooja’s boss Deepak tells her the password to open the locker that again will be bugged only revealed later.

An investigator, appointed by Pooja follows Kamal. Kamal calls his uncle and says that he is being followed in a code language so that he can track Kamal’s location in case any alarming activity happens, showing his presence of mind and intelligence.

In the next scene when Farooq calls his boss, the boss comes to his Godown where meat is seen hanging, that shows the villain is a meat cutter (Qureshi) that he tells us in part 2, what better way can you show the character of a villain than this perfect frame.

When Deepak comes to Pooja’s place and enquires about Kamal, he introduces himself as Taufeeq. Did we know why only the name Taufeeq is out of many other names? The guy who was killed in the den for having a tracker in his bag put by Kamal’s assistant is Taufeeq and with this, he is asking him for an apology in a perfectly set scene.

When Kamal and Pooja are tied and taken to his den, Kamal observes a bunch of guys in the den and realizes that they are the sleeper cells for the nuclear radiation that was planned, showing his observation capability.

When Pooja and Kamal are tied and are set on their knees, we can observe a shot about water leakage and the difference between 2 drops (first drop to second) is the time Farooq asks a question and hits Kamal.
That gap is so much less, that was keenly captured to show the next important scene.

When Farooq hits Kamal, Farooq feels the pain showing the strength of Kamal (who was a trained undercover agent), who is strong enough to be in that role and Kamal refuses when trying to take a photo of him as he knows that boss (Rahul Bose) will be able to identify him.

When the picture is sent, and Kamal gets to know that Rahul Bose is coming to see him, he decides to destroy and escape, so asks him to untie him for a last prayer, when Kamal is untied, he finishes the whole gang in the span of those water drops leak gap.

When all done and dusted and escaped, Rahul Bose gets into flashback where Kamal was seen training Al-Qaida and the fight and his speed in the previous scene are truly justified.

During his training to Al-Qaida, Kamal once tries to play with a kid by making kid sit in a swing and the kid ran saying that I am not a kid (the kid was passionate to study medicine and he has that maturity), in very next shot, the elder guy to this kid comes and sits in the swing and asks Kamal to swing it (showing the immaturity of the guy), because he would die eventually becoming a suicide bomber. How brilliantly one can explain the mindsets of an educated and uneducated (suicide bomber) mindset in a single scene?

In the same Episode. The little kid’s mom takes the blindfold that was tied by his father in training him to identify the weapons in the process of making him a Jihadi (Fighter), showing her disinterest in that.

When Kamal and Rahul Bose visit a place that was informed to be attacked by Americans, Kamal sees a boy dead and holding a gun in his hand, he tries to take that, but the gun was held tight shows us how tightly they are attached to weapons and in the same scene a doctor was seen dead with stethoscope in her hand that comes out of her hand easily, showing how the education is loosely held in that place. Framing 2 different variations at the same place at the same time shows the brilliance of the director, Kamal himself.

When Rahul Bose and his son kill one of the Americans that was held, they take a video of it and look at the brilliance in capturing the frame showing the mindsets.

Being a senior Father might have seen many of those murders, so he looks so casually and the son is super excited to see the video (young and new), which summarizes their state of mind during killing.

While getting some groceries Kamal observes a kid in a weapon shop and gets disturbed after reaching home, he observes the little kid who wanted to become a doctor having a stethoscope and acting like a doctor, again 2 different mindsets in one single scene.

After a few weapon training sessions, we can observe Kamal just cleaning his hands from dust but Rahul Bose relaxing his muscles, again showing that Kamal is trained hard with them, and Rahul is a novice in that area, how small a detailing that was.

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At Taufeeq’s house while meeting in a shot shows his Taufeeq’s mother very happy meeting Kamal and that is why he feels emotional after Taufeeq’s death.

At the same place, Nassar and Taufeeq talk and behind that Kamal and his assistant change the package (put the tracker in Taufeeq’s bag).

After the flashback, the first shown double sided statue will split into 2 halves and some pen drives are being observed, showing the other side and saying that he has hidden many things within him, Pooja gently touches the guy side statue showing her love and Kamal in new avatar gets down from stairs. What a brilliant way of conveying love and revealing the facts.

The shot which shows that Kamal feels guilty for the loss of Taufeeq, shows his other side clearly though he is shown training Al-Qaida.

The most important Climax part of Vishwaroopam is the detailing and perfection at the perfect level, we see a Nigerian shaving his head and all the hair from the body, people do that when they are ready for a sacrifice, as per Jihadi terms hair is considered unholy so removing that shows the purity in the work they are doing and that was shot perfectly, showing that Kamal did some research before putting a frame.

Before this scene, Hawkins is seen dead as Rahul’s son finds his identity which is the reason why Kamal must hide his identity from Kashmiri Wizam to Vishwanath to Taufeeq.
The Titles started with Pigeons, and they are shown at the end, being collected by officers for radiation, which reveals the importance of pigeons in the movie.

These are brilliantly framed shots and show the passion, dedication, and perfection in framing every single shot, the exercise the director has made to frame them and the research he has done to do the minute detailing. So, these are a few breakdowns that I found in Vishwaroopam. Thanks to Mr. Kamal Hassan for such a brilliant screenplay and beautiful movie. Comment if we missed any.

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Vivek Ravula

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