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Times of India
Vishwa is a kathak teacher whose wife Nirupama wants to divorce him because she's in an extramarital affair. And he's even not Alpha-male. But wait, she discovers her husband is not the simpleton she thinks he is. Saying anything more at this juncture will spoil the plot.
Like Hollywood that is obsessed with Osama Bin Laden and terror post-9/11, actor-writer-director Kamal Haasan, one of India's finest film talents, gets drawn to Osama this time.
The action moves from America to Afghanistan back to America. The timelines go from 2002 to the present. Pre-intermission, the action is set in the terror-infested arid locales of Afghanistan (enchantingly captured) where the hot-blooded Aghanis are all mujahideen, fighting their demons, the Americans. Rahul Bose heads a local terrorist outfit; Kamal Haasan joins in the strife. Life is hard, customs banal, punishments extreme. But Vishwaroop doesn't offer you anything you haven't heard or seen before.
Here one should give the devil his due. The filmmaker is thorough in his study on the subject, transporting you to Afghanistan, making you partially empathise with what is the sad state of affairs in this kingdom ever since the US stepped on this soil.
Rahul Bose's sentence - America is shedding blood for petrol, we're shedding blood to protect Allah - captures the essence of the plot. Kamal also captures nuances of how the gun-culture has seeped into the children of Afghanistan; even blindfolded boys recognise AK-47s and 11 mm bullets!
In the second half, Osama is gone. Televised speeches show Obama preening on victory. But the film tells you that the danger is far from over. Muslim terrorists are still baying for the blood of the Americans. And, some psychos continue to dabble with dirty bombs and suicide bombers. The FBI and an Indian intelligence group are trying to foil an attack that could lead to mass destruction.
Intentions of this film and the maker are good. Kamal's performance is A-grade. However the film fails, especially in the second half because there are no lump-in-the-throat moments; nor is there any shock and awe.