The Telegraph
Friday , February 8 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kamal awes and confuses fans

- Vishwaroopam opens in tn

Chennai, Feb. 7: Vishwaroopam had a roaring opening across Tamil Nadu this morning as Kamal Haasan fans, who have lapped up all the tickets till Sunday night intrigued by the controversy surrounding the movie, came in hordes.

But as they streamed out, most had a dazed look, amazed by the technical brilliance of the movie but a tad confused by the narrative.

“Probably the first Hollywood-like action film in an Indian language. And like a typical Hollywood film, we could not fully follow the plot,” said Riyaz Ahmed, who runs an electronics store.

Asked how he had the nerve to see the film’s first show after the “anti-Islam” allegation that had prompted the Tamil Nadu government to ban the movie, Riyaz said: “That was all propaganda. There is nothing against our religion in the entire film. The controversy only made Kamal fans like me wait needlessly for two weeks.”

The film, cleared after Kamal agreed to some cuts, saw heavy advance booking at all the four theatre complexes in the Royapettah-Anna Salai area of central Chennai where most of the city’s Muslims live.

“I came to watch the movie only to find out what the controversy was all about. Now I find it to be another action masala,” said a man as he emerged from Sathyam cinemas.

Inside the theatre, the audience found itself a bit lost as the action moved to Afghanistan-Pakistan, tracing how the hero infiltrates al Qaida/Taliban. Flashbacks to that period keep interrupting the narrative.

“Watching a Kamal Haasan-directed film is like preparing for an exam,” said BPO employee Saikumar. “You never get to understand it the first time. I will be back for a second viewing.”

With the characters speaking Pashtoon, Hindi/Urdu and English when they are not conversing in Tamil, one has to also grasp the subtitles.

According to industry circles, the film opened across nearly 600 screens in the state, elbowing out Mani Ratnam’s Kadal at many places. “Most of the collections will happen in the first weekend,” said a theatre manager.

As the movie ends, Kamal sends out one certain message: a sequel is on the way since Omar (Rahul Bose), the villain, is still around.