tv & movies

What ‘Vishwaroopam 2’ means to Kamal Haasan

The actor-politician is betting big on Vishwaroopam 2, releasing August 10

Now that Kadaikutty Singam and Tamizh Padam 2 have been declared superhits, Kollywood is heaving a sigh of relief. The focus has shifted to Kamal Haasan’s long-in-the-making Vishwaroopam 2, which is all set for a release on August 10. The film, releasing in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, gets a prime Independence Day weekend with virtually no opposition. It is a sequel to Kamal Haasan’s controversial superhit Vishwaroopam (2013), which was banned in Tamil Nadu by then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The action-spy thriller written, directed and co-produced by Kamal Haasan, finally made it to theatres in Tamil Nadu two weeks after its international release.

Five years down the line, the scenario has totally changed. Jayalalithaa is no more. And, Kamal Haasan has launched his own political party. Rajinikanth has also plunged into politics without announcing a party yet. The buzz in film trade circles is that by ‘participating in Tamil Nadu politics’, both stars have given a new lease to their acting careers.

Vishwaroopam 2, which had its share of controversies, was mired in financial issues between the original producer and Kamal Haasan for the last two years and is now set for a big release. The film, censored with a UA certificate, is said to have a crisp running time of 120 minutes.

Kamal Haasan has revealed that Vishwaroopam 2 will be a sequel and a prequel to the first part. The storyline will revolve around the back story of Kamal’s character (Major Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri), how he became a RAW agent and will end keeping the franchise film open for a part 3.The film stars Andrea, Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose and Shekhar Kapoor in key roles and has music by Ghibran.

Kamal Haasan said, “Vishwaroopam 2 is an espionage thriller, an all-time favourite genre of mine. As a child, I grew up listening to stories of my maternal uncle, who was in the Intelligence Bureau. The stories he told us have influenced me while making the film.” The buzz is that the film will be a straight action entertainer, devoid of any political punchlines, as production started a long time before he announced the launch of his political party.

All areas and versions of V2 have been sold out to leading distributors. Magnus Movies USA has announced that it will be Kamal Haasan’s biggest release in his key overseas market of North America.

Closer home, in Tamil Nadu, the film is getting a solo release. Nayanthara’s Kolamaavu Kokila, which was to release along with V2 on August 10, has now been pushed to August 24. This will ensure that Kamal’s film will get a wide release in the State and its other versions will have no opposition till Akshay Kumar’s Gold (August 15) and Nivin Pauly-Mohanlal’s Kayamkulam Kochunni (August 18) hit screens.

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan has suddenly gone quiet on the political front and is refraining from commenting on sensitive issues, perhaps not wanting a hostile Government on his heels on the eve of the release of Vishwaroopam 2. The actor is is going all out to promote the film and even took part in Salman Khan’s reality game show Dus Ka Dum. His outing in Bigg Boss 2 on Vijay TV too has been helping him, though this season has not been as impressive as the last.

Since his last release Thoongaa Vanam (2015) was a commercial failure, all eyes are on V2, his first release after his political tryst. Its success is crucial for the actor, who is now all set to start shooting for the Shankar-directed Indian 2. In an interview, Kamal Haasan had said, “I will juggle between my political career and films. Only after I enter politics full time will I take a final call on my acting career.” In a way, the success of Vishwaroopam 2 at the box-office and the kind of opening it takes will be crucial for Kamal Haasan, the politician and the star.

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