Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam 2 has finally hit screens. The film is a sequel to the hit 2013 film Vishwaroopam. In an interview with indianexpress.com, Kamal talked about Vishwaroopam 2, his political agenda, mob lynching and more.
On conceiving Vishwaroopam 2
It is a story that I conceived when I first wrote Vishwaroopam, but it would have turned out to be a film as long as 340 mins. I didn’t have the heart to edit it. The idea is to tell a story. So, I thought what if it is said in parts. It has been done in novels and serials, so why not a film. This was my concept even seven years back.
On political messages in his films
I have always given a political message through my films. I have always dared to make politically relevant films. Making political comments and mimicry is satire, but I have gone beyond that. I have made a point of view that I strongly felt as a citizen and as an artiste. To sensitise my audience, I have done things that were necessary. This I have been doing since the time of Thevar Magan. Apoorva Sagodharargal doesn’t fall in this category. But if you watch some of my films like Thevar Magan, Mahanadi, Hey Ram, Virumandi, Dasavathaaram, there is a geo-political thriller attitude showcased. It is a direct impartation of what I felt is troubling me globally.
2019 elections is a pertinent message in my film, everybody has to remember that. The message is that the elections will come and what part, we as individuals, will play in it. We need to treat politics seriously. We have to be wanting to belong to our nation.
On mob lynching and other evils in India today
It will change. It is too good a country, too versatile a country to go on that route, but we all will have to pitch in. We can’t just complain. What is your little bit to change that? You can, we can! Because when it comes to bragging, we all brag that we are the pillars of this country. But, as pillars, we’ll have to stand up. And, we can do it without damaging our careers, our livelihood, because our voice is not going to be one loud hydrogen bomb. It has to be permeative and slowly rise.
On retirement from cinema
It is true that I plan to retire from cinema. But, how and when, and how soon is yet to be seen. It has to be done. I have given the largest portion of my life to cinema. It is not an exaggeration if I say that I have given most of my life to cinema, excluding the first three years. I have given it all to cinema. Now whatever is left (in life), I have to give it to what made me what I am, and what is everybody’s duty to do.
MGR (MG Ramachandran) had done 15-20 films after becoming an MLA. He was not a party president then. But the moment he became the party president, everything changed. That might happen with me also, because there is a bigger responsibility. We are then not talking about entertainment or ‘dhanda’ (business) anymore. We are talking about the business of Tamil Nadu itself. We have been critics and when critics are asked to make a film, they invariably fail. Very few critics actually prove a point. It is true for someone like (Jean-Luc) Godard. They walked the talk and they did it. And that’s what we aspire to do. We don’t want to be armchair critics commenting on it. We don’t want to be commentators giving critique. We want to be players.
On being an actor, director, and writer
There are more advantages than disadvantages in multitasking. In olden times. everybody did it. When cinema was a nascent industry, everybody did that. Chaplin and Sohrab Modi did everything – from production to acting to promoting. What would you call Guru Dutt? He didn’t want to act. But, when he didn’t get a call from Dilip Kumar, he started acting.
On today’s Bollywood
Bollywood is so much better now. New blood can flow freely which is very important. It was not like this before, and there was a deadly divide between art and commercial cinema. When we sell a ticket, it is commercial. When we make a film, it is art. So why divide that? I have been saying this for the last forty years and parallel cinema came. It became like a caste system. One doesn’t touch the other. It was like untouchability and I didn’t like it at all. See, Satyajit Ray didn’t have any problem admiring Sholay. He wouldn’t make a film like that but he admired it for the technicalities. That bond is happening slowly, but I want it to be faster.