VISHWAROOPAM: the cave-tunnel vision

Kamal Haasan’s ambitious spy thriller Vishwaroopam (2013) sinks in after a while, given its layers planted within numerous plot points, characters and location. Screenplay by Haasan himself keeps surprising while patiently revealing his character Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri, its an alluring experience. Vishwaroopam is technically brilliant film at-par with Hollywood league in terms of its action sequences and the ambitious scale. An interesting note, we’ve a Muslim-saviour, a rare occasion as against the stereotypical categorisation.

Antagonist Omar Qureshi (Rahul Bose) has one artificial eye owing to an eye injury, he’s most of the time seen inside cave frames. While his vision is limited or rather narrow, he aims for Jihad in a brutal manner and the cave acts as a protector. While the caves are enclosed, there’s no ray of hope to be seen and the realisation of goals (here, the Jihad) is narrowed down. An explicit example, out of the cave, at home, he objects to his son’s inclination towards speaking-English and instead hands him guns.

There’s a struggle present as the symbolism of tunnel (dream analysis), Vishwaroopam’s jihad is about conviction of the Jihadis about American’s conspiracy to destroy Islam. If we replace cave with tunnel (both have minor differences), in the 23rd Psalm of the Bible to the common phrase “the light at the end of the tunnel,” tunnels are embedded in the psyche as places of danger and fear. With Omar’s Jihad, its the danger embedded without any light and a psyche which here isn’t brainwashed. Its like he was digging a tunnel for an escape but ended up halfway, which shaped it as cave.

Post-Vishwaroopam, a relatively small film explicitly dealt with the tunnel vision M. Manikandan’s Kuttrame Thandanai (2016). The protagonist suffers from tunnel vision (defective sight in which objects cannot be properly seen if not close to the centre of the field of view) whose circumstances hatches him a murder. Here, the defective sight stands for the defective decisions and the vision narrowing down suggests his downfall.

Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri enters Omar’s cave exploring the brand new perspective, the awareness being within the cave makes him retaliate in his own ways (the climax of Vishwaroopam and the trailer of Vishwaroopam II suggest so). Meanwhile Wisam, gets out of the Omar’s cave – the dream analysis of tunnel might stand valid here which talks about the action as being a beneficial symbol of destiny (here, for peace), even it causes looming doom clouds upon you.

Eagerly waiting for Vishwaroopam II, hoping for the pinnacle.

End Note: Muslim civic organisations which protested against the film claiming it to be defamatory to the Islamic ethos and hurt Muslim sentiments, an example of cave vision.


Copyright ©2018 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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