Cast: Kamal Haasan, Rahul Bose, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah and Shekhar Kapur (in a guest appearance)
After reading so much about the controversy around this film, MOH and I were in a desperate situation where we totally HAD to see this movie even in Russian! We did not get the Tamil version's tickets, but managed to grab the Hindi version before the censor board ate it up.
If India sends this movie to the Oscars, at least the jury will feign some interest in watching it instead of puking at the usual kachra we keep force-feeding them :p Of course it is not Oscar worthy because it is an out-and-out action film and there are definitely better films out there.
Which reminds what are those folks protesting against and why are the other folks banning it? The protagonist is a Muslim who stakes his life for his Hindu motherland - how do they ignore this crucial staring-in-your-face fact and go on to protest against some one-liner (or whatever political fiasco is being played) that apparently offends a particular religion? How can any religious faction WHETHER Hindu or Muslim or Christian tell us what to watch, read or wear?
Anyway, back to the movie - India arrives on the International scene with this truly Hollywood-ishtyle choreography. From the point of view of a terrorist organization, I'm pretty much impressed with the details Kamal has paid attention to - the nitty-gritties of costumes, dialects, gestures, quotes from the Koran and general mannerisms of terrorists, effeminate-men, serious-officer etc, not unlike Dasavataram - he flits between characters with utter ease and perfection. Though post interval, the movie slightly dragged, all the blazing guns and chases more than made up for it.
Of course I disliked the part where, in the end, the wife realizes she loves her now feminine-turned-masculine husband (and all the while I'm quivering in my seat, hoping that she does not flash her mangalsutra and give some dramatic dialogue of how 'yeh-bandhan-nahi-tutega-blah-blah' or a drop of blood from his wound will fall on her hair-parting or wherever).
There were brilliant scenes - Kamal reciting aloud the namaz before he is to be 'killed' or an effeminate Kamal teaching kathak to his students or the sudden fight he starts in captivity, the sarcastic one-liners etc etc. I can only imagine the research the team must have done, and the sets they must have thought of in their minds. If you could put together numerous news items from across the globe - relating to the activities of the LeT or such terrorist organizations, you could make a movie out of it.
Maybe I am reading too much into it, but what the hell I walked out of the cinema with a contented smile :) Tamil directors have always been brilliant, this is just one more feather in their cap, of course barring the fat lady :p