“This is a prequel and a sequel. The root of his (Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri, protagonist of Vishwaroopam) patriotism is shown in this film,” said Kamal Haasan on Wednesday about Vishwaroopam II, whose first part was mired in a controversy over how the film depicted the Muslim community. Vishwaroopam II is scheduled to release on August 10.

He further said that relationships between the lead characters and their back stories would be explained in Vishwaroopam II. “Even Andrea’s character…there is a constant frown about her relationship with him (the protagonist). Nothing was explained [in the first part] as so much was happening. These characters come to fruition in this,” said Mr. Haasan.

Speaking about the film at the Raaj Kamal Films International office in Chennai, Mr. Haasan said that the film was conceived as a single ‘continuous story’ rather than a film with two parts. “This is not a second film — it is a continuous story. We (the film crew) remember it as a continuous story. If you still see this film first without watching the first part, it will still work as a stand- alone film. What we have not done is to lean on the glory of Vishwaroopam I. This film happens to be the very fulcrum that lifts Vishwaroopam I,” he said.

‘Aesthetics obliterated’

Rejecting the notion that the controversy over Vishwaroopam helped the film, Mr. Haasan said, “The first controversy sort of obliterated the film as an ‘aesthetic’ work. People are only talking now of ‘Vishwaroopam’ as a work to be seen. This film might recreate interest in Vishwaroopam I in the rest of the country at least. It makes a strong geo-political statement,” Mr. Haasan said.

He said that it was “shameful” on the part of the then Chief Minsiter Jayalalithaa and ruling AIADMK for having targeted the film. “I was saying that I was throwing in the towel and walking away in frustration because of the injustice meted out to a small company by the State government. It is a shame for the ruling government and the then Chief Minister when a citizen says that there is no justice here. The idea was to make them understand the injustice they were meting out.”

Asked how the film’s geo-political statement would be perceived in the present political climate, Mr. Haasan said that he was confident his film would be relevant even five years from now.

“Cho’s Thuglaq is still relevant thanks to politicians; they are as corrupt and as stupid. Vishwaroopam will still be relevant as long as we have politicians like Donald Trump who want to build defence corridors to save a country,” Mr. Haasan said, adding, “This film was made much before I entered active politics, but that doesn’t mean the film doesn’t talk politics,” the actor added.

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