Archive for June, 2008

Dasavatharam-Ten to Tango!

History, myth, science, religion and philosophy seem to be the regions where Kamal Hassan has dug out his script for this mega movie. Produced by Aascar Ravichandran and directed by dexterous K.S.Ravikumar, Dasavathaaram has finally hit the screens after crossing all the hurdles laid before it. Being the most hyped up movie of the year, this one gave rise to a big wave of anticipations and presumptions amidst Kamal’s fans as well as the whole finicky, film loving lot. The movie begins with a card saying ‘One legend in ten roles’ and ends with a quick flash of scenes which reveal the secret of one becoming ten. In spite of the movie’s technical glitches and sans logic areas, it stands out to be a quality family entertainer. Would have been much better if released in mid-summer since Dasavathaaram has a lot of magic to entertain kids of all temperaments. Kamal Hassan’s script and K.S.Ravikumar’s direction prove to be in perfect equilibrium and this becomes the movie’s biggest forte. Kudos to the duo!

The plot, which is narrated by Kamal on a giant stage, opens in the 12th century where we see a strong Saivite, Chola king’s{Napolean} futile attempts to displace Vaishnavites from the country due to the counter efforts of Rangaraja Nambi{kamal Hassan}, a Vaishnava Brahmin. Since God is no match for a king when he is in the throne, the king orders Rangaraja Nambi to be tied up with a Perumal idol and thrown into the sea and brings it into fruition resulting in the suicide of Rangaraja Nambi’s wife{Asin}. With a sudden shift in time and place we are pulled forward to December 2004 to a research center in US, where we see Dr.Govinda Rajan{Kamal Hassan} a Biotechnological scientist working on a dangerous germ compound. Very soon we realise that Govind’s boss Sethu is a money hungry monster and is interested in the commercial profit of the life demolishing germ compound. While on the contrary, Govind is against all these and when his negotiations with Sethu fail, the germ and frenzied Govind accidentally travel down to India in a courier flight. A white man named Christian Fletcher{Kamal Hassan} and his instant wife{Mallika Sherawat} track Govind down, when Govind is trying hard to get back the box containing the hazardous germ from an old lady called Krishnaveni{Kamal Hassan} living in the Agraharam of Chidambaram. While Govind is busy with his old lady and Andal{Asin} a Brahmin girl, Fletcher and his darling step in, causing a lot of commotion. This sets the pace of the movie and the dice start to roll. So to see the ten Avatars of Kamal, watch Dasavatharam.

It’s really amusing and amazing to see many kamals around on screen. Certain characters pose a challenge to the audience to make out if it is Kamal or a different actor. The screenplay is characterised by witty dialogues and unexpected twists sustaining the overall interests of the audience. Unlike the typical present day Tamil heroines, Asin takes the burden of ‘comedy responsibility’. Balraam Naidu, Avtaar Singh and Christian Fletcher are the well characterised avataars of Kamal. The visualisation of Oh ho Sanam is beyond imagination along with the thin tragic element offered by Avtaar Singh. Mallika Sherawat does her stereotyped lime pickle item number role good enough to do justice to the glamor standards of today. The greatness of the movie lies in the script and sets where the writer and Director have successfully coded all the ten characters in the same program. Jayapratha performs her gentle and tragic role smartly well enough. The comic scenes and witty dialogues make sure that the audience stick to the screen till the very end.

The ups and downs in the screenplay allow the critics to question the nonsensical areas of this movie since it is strongly footed on logic. Also, in a certain characters the makeup is a bit awkward, spoiling the flawless performance of Kamal Hassan. Since a lot of characters come and go in a short time span, it becomes a Himalayan task for the first bench movie goers to remember them till the end. Laymen are not allowed the comfortable position of audience, since the complicated plot structures, ideas, English dialogues and nonsense scenes prick their minds and eyes now and then. Adding to this the denouement of this movie fails to produce the intended grip, spoiling itself. A few intelligent dialogues( such as, ‘Shall we drop a nuclear bomb on it?’ and ‘Remember Hiroshima?-Remember Pearl harbor?) capable of collecting claps from the audience fail when they are performed in English. The movie would have glittered better if the logic less scenes and highly complicated scenes are kept under control.

Ravivarman’s cinematography once again proclaims that their boss is the master of lenses. Himesh Reshammiya’s peppy numbers exactly represent and accompany the ‘total feel’ of the movie and DevisriPrasad’s hi tech background score reminds us that he still has a lot in store for his fans. The Editor could have thought about going through the editorial process once again since everything seems to be in a jiffy. But he should be appreciated for his Herculean efforts to bring in all the scenes involving all the ten different characters into his table in a proper sequence. At the end of the show Dasavatharam says ‘Gun or fun, my path is one and my men are ten!’


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