Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dasaavathaaram - Full Review


Dasaavathaaram is proof that Kamalhassan has learnt his lessons well from films like Hey Ram! and Aalavandhaan. Like those films, it is ambitious and self-indulgent but those qualities are limited to behind-the-screen aspects like make-up and special effects. Onscreen, it has a very massy sensibility, revealed in its flimsy story, frenetic screenplay and overall light tone. It is erratically paced and a tad too long but Kamal's abundant talent, ambition and dedication to his craft pull it through.


The film starts off in the 12th century - in an episode that barely has any connection to the rest of the story - where a devout Vaishnavite Nambi(Kamalhassan) stands up to the King(Napolean), a Shiva devotee, and pays for it with his life. The scene then shifts to Washington D.C in December 2004, where Govindarajan(Kamalhassan), a scientist, goes on the run with a vial holding a deadly biological virus, after stealing it to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The vial and Govind, with an ex-CIA assassin Fletcher(Kamalhassan) behind him, end up in Chidambaram. It ends up inside an idol and he once again goes on the run, this time with a devout Brahmin girl Andal(Asin) in tow, to get the vial back.

The film's USP is ofcourse Kamal appearing in 10 roles - a first in world cinema. Seen purely from a performance perspective, he carries it off with aplomb. His body language, expressions, accents and voice modulation, whether in the "come here" finger-call of the American, the fast walk of the Japanese, the bemused expression of Bush or the Telugu-mixed Tamil spoken by the Telugu cop, are pitch-perfect. The models he's based these characters on have been researched and studied intently and it shows. It is chest-thumping for sure but since its backed by real talent, its easier to accept it. Other actors barely make an impression in what is essentially a one-man show. Asin shows that she has a great knack for comedy once again but her character's idiocy in not understanding the situation as the movie goes on works against her. Kamal favorites like Nagesh, Santhanabharathi, Napoleon and Vaiyapuri show up here too.

Kamal is so amazing in the 9 roles that if he had done these performances without an iota of make-up on, we could've still pinpointed exactly who he was playing. In fact, the make-up ends up being a distraction in many cases. Some faces in particular have too many layers and make his face look stiff, inexpressive and disproportionate to the rest of his body(though the screenplay is designed such that the roles that have the most makeup, like the American killing machine and the Japanese kung-fu expert, don't need to be expressive). Its telling that the best character is Brahma Naidu, one of the few roles with little make-up.

Unfortunately, that USP turns out to be the film's OSP - Only Selling Point. It's difficult to tell a story with 9 characters of equal importance and it shows. The main story, which is thin enough to deserve only 3 or 4 of those characters, veers off in many directions to provide placeholders for the remaining characters and give them adequate screen time. As a result the screenplay suffers since these extraneous characters ofcourse lead to extraneous segments where the movie begins to drag.

The film races along comfortably initially. A good plot with potential, a series of interesting locations, a very lively character in the Telugu cop and anticipation about Kamal's remaining roles ensure that the first half breezes by. The humor quotient is high with some of the jokes, like the wordplays with Rao, worthy of being penned by 'Crazy' Mohan. But the film begins to drag post-intermission as Kamal and Asin are stuck with the idol and the cracks, some of which were present earlier too, begin to show more clearly. The plot begins to spin its wheels; Kamal's 2 new characters add nothing of importance and seem extraneous; Asin's character gets increasingly screechy and irritating; the screenplay takes some unconvincing and cliched turns; and the humor seems forced as the plot gains seriousness.

The film's tone is also uneven as Kamal's serious, topical, message-oriented thoughts seem to be packaged rather uneasily within KSR's commercial, masala-ish screenplay. Apart from the science vs atheism question that is prevalent throughout(it is expressed more pointedly once Kamal, who is scientific-minded and Asin, who is religious, go on the run and start sparring), the movie touches upon chaos theory, the threat of biological weapons and America's short-sightedness. But the film's light tone never allows these to be taken seriously and they are lost amidst the chases, jokes and stunts.

Most of the film's budget was apparently spent on make-up since the special effects are disappointing. The effects in the segment set in the 12th century are particularly bad and the sense of awe that the film is going for is replaced by wonder at the cheesiness of the graphics in a film of this magnitude. Things do get better though as the film proceeds. Scenes involving multiple Kamals sharing the screen are quite convincing with a one-on-one fight between two of them being particularly good. The tsunami brings in special effects on a scale not seen before in Tamil cinema and is impressive considering that.

The average soundtrack isn't rescued by the picturization of the songs. Kallai Mattum... is picturized on a large scale and with the required passion but its effect is minimized by the aforementioned cheesy graphics. Oh Oh Sanam... looks colorful. Mukunda Mukunda... has some clever shadow images accompanying the lines about Lord Vishnu's 10 avathaarams. Mallika Sharawat does her bit(pun unintended) in Kaa Karuppanukkum.... As expected, Ulaga Naayagane... plays during the end credits with scenes of the arduous make-up process. But in keeping with the movie's tone, it also looks rather cheesy with KSR dancing in a group and Kamal's various roles shaking their legs along with the movie's crew.

60 Comments:

At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me it is an average movie. But DASAVATHARAM is a absolute proof that KH has not learnt lessons from his earlier failures. It is watchable for mere technical brilliance. I expected a lot from KAMAL but he disappointed. For an outright masala movie, he has wasted nearly 2 1/2 years instead a classic one. Performancewise too, Kamal has disappointed me except in two or three roles. What is the need for 10 avatars? Only 3 to 4 avatars is enough. With more than 3 hours to sit, it is painstaking to watch the movie. It is good in bits and pieces. ASIN the damn worst ever actress in the whole world with her irritating performance. Particularly the worst ever role of his acting career is undeniably the role of SINGH. Longway to go to do 10 roles like great Nadigar Thilagam.

 
At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good movie not a great one...worth watching...

 
At 2:23 AM, Blogger S.Ganesh Kumar said...

Most of the film's budget was apparently spent on make-up since the special effects are disappointing.
Probably it's not that costly as the media claims.In my opinion,he could have made a pure comedy out of Dasavatharam and made another Mahanadi/Anbe Sivam kinda film to express his Chaos' Theory, Butterfly theory,god vs. atheism etc.
Trying to a heady mix of both(Masala+Message) does not seem to work these days(Becomes 'Messala';whoever coined it,its funny).

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Fine review. More or less in sync review of mine in tamil at my site.
Felt the movie could've used some depth in story. Hope it runs enough...

 
At 3:51 AM, Anonymous silanthimanithan said...

The Blood Thupping Sardar was the worst role EVER in Tamil cinema industry. Vijaykanth's gravity defying stunts have more logic than the way the bullet takes away this man's cancer. I kept wondering why this singu is thupping blood all over our moonji only to realize that Ulaganayagan is on the verge of inventing a new cure for Cancer - "Shoot the bastard" Method.

 
At 3:55 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

Not seen the moviet yet but from reviews I am reading all over the blogsphere, it seems Dasavatharam falls very much short of expectations.

 
At 4:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@silanthimanithan

atleast "Blood Thupping Sardar" can act. Vijaykanth can only spell the word 'act'...(I am not saying you meant that V'kanth can act)

Bullet taking the tumor/cancer away...OK that may not ooze logic. But we've seen far worse stuff than that in Tamil cinema (Refer to any of Perarasu's creations).

No actor in Tamil Cinema Industry, let alone Indian Cinema, can or has the talent to do 10 roles and do it well. We have to be proud of our Kamal instead of pin-pointing issues with the movie.

This movie is not perfect...which movie is? Appreciate the daring and ambitious venture by Kamal and get on with it. Kamal and Mani are arguably the only people who are taking Tamil cinema to a new level/world stage...

We accept any crap the Rajni dishes out. But when an actor actually thinks, does some research on characters etc we criticize him to the hilt.

Sorry for vent...

Peace!

Anti-DasavatharamCritic (lol..)

 
At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@silanthimanithan

What does Silanthi mean? I've tried google'ing it...couldn't find its meaning.

 
At 6:11 AM, Blogger skanda said...

"Dasarvatharam" seems to be techincally on par with hollywood standards" everyone claims, but never seen it anywhere in the film. Infact Kamal's "Hey raam" and "alavandhaan" looked better. somehow felt KS Ravikumar was not suitable as a director. To me the whole movie is screaming for Shankar to take over. He knows how to these kind of stories and package it intrestingly. KSR completely lost it with his direction. I can see that kamalahasan didint interfere in that aspect, probably too busy with his makeups!

 
At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect review. 2 stars???

-Senthil

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Arun said...

"The main story, which is thin enough to deserve only 3 or 4 of those characters, veers off in many directions to provide placeholders for the remaining characters and give them adequate screen time. As a result the screenplay suffers since these extraneous characters ofcourse lead to extraneous segments where the movie begins to drag."
Balaji, this is called expert analysis. I have not seen the film as I really had doubts about KS Ravikumar, he caters to the masses and apart from some comedy elements, would not make a film that caters to A centre audience. When I heard of him dancing, I knew this will not appeal to me.

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

BB,

I suppose first 2 star kamal movie for a while (or) 1.5 perhaps :-)

I did'nt like the movie. But it does look an honest attempt on paper (script) that lost it's way once it's into film making. Terribly disappointed with Tsunami scences, they raved abt it then there's pretty much nothing. The first half of the movie had a more hollywood feel to it :)

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

Thank God I atleast did not find romantic numbers , dappanguthu or kuthu songs :)

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Completely agree with your review. The movie looks patchy due to his attempt to squeeze in 10 roles into the story. This could have been a much better movie had he given some importance to the flow of events. There was lot of blood in the scenes, which seemed unnecessary.

I was trying to figure out what is the relevance of 12-th century Vaishnavism and Chaos theory in the main story line. I was looking for some connection to see how the events in history are affecting the present day scenario. I couldn't find any.

Kamal's effort is commendable but there is nothing else to talk about.

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anonymous ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

""" I was trying to figure out what is the relevance of 12-th century Vaishnavism and Chaos theory in the main story line. I was looking for some connection to see how the events in history are affecting the present day scenario. I couldn't find any. """

U cud relate the 12th century events in 2 possible ways as i cud put

1) The Tsunami is caused by the statue when it comes out of the sea :p ( far fetched)

2)God ,who went into the ocean in the 12th century comes out on dec26th to save loads of people.

Chaos theory is there throughout the film. Kamal meeting the muslim leads to them getting caught and are taken inside the mosque for investigation which saves them.Poovaragan coming to vaus's house leads to saving the kids and his death which eventually leads to the old lady getting cured.

Like this everything in the film is interconnected.Everyone has a reason to be there in the film.

But it could have been told better.
Commendable effort by kamal.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

I see the point by others that you are too easy on Kamal :) the rest have given a scathing review and prb justified too.

Film is a chaos, I do not know if it follows Chaos Theory :)

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the movie a couple of days back and don't know if I liked it or not, as too may things were thrown at the viewer. I had the same feeling when MMKR released and now upon repeated viewings, I consider it a classic. There are a lot of little things that I was intrigued by..most of the names, for instance, were based on the actual Dasavatars..Govind Ramaswamy, Balram Naidu, Krishnaveni, Avatar Singh , Rangarajan, Boo-varaghan and the coolest name of the lot..Shinghen Narahasi!

Kumar

 
At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kumar,

Prb agree with you on too many things thrown, but i'm pretty sure this isn't repeat stuff. Movie lacks quite some things, waiting for Baradwaj's review to nail it.

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

didn't sivaji do 10 roles in navarathiri - nine rasas + the final boyfriend that savithri marries.

that was truly a great film.

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous arun said...

Wonder if the producer is contemplating another change to his name: from Aascar Ravichandran to "Ass-scar Ravichandran" :)

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger Anu said...

Just saw the movie two hours ago and I am still shaking my head in annoyance. It started of well enough with the car chase, but some of characters as mentioned by you were totally unneccesary. My main question is whats the point of marrying Mallika sherawat?

 
At 8:33 PM, Blogger arun said...

I usually follow Balaji's blog to catch up on his views which are unbiased even though he is a Rajini fan. But, the crowd who responds to his blog always seem to put down Kamal and just not make it evident add a word "Commendable work by Kamal". I am a fan of Kamal and my 2nd liking is Rajini compared to anyone else in Tamil cinema. I do not say bad about Rajini as I like him next to Kamal, but when Kamal is pitted against Rajini, I take Kamal's side.

Now, why am I writing all this. All of us here have read the review. Some say, all the avatars are not necessary. Let me tell you one thing. When the movie started, its decided that it is going be have multi-roles. How many roles? Two, Three, Four(already done). What's the number to beat (7-Eddie Murphy, 9-Sivaji)thus 10. I wont deny the fact that a few roles could have been made less, but does it serve any purpose?

Liking or disliking a movie is purely your choice, but lets not disgrace effort (especially when he makes an honest attempt to take tamil cinema to next level)

Rajini is way too talented to do movies like Sivaji and Baba provided you have seen Aariliruthu Arupathu Varai, Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri, Ranga, Mullum Malarum, etc. It is fans like you who made him that way he is now. He would have really rocked provided he would have acted in these kind of movies. Today, everyone uses Rajini's name claiming to be fans with kuthu songs and fights in their movies. Not acceptable. Rajini, being a superstar should lead by good example.

Question put : Will all your reviews be the same incase Rajini had done Dasavatharam?

 
At 9:01 PM, Anonymous karthik said...

Bullet taking the cancer away is far more logical than getting voluntarily electrocuted inside a jail then being swapped and resurrected by CPR.

Voonak Kannil Paataal Yaavum Kutram thaan
Nyanak Kannil Paataal Yaarum Suttham thaan


The movie is a roller-coaster ride. Just enjoy the ride.

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Stranger said...

Saw the movie at Albert yesterday. I'm not a Kamal fan but I really enjoyed the movie... The entire crowd was cheering Kamal through out the movie and it was like a festival. I think this is the best Kamal movie in entertainment in last 5 years. Balram Naidu is my favourite avatar. For people who complain about graphics and make-up - I say please don't compare to hollywood at least appreciate the effort done. This movie is the talk of the town in Chennai attracting all kinds of fans. :)

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger Vijay Kumar said...

Saw it with my parents at the alameda earlier today. To be honest, I was not bored with the movie. I did notice some of the negatives mentioned by other reviewers but these minus points did not affect me adversely. The one thing that came close to spoiling the movie for me was the way the second Asin's character became irritating after a point.
Balaram Naidu
Govindarajan
Fletcher
Nambi
are required for the storyline
Booraghavan
was there to prove KH's dialect prowess
the old lady
Avatar singh
Kalif Ullah
George Bush
and the martial arts guy
are mere fillers for ten avatars
My friend insists that Karunanidhi, Manmohan Singh and the monkey, Sheela, are also KH in makeup.

@Anonymous
The final boyfriend role in navarathiri was one of the rasas. Savithiri meets eight other people in her journey.

By way of comparison with Navarathiri, the sivaji film had a better story line and of course it had Savithri holding it together.

 
At 4:09 AM, Blogger Friendly Stranger said...

Hi...Nice movie review....
It's so perfect that I don't regret for not knowing tamil anymore!(But still waiting for Hindi one...)

 
At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movie had its share of negatives but I dont think it ever failed to entertain. As so many people have already said (and specifically spotted characters that were fillers), 10 roles was probably only to fill Kamal's ego. Although the Japanese guy and his final fight did show he was not a filler. Moreover he helps saves Govind and Asin (japanese are more knowledgeable about Tsunamis and ways to protect themselves).

The biggest plus for the movie was how multiple Kamal's in the same frame was handled. Not once did I feel that there were tacky special effects. The "special effects" itself left a lot to be desired though (fortunately much better than a ramanarayanan movie!) Some of the makeup looked tacky as well.

Kamal's body language was stupendous though in all the characters. Especially George Bush! They all exhibited extremely good body language and never did more than what they were required to.

In a movie with 1 Kamal, its hard to find someone else (either they dont perform well or Kamal cuts them out on the editing table). So with 10 Kamals, I was not expecting much. I have to say though that MS Bhaskar stole the show quite a few times. The fact that I still remember some of his lines a day after watching the movie is worthy enough to mention him here.

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

I too blogged similar thoughts. BTW, a biological virus as opposed to what other kind? :-)

And who is brahma Naidu? :-)

I know, I know, nitpicking ;-)

 
At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Sivajini said...

I watched it in downtown toronto and sadly there was maybe 10-15 people in the entire theatre. I'm sure the more populated areas of the Greater Toronto had more audience but considering that this was the first time ever for it to be downtown(that I know of) I don't think the will do a second showing for next week.

Kamal was fantastic, he's clearly worked his ass off. And he's also obsessive compulsive, I was smiling by the brand placement of the cheerio's in Suko's apt.

I was really in awe of the first scenes with Aiyangar Kamal, I thought Napolean looked very magestic, very much the part.

The way Fletcher worked with that litle knife and Bush not understanding what NaCl was is gold!

Re-Fletcher marrying Mallika? Why have Mallika there to begin with? I know, I know, but really a pole dancer who was trained by the Al-Qaida, who is a native Tamil? Yeah that is realistic. Lol

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous ram said...

nice review. i could read it without the fear of stumbling upon spoilers. very eager to watch the movie...naalai nite screening-ku mela thaallam elaam ready pannanum!
here's a "mock" (pun intended) interview before that...
BB: shriya, what did u think of the movie?
shriya: hey buljee, i liked the movie...enkoo romba pidchadhu andha characters thaan...
BB (thinking, "what a dumb reply"): endha characters?
shriya: oh, those ten characters...asin's two characters...mallika's one character...everyone...
BB: oh really? and, what about the tsunami?
shriya: oh yeah, i was actually holidaying in switzerland when it happened.
BB (thinking, "DUMBASSS!!"): no ma'am, the tsunami sequence in the movie.
shriya: right right, it was very tragic. enkoo water screen uttu veliye vanchoo-nu feeling...
BB: so, what next?
shriya: oh water vanchoo-na raincoat poattukanum...
BB: NOOOOO ("dumbasss^infinity"), i meant what projects are you working on?
shriya: oh, this movie called, "saettu singaariyum seththa perichaaliyum..." its a social drama with doses of comedy and glamor...no vulgarity mind you...we've used graphics to make vadivelu act as the perichaali.
BB: How interesting...looking forward to that! (thinking, "enaala mudiyala! porum daa saami indha interview!")

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Kunthavaiyin Kaathalan said...

Nice review. I take a much more negative tone in my review.

I thought the first 10 minutes were great and the movie tied it up well at the end with the unearthing of the idol (The movie starts showing religious (maybe sectarian) fanaticism of kulothunga chozhan and nambi. It ends with a plea to inject some rationality instead of more religion) . Everything else in the movie was consumed by Kamal's egotism and KSR's lack of originality.

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji and others,
read your reviews...But watched the movie yesterday and I disagree on a lot of counts....
To me it was good. Reasons:
1. The effort put in
2. Let's face it. When compared to the very ordinary fare dished out by the Tamil cinema , I think there was a lot of international quality to the movie...
3. Take the scens in the US- It could have been part of any Hollywood flick
4. The comedy stream throughout was very good...In fact I got to watch it a second time for sure to catch all of it....
5. A lot has been written about the make-up. I think the make up is good for most part...when we people can lap up chekka sivappe in shivaji, can we not appreciate a tamil guy almost looking close to Bush...By the way Bush was ridiculed quite a bit and he deserves it....
6. Graphics- a lot of the scenes where multiple kamals were involved where absolutely seam less...exceptionally done....And the Tsunami scene was mind blowing
7.Camerawork was brilliant.
8.Dialogues were very good....I loved the last line of the movie where he says - 'Kadavul Illainu yaar sonna....Irundha nallarukkumnu thaane sonnen'
9. Fast paced screen play made the movie very watchable.
10. Of course Kamal- We neednt talk too much about his acting ability....The nauances that he showed in each character where brilliant...the dialect for Naidu and Poovaraghan where absolutely stunning....I think No one could have done the Rangarajan Nambi character better....Just tooooooo goood

Of course the movie had its own negatives too....
1. Too long. Some of the chase scenes could have been removed....and perhaps the nambi scenes added...
2. Asin was too loud
3. Sherawat was not required...probably added for the hindi audience and for the commercial quotient...
4.Music was pretty ordinary...
5. Some sermonising could have been cut down....

Balaji...To your comparisons of this movie to Shivaji...with all due respect I dont think they are even comparable......There is no question of repeat value comparisons.....One need to watch this movie twice atleast to understand the movie completely without missing out the nuances or the comedy lines....

But guys...overall I think people should just not judge it as a Kamal movie keeping his standards high.... When you Just watch it for what it is...It was Fantastic and More....In fact I am booking for the next weekend already...of course if tickets are available....

Muthu

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Selvaraj said...

Imagine Rajinikanth playing a serious, character driven movie? Sounds strange isn't? Likewise, it looks strange when we see Kamalahasan doing a utopian style, flashy movie with 10 varied characters full of gimmicks and tricks up their sleeves. The so called "urbane intellectuals", who buy coke and popcorn watching hollyywood movies in INOX and other multiplexes, may dissect the movie. But one should not forget that this living legend of Tamil cinema has worked hard in the past in giving intense, meaningful cinema with no support & luck from any quarters whatsoever! For all urbane intellectuals out there, don't you think it's time for this legend to get his own share of good fortune and luck?

So, take it easy, chill out and take your family out for this movie pretending that you don't know Kamalahasan's background. I bet you will enjoy the movie. To me, this is the best entertainer from Kamal after Tenali. If the initial indicators are any, I guess this movie is all set to celebrate silver jubilee like Tenali!

Regards,
Selva

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger Filbert said...

Balaji, like many above, me too wondering - what will be your rating for this over-hyped piece of junk? :)

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, the very fact that he tried to make a masala movie out of this serious them is what i meant by he learning from his past failures :)

ganesh, messala... like that one. though it has a 2nd meaning(messy masala) in this case :)

anon, silanthi=spider right?

skanda/arun, agree with u 100%. i think bringing on ksr was kamal's biggest mistake :)

senthil/srivatsan/filbert, yes 2 stars :)

anon, yes there was the feeling that all those things were in the movie. but weren't expressed clearly. i think screenplay was at fault there :)

kumar, how about chris fletcher? :)

arun, i'd be the 1st to accept rajni couldn't have done 'dasaavathaaram' :)

 
At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Imagine Rajinikanth playing a serious, character driven movie? Sounds strange isn't?"
Rajni couldn't have done Dasa but even now, if allowedd by fans, he can certainly do a serious, character driven movie. It is the fans who are the boon and bane for Rajni- boon because they rake in the moolah for him , bane because they have arrested the actor in him.

 
At 12:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on balaji...at least 2 1/2 stars...i'd give it a 4 for effort..
and i thot the songs were picturised very well...tough marker!!!

 
At 1:06 AM, Blogger visithra said...

Sorry balaji – I don’t think ego should be rewarded with at least he tried. That was a really bad movie. I came out of the movie thinking – Poor KS Ravikumar – someone just bulldozed him out of his own movie.

Now while most ppl agree the movie is bad a lot of ppl think the so called acting was good – seriously I don’t know what you guys were looking at.

The whole movie was a rehash of all his previous roles. To me if you’re gonna act in 10 different roles I expect each role to be different from the other in the sense of walking, style and not a copy of a character you did in a previous movie.

 
At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@visithra

dont now y u term it as a bad movie..maybe cox of the fact tht u r a ardent rajni fan...

I found the movie enjoyable n entertaining thou the movie is nowhere near kamal's best...

 
At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dasavatharam offically breaks the opening record of sivaji..lets see if it can sustain it in the coming which i doubt very much...

 
At 3:28 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

Borrowed from a Sify.com viewer comment:

FAQs on Dasavatharam
Some guys have claimed they haven't understood chaos theory which plays such an important part in the film. As a physics student, I've decided to explain it a bit so that people can appreciate the brilliance of the film.
What is Chaos?

Basically a chaotic system is one wherein long term predictions are impossible. Like for example, if I push a car, I know that it is going to move and it will continue to do so if I go on pushing it on and on. However, in a chaotic system, this situation cannot be predicted over a long period of time. Weather, for example, is a chaotic system. No matter how good your instruments are, you simply cannot predict the weather with 100 per cent accuracy over a long term basis and forecast it.
What is the Butterfly Effect?

It is the most important component of a chaotic system. Basically, small perturbations results in amplifications which completely destroys the original nature of the system and makes prediction impossible. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, it could result in a cyclone in USA.(Mark the word COULD.) A highly dumbed down explanation of the butterfly effect is in the film Anniyan, where Vikram's sister dies because a liquor shop owner sells liquor on a dry day.
OK, how does Dasa incorporate it?
In essence, Dasa talks about eight characters who are inconsequential as such, but are integrated in a larger picture. Without Bush, the plane would have been called back. Without Shinghen, Govind would be dead. Without the tsunami, the world would have been destroyed. Even Krishnaveni (the old woman) plays a very important role. If she had not put the vial in the idol, maybe Govind would have recovered it then and there and a powerful weapon would have been unleashed. The very fact that it went into the idol meant that it was being accelerated to its destiny. Without Kaifulllah Khan, Govind would have never escaped... the list simply goes on.
OK, so does the film talk about theism or atheism?

Neither. It talks about how humans drive the destiny of the world.
The idol that is drowned in the sea along with Rangarajan in 12th century by Chozha king results in a fault being developed at the bottom of the ocean and creates tremors more than 800 years later. These tremors result in the Tsunami. This again is a classic case of Butterfly Effect wherein a seemingly inconsequential event (the drowning of the idol) saves Tamil Nadu from being wiped off the face of the earth.
Now tell me, does THIS movie lack a story? This movie has the most beautiful story ever attempted in Indian cinema. Unfortunately, Indian viewers and critics are obsessed with the "boy meets girl" and "revenge" themes, so they fail to see the story in this master piece.
-- Chaos Theory

 
At 3:32 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

Did any of you notice the body language of Fletcher character during action scenes? Looks like he was heavily inspired by Arnold's Terminator. Esp, the way he gets hit/injured in each one of the action sequences and still manages to stand up and walk off casually :)

And regarding Avtar Singh's cancer being cured by a bullet...C'mon guys, do you really think an actor like Kamal would have put in that with serious intentions? A bullet curing a cancer is a pretty popular joke here thanks to one of S.Ve.Sekar's dramas. I think Kamal put it in deliberately. Probably a spoof (or even a tribute) to how formula based masala movies had been done in Tamil in the past :)

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous APALA said...

Dasavatharam is EXCELLENT MASALA ENTERTAINER with intelligence!

I have not seen those "Mahanadhi, Anbe Sivam, Hey!Ram" loving internt savvy people like you supporting him then for those movies! You guys thought there was no "entertainment" value in those movies!!! Now you could not stomach the fact that Kamal brought out a masala film to prove his star value?!!!

I think this is what Kamal should do - make more movies like this and in between an Anbe sivam or Mahanadhi! Because I think he wasted so much of his effort trying too hard.

The reviews might have been mixed but the general public in TN & Andhra are giving tremendous response for this film!! That's what Kamal wanted.

The Film Rocks & Rules, man!!

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Accoring to econmic times , Dasavatharam is expected to rake in 100 crores worldwide due to its large release and awesome opening

Coming to the domestic market or rather the regional market, Kamal Hassan’s Dasavataram raked in Rs 3 crore in Chennai, and Rs 21 crore for the whole of Tamil Nadu. In the non-Southern markets, which got about 80% occupancy, the film grossed about Rs 60 lakh in the first three days of its running.

The film is anticipated to rake in close to Rs 100 crore as its theatrical revenue at the end of this week, as Chennai theatre owners state that the bookings for the next 10 days are house-full. If compared to Rajnikant’s Sivaji the film grossed over 25 crore in its first one week. Given the current figures, Kamal Hassan is currently one up.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Entertainment/The_Happening_grosses_315_mn_in_US/articleshow/3135416.cms

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger ரவிஷா said...

Nicely put Balaji!

The ten avathars that I saw in the movie were:

1. Camera
2. Graphics
3. Special effects
4. Balram Naidu
5. Raamanuja Daasan
6. Asin
7. Boovaraghan
8. Perumal Statue
9. Helicopter
10. Us the audience

 
At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

watched the movie today..
it was good to say the least. granted that some parts were illogical but learned to expect it after years of viewing tamil cinema..lol..
kamal gave in a great performance i thought. dont think any other actor could have pulled that through. felt the movie was spoiled by tha lack of seriousness and logic from KSR though..
all in all i would say worth watching

 
At 11:41 AM, Anonymous NSK said...

All said and done, there was not one scene in this movie where I was bored.

Now, how many Tamil movies can I say that about?

 
At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rajini has no courage to do movies that doesn't insult our intelligence. This is far better masala than the usual masala films in Tamil are.

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who feel that Kamal’s 10 characters are a few too many, I want to ask what difference does it make to you if those miniscule characters were played by some God-knows-who actors? On the contrary, I think Kamal did full justice to those characters like nobody could. I know that he would started off with making the movie knowing the fact that he needs to play 10 avtaars no matter what (as 9 is the max thats done till now), but why the heck he shouldn’t even if some of them are insignificant compared to the 4 main ones?

To borrow from an interesting comment by another fan…

FAQs on Dasavatharam
Some guys have claimed they haven’t understood chaos theory which plays such an important part in the film. As a physics student, I’ve decided to explain it a bit so that people can appreciate the brilliance of the film.
What is Chaos?

Basically a chaotic system is one wherein long term predictions are impossible. Like for example, if I push a car, I know that it is going to move and it will continue to do so if I go on pushing it on and on. However, in a chaotic system, this situation cannot be predicted over a long period of time. Weather, for example, is a chaotic system. No matter how good your instruments are, you simply cannot predict the weather with 100 per cent accuracy over a long term basis and forecast it.
What is the Butterfly Effect?

It is the most important component of a chaotic system. Basically, small perturbations results in amplifications which completely destroys the original nature of the system and makes prediction impossible. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, it could result in a cyclone in USA.(Mark the word COULD.) A highly dumbed down explanation of the butterfly effect is in the film Anniyan, where Vikram’s sister dies because a liquor shop owner sells liquor on a dry day.
OK, how does Dasa incorporate it?
In essence, Dasa talks about eight characters who are inconsequential as such, but are integrated in a larger picture. Without Bush, the plane would have been called back. Without Shinghen, Govind would be dead. Without the tsunami, the world would have been destroyed. Even Krishnaveni (the old woman) plays a very important role. If she had not put the vial in the idol, maybe Govind would have recovered it then and there and a powerful weapon would have been unleashed. The very fact that it went into the idol meant that it was being accelerated to its destiny. Without Kaifulllah Khan, Govind would have never escaped… the list simply goes on.
OK, so does the film talk about theism or atheism?

Neither. It talks about how humans drive the destiny of the world.
The idol that is drowned in the sea along with Rangarajan in 12th century by Chozha king results in a fault being developed at the bottom of the ocean and creates tremors more than 800 years later. These tremors result in the Tsunami. This again is a classic case of Butterfly Effect wherein a seemingly inconsequential event (the drowning of the idol) saves Tamil Nadu from being wiped off the face of the earth.
Now tell me, does THIS movie lack a story? This movie has the most beautiful story ever attempted in Indian cinema. Unfortunately, Indian viewers and critics are obsessed with the “boy meets girl” and “revenge” themes, so they fail to see the story in this master piece.

 
At 12:50 AM, Blogger Bart said...

All said and done, good news guyz..

Dasa seems to be doing very well in Andhra, Kerala and Tamilnadu. Hope it is all true and would continue to break all records. Am happy for Kamal as now his epic dreams of "Marma yogi" will become financially viable and he would find someone to back it up. Perhaps, later even "Marudhanayagam".

Though "Dasa" didn't satisfy fully, its results have satisfied more than enough.

 
At 3:47 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

Here's another interesting PoV...

If you knew the real dasavatharams of Lord Vishnu and their characters you can appreciate the script more. Let me explain, starting with the best adapted role:

1. Krishna avatar - Vincent Poovaraghavan
Lord krishna is actually a dalit, he is dark-skinned [shyamalam]. He saved draupadi when she was being violated and he was the actual diplomat in mahabharatham. Lord krishna dies of an arrow striking his lower leg. Now look at how vincent was introduced.. he appears when asin is about to be molested and he saves her like draupadi. Vincent is the dalit diplomat, fights for land issue [soil issue to be exact] and dies from the metal rod striking his leg. Oh even five of vincent’s men are drugged at P. Vasu’s.. sounds familiar???

2. Balarama avatar - Balarama naidu
This is an easy given. as the name suggests and the role personifies you can easily get it.

3. Mathsya avatar - Ranagaraja nambi
nambi is thrown into water in an act of trying to save lord from being thrown into sea, though vainly. what more clue do you want?

4. Varaha avatar - Krishnaveni paatti
During the mukunda song, krishnaveni paatti does varaha avatar in the shadow puppetry. The frame freezes on it for a second. there is the clue. Moreover, in varaha avatar lord actually hides earth so as to protect life forms. Here too krishnaveni hides the germs - life form inside the statue so as to protect.

5. Vamana avatar - Kalifulla khan
remember in vamana avatar, lord vishnu takes the vishvaroopa, that is the giant form! Hence the giant kalifulla here symbolises vamana avatar.

6. Parasurama avatar - Christian Fletcher
Parasurama is actually on an angry killing spree and killed 21 generations of the particular kshatriya vamsa. Hence the real KILLER… Guess what thats what our Fletcher is! He comes around with the gun [modern upgrade for axe] and kills everyone around. I have to check if he kills 21 people though.

7. Narasimha avatar - Shingen Narahashi
first of all the name itself is a play on the words singam [means lion in tamil] and narasimha [the avatar being symbolised]. Lord Narasimha manifests himelf to kill the bad guy and he also teaches prahaladha. In the movie, he shows up to kill the killer fletcher! and is also a teacher.. Lord Narasimha had to kill the asura with bare hands and hence the martial arts exponent here.. get it?

8. Rama avatar - Avatar Singh
Lord Rama stands for the one man one woman maxim, kind of symbolising true love.. Here Avatar portrays that spirit by saying that he loves his woman more than anything and wants to live for her.

9. Kalki avatar - Govindaraj Ramasamy
As you know, the hero in kaliyug can be none other than the Kalki avatar!!!

10. Koorma avatar - Bush
This is the most loose adaptation I couldn’t clearly comprehend. But if you look at the real koorma avatar, the lord is the turtle/tortoise that helps in stirring the ksheera sagara and bringing out the amruth. This essentially creates war among the devas and asuras. Similarly today Bush facilitates war between you know whom… May be Kamal also indicates that this avatar is a bit dumb like the tortoise…

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Kunthavaiyin Kaathalan said...

4. Varaha avatar - Krishnaveni paatti

That is a stretch.

5. Vamana avatar - Kalifulla khan
Wouldnt this character be small in the beginning and then become taller ? He is tall all the time.


7. Narasimha avatar - Shingen Narahashi

Does it mean the same in japanese ?

8. Rama avatar - Avatar Singh

Why not govind ramaswamy ? He crossed oceans to meet his (future) wife. He even had (macabre) assistance of hanuman in the form of the monkey hanu.

9. Kalki avatar - Govindaraj Ramasamy

Doesnt kalki avatar come in when there is confusion and stuff ? He/she doesnt create the confusion and prescribe a solution to the problem, does he/she ? If he/she is, maybe kalki avatar might be present in your local neighbourhood gangster.


I dont think Kamal was aiming for 10 avatars. The egomaniac in him decided dasavatharam is a good name for torturing people with 10 roles, simple as that.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the verdict is it worth watching once in the cinema hall?

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

// I dont think Kamal was aiming for 10 avatars. The egomaniac in him decided dasavatharam is a good name for torturing people with 10 roles, simple as that.

I don't know if interpretations are correct or if he meant it that way when the film was made.

I agree that film was not upto expectations, but you folks talk as if you had made Anbe Sivam and Mahanadi huge hits ;-), the harsh reality is he has not had much success with BO whatsoever. It does not make a difference if it's awesome or below par :) atleast for tamil BO.

 
At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet this movie can't be worse than Shivaji or Chandramukhi both of which were crap....

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SILANTHIMANITHAN...read this

http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressreleases/proct05/cancercells.html

bullets can take out cancer

 
At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well i might be tad bit late on this having everyone giving their 5 minutes of lashes against the film and what not. I didn't go in with any expectations, but boy did i leave with mixed feelings.

I gotta to agree that the film probably on the scripting stages was good but like one of them mentioned, it definitely got lost on the way.

The make up which was touted as the prominent thing abt the movie did leave me with a few instances of jerking in shock. The first scene of the martial arts expert for instance got me scared.

Also, i didnt get the point of mallika sherawat marrying fletcher either.

HOwever, i did enjoy avatar singh. Jaya prada still looks very pretty. Minus the story about the cancer tumour being "shot" away.

But Balram naidu was THE bomb. I found myself having stiches everytime i saw him. Kamal really did justice to that particular avatar.
I did manage follow the characters through the story though. The climax was something i thought was put across in a spectacular manner.

So, with the magnum opus of Kamal hassan out, i'm keenly looking forward for kuselan. =)

-Megan

 
At 10:29 AM, Blogger Jamuuna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Jamuuna said...

Hello there,

I am someone who loves movies but i never watch Tamil movies in the cinema. The last movie i even bothered going for was 'Pokkiri'. That was because we could only get tickets for that.

So, the only reason which made me watch Dasaavathaaram was because of all the hype surrounding it. I knew beforehand that no matter what, it would be different because it was Kamal's movie.
and, boy, I was delighted to see an intellectually intriguing story in Indian cinema. It was a well thought piece. Showed a high level of maturity and an applaud for researching the events and characters very well. The dialogues were amazing. Witty, matured and rather heavy with messages.

Some of the critics were very harsh on this movie because it is Kamal's movie. Although not all 10 roles were important, but it was an effort by KH to push this movie to a whole new level. This effort would help the Indian cinema to emerge as a equal force alongside bollywood in the global scope.

Besides that, the message woven into this story is something that were never tackled in Indian cinema. Although the messages was not very protruding, but it is understandable as this is a high budget movie and they probably cannot afford it to become a flop. The producers would not have wanted this movie to become like Hey Ram, Aalavanthan, just to name a few. Great movies but not accepted by fans who could not push their intellectual limits.

The songs in this movie might not be a MP3 material, but they worked very well with the scenes. The songs portrayed the emotions in the each scenes respectively. As far as the acting is concerned, this is a Kamal centred movies. He gave each role a different outlook...it was simply briliant!!

As much as there were a lot of good points, Dasaavathaaram's make-up and grafics were absolutely disappointing. I personally felt that make-up for certain characters did not make them look normal...especially Fletcher.

But, overall this is a movie for those who want to think beyond that traditional Indian cinema framework. Although, there were some weaknesses, it remain as the effort of this great actor to change the landscape of Indian cinema.

 
At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hellom people, here is what I have to say... Well basically the graphics in the movie sucks. But still, it's a quality movie.
Now, coming to the point...
The 1st scene is perfectly connected to the climax, remember what Kamal says in the 1st scene, that he will not say “Om Nama Shivaya” , but Asin tells him to chant it , but still Kamal refuses , ( in this kamal tries to tell that ) Nambi believes in his god more than anything, but Asin feels “Its ok if we change the god or chant other god’s name, its life thats most important.” Now if u see the climax its JUST OPPOSITE…. Kamal doesn’t believe in god much and values lives of people the most…. but Asin on the other hand deeply believes in god and says that the thousands of lives sacrified was actually to save millions of life. Morover, in this scene, both Asin and Kamal’s hand were on the god's statue (or stone) which came from the sea , and it also means that they are getting united from the place they departed hundreds of years back ( Kamal and Asin).The connection between the 1st scene and the climax in the movie shows the generation circle combined with supernatural powers of GOD and destiny…
the
Another explanation(and this is slightly far fetched— as explained earlier) is that Govind is in fact the reincaranation of Nambi. As Nambi he couldn’t protect the God and died in the name of God. In order to fulfill his Karma,he is reincarnated as Govind Ramasamy who ultimately saves the world from destruction. The idol in the end somewhat hints to this theory... "his story began with the idol and it ends with the idol." So you can no more question the importance of the first scene anymore!

As far as the connection with Nambi character and events in 12th Century goes…
The connection is based on the “Butterfly effect “.
When Govind and Andal goes to the bury the idol in the sands, Andal will stumble on a particular stone couple of times…This is the same stone as the one from 12th Century when Kothai rips her Thaali off and flings it at Kulothunga Chozan… but it will end up hanging on the stone, the exact stone!. So, the implied message here is Andal is Kothai reborn in the 21s century.

During the encounter with Santhana Bharathi in the sand quarry, it is repeat of the incident from 12th century. Instead of Kulothunga Chozhan, it is the Sand Mafia which tries to inflict damage on the land.
This movie is a brilliant juxtaposition of independent characters whose paths cross, if only briefly, which is stunning example of Chaos Theory.
The idol that is drowned in the sea along with Rangarajan in 12th century by Chozha king results in a fault being developed at the bottom of the ocean and creates tremors more than 800 years later. These tremors result in the Tsunami, the Tsunami which killed thousands of peole in order to save millions of people from dying because of the bioweapon.

This again is a classic case of Butterfly Effect wherein a seemingly inconsequential event (the drowning of the idol) saves Tamil Nadu from being wiped out off the face of the earth.
But actually kamal has not left anything for our imagination… Explanation struck the right chord, Kamal does tell to Asin in a dialogue that the idol which gets sunken back then gets stuck between the tectonic plates under the sea and causes tsunami 800 years later…

Many people missed this dialogue i guess. Kamal’s accent was so very perfect Tamil, that many people missed it…. Being perfect Is a Problem by Itself !!!
Although the explanation is a least possible theory, that is what “Chaos Theory” And “Butterfly Effect” are all about.

Its not just the statue that caused the tsunami, but it just started a large chain of effects which kept multiplying exponentially and finally lead to it after 800 years….!!
Why just say this concept is perfectly illogical… it is possible… thats what i have been explaining all the while !!!
The story line is that things going wrong are made to be right which involves many people and countries knowingly or unknowingly.

These are the perfest reasons why they call kamal haasan as "ulaga nayagan"....Hurrays 2 padmashree...
bravo padmashree!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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