Friday, June 13, 2008


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.

[To be continued...]


At 2:24 AM, Blogger Filbert said...

Have to drastically disagree here with you, Balaji :) The movie was such a huge letdown after all the hype & hoopla that surrounded the movie's release. Kamal can do much better than this. I am already looking forward to Marmayogi :) At least, that movie does not seem to involve any artificial makeups like this one had and that too in loads of them.

At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, you already watched it? Cool!

I was thinking, the only problem with Kamal movies is not his movies as such, but the expectations we place on him :) He is expected to churn out good, entertaining, funny, message instilling movies that caters to all classes, which is impossible.

At 5:29 AM, Blogger VThinkTank said...

We should enjoy the movie as it is like we do with a movie Starring Rajnikanth.

Kamal does pull of surprises no doubt, remember Vettaiyadu. It was a good movie but did not have the massy feel or comic stuff to become a box office super hit but it did.

So let us take this like a easy fun ride thing with its PLUSSES and MINUSSES as well.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

i've to admit that i was terrible letdown by "Dasavatharam". This is the case where the movie has overhyped right to the moon but does not even reach the skies in terms of quality. For me i find the make up for some of the avatharams were over the top. It's like some of the faces were painted white colour! Where is the makeup man of "avvai shanmughi" and "indian" gone too. Another thing, i felt that only three characters were necessary for the story that Govindan, Fletcher and Naidu while the all others were unnecesary add ons...

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kamal's idea of a good movie is showing his face all the time the movie runs. When ever he self claims that the movie is excellant and people will just lap it up, I always fear the worst looks like Ravichandran is going the way of Kalaipuli in the days to come:(.


At 8:15 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I thought the movie was excellent. Technically superb and Kamal has worked hard to differntiate so many characters and done amazingly well. folks who watch Hollywood movies a lot may not appreciate the quality of this movie. You may have to watch it like a regular person in Chennai. Whenever you go to a movie with too much expectations (whatever it may be) it will always be a letdown.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Ganesh said...

//I always fear the worst looks like Ravichandran is going the way of Kalaipuli in the days to come//
KP,Dasavatharam has a very wide opening release when compared to Alavandhaan.So,Ravichandran will not face Kalaipuli's fate even if things go wrong after 2 weeks.:D

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Friendly Stranger said...

Waiting for Hindi version to arrive @ thetres...I wish I knew Tamil....

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Aravind said...

There are so many good things in the movie to enjoy and appreciate.And yeah to complain there are aspects too which is true with any movie. Kamal rocks !!

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amazing technically...
bit weird otherwise...doesnt really fit into any genres...
but still a great movie...hopefully will run well...definitely better than sivaji...and kuruvi which seems to be doing pretty well ATM

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Daydreamer said...

I know that I need to add a +ve bias to ur review to get the actual, when it comes to Kamal's movies :).

Let me watch the movie and get back .

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Filbert, not even close to how much hype it was...

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sify's review is right on the money. I agree with every word of that review. Movie not worth the hype.

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another kamal fan wrote this review. I am shocked and let down.

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

am glad to see the positive start to your review...cant wait to read the whole thing...justtttttt cant wait to see the movie...tuesday varaikum wait pannanum...

even hindu is getting sucked into all the hype...check out there is a "first day first show" review my malathi rangarajan as well.

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So with all these comments and mixed reviews is it really worth taking my family to the movie or instead fill the gas tank at least for next 2 weeks?????

Ticket Cost - 4 * $16 = $64.00
Popcorn/Snacks = $15.00
Gas Cost = $4.50

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compared to other masala movies released recently, this one is definetely worth the watch. Kamal's acting and his body language is really superb and definetely credit should be given to all the work that has gone behind this creation. It may not be the best in terms of certain visual effects, story etc, but it is a showcase of Kamal's talent as an actor.


At 1:48 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

filbert, I think ur disagreement wouldn't be so drastic after the full review :)

utbt, nicely put. everytime he makes a class movie he is blamed for being too high-concept and everytime he makes a mass movie, he is blamed for selling out :)

vthinktank, i think the problem here is that the expectations and hype led people to think it was gonna be a lot more than a rajni movie :)

skanda, yes the make-up for some characters was a letdown. but i was willing to overlook the unnecessary characters since kamal's aim was to do 10 roles and so some characters were bound to get the short shrift :)

KP, as ganesh too said, ravichandran has been more astute in mktg and so will probably not go the dhanu way :)

elumalai, good point. it is gonna fall short if compared to hollywood movies but we're exposed to so many that its gonna be hard not to compare :)

friendly, have my doubts if the hindi version would work at all :)

aravind, yeah he does :)

anon, i don't think this has repeat value. so it's below 'sivaji' for me :)

daydreamer, really? being a rajni fan doesn't actually make me like kamal movies any less. if anything, based on my ratings for kamal movies like mumbai xpress, aalavandhaan, etc. i've been accused of being too easy on him. and this looks like one of those instances too :)

ram, wouldn't call it a +ve start :)

sridhar, if family includes kids i'd say no. its a U movie but there's a bit too much blood and violence. and then there's mallika's dance :)

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...


Padam enna avalavu mosama vaa irukku :-) It's appalling to read reviews :-(, Am I in store for some 80s crap by Kamal like Vikram?

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an horrible movie. Totally disappointed!!! The worst of all Kamal movies in the recent times.

Came across a blog to vent out my frustration after watching the movie.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Tamil Film Critic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Please do not waste your money. visit

you will get a better idea.

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Cant wait to watch the movie and to read your full review.


At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an avid reader of your reviews. In fact i check out your reviews before watching th movie. As a die-hard Kamal fan, Kamal movies are exceptions. I'm seeing a lot of negative feedback about the movie. Got a few comforting reviews from rediff, hindu and galatta(see link)

Seeing the movie on will be back with my own views...soon....Muthu

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Venkat said...

I watched the movie just now (Fri 13, 2008) and I will watch it again!

That said; let me explain the good bad and the ugly of Dasavatharam


* Opening scenes with Nambi. As a history buff, I like the setting of the 12/13 th century scenes. Nambi is a real character whose story is largely imagined in this movie and extrapolated (though there is historical proof that Govinda's (Vishnu) statue was removed from one of the temples during Kulothunga Chola I or II's rule when Ramanuja fled the Chola country to Hoysala kingdom). So I really like the fact that someone is willing to spend money on a historical character in a contemprory movie and can do it well. Well done!

* Naidu character and his fantastic humor was one of the big positives for the movie. I am sure you can spin off a movie with just this character.

* Sets of streets of Chidambaram and the Tsunami scene were excellent.

* The pace of the movie in general was fast and keeps the audience completely engrossed.

* Kamal's versatility and hard work is seen in every scene. Asin has done good work.


* Storyline is very ordinary. Characters such as the Japanese man, Kaifullah, Boovarangan, Bush, Avatar singh are just artificial and not needed in the story. The whole story should have been done with the rest of the 5 Kamal characters and called 1/2 Dasavatharam :)

Just because you can put on make up does not mean we want to watch it Kamal!

* Why is Fletcher fighting with Japanese guy and exchanging dialogues like "Remember Hiroshima, Remember Pearl harbor"? Such dialogues are just silly, though it will wrong to say dialogues throughout the movie was bad. There are moments of brilliant dialogues too.

* Cut out Mallika's song, Avatar Singh’s song as they don't fit in with the movie. May be the producer was worried, having invested several crores.

* When you try to cater to every religion (Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Muslim) by creating characters and scenes for them, you end up inroducing crap. May be it was the huge money spent factor, but this just dilutes the movie and insults all the great effort put in to the movie.

* Average to poor quality music from Himesh. Background score was good.

* Screenplay - Kamal is a creative genius, but not when it comes to screenplay of this movie. It is advisable for him to focus on his talents as an actor. I am not willing to pay for bad screenplays however good the actor may be.

* Self promotion - Liked the fact that the movie shows the effort it took for creating the characters, but there was too much self promotion with KS Ravikumar dancing for a whole song. Cut it out guys!

* Don't impose your opinion on others. If atheism is your theme, you are not saying anything revolutionary. Personally it took me a while to realize that people have belief in God as a psychological bolster to survive through tough times or to explain unexplained things. It is time that creative thinkers like Kamal realizes it and allow people to have their 'beliefs and rationality' co-exist without sermonizing. Atheism as a theme did not gel well for me.

* Bad makeup - Fletcher, Bush and Kalifullah's make up was terrible. The three of them looked like plastic toy throughout the movie. Kamal, please don't surround yourself with jalras. This is what happens! How could you have missed that these roles had bad makeup in a movie which is completely based on makeup?

* Bad CGI - Computer graphics was not impressive sometimes, though on most occasions it was good. Watch for an Ambassador car turning in Tsunami, you will understand what I mean.

In general this movie is far better than movies like 'Sivaji' which had no substance. I will watch this movie again just to see the nuances of the characters. Enjoyed the movie overall - could have been better with better story, screenplay, music, with just 5 Kamal characters.

I give it a 3 * out of 5 * for the effort!

Venkat Subramanian

At 1:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

6/10 characters, well done.

the other 4 reminded me of Citizen and worse Norbit!!

If only Kamal had a smaller head!!! he could have pulled off two more characters..


At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely outstanding entertainment! Without question, the largest Tamil film til date in terms of budget and performance!

A 3 and a half star on the cards?

At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building strong-u... basement konjam weak-u :(

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had it been Panchavataram, it would've been better.

Having said that, Kamal once again proves his mettle as a great actor. Only he can do it.


At 10:15 AM, Blogger Srivatsan Sridharan said...

arun, LoL

Good review point ;) thats what i heard too. There are few positives and more negatives it seems.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Venkatrangan said...

Leave out the positives and negatives, the movie is a roller coaster ride....and you have to agree no other indian actor has succeeded playing an american (fletcher and Bush) and still making it work...

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it..think it'll be even better the more times you watch it..

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

"anon, i don't think this has repeat value. so it's below 'sivaji' for me :)"

Let's call a spade a spade. Sivaji was outright crap even by Rajini's standard. It has no repeat value whatsoever.

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Let's call a spade a spade. Sivaji was outright crap even by Rajini's standard. It has no repeat value whatsoever."

Well can entertain thoughts of watching dasavatharam again...but not Sivaji.


At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well for me the movie was amusive enough. Normally when i watch a movie i don't weigh the minuses too much because every movie has its minus points.when the minus points emerge out somehow, then it's a bad movie for me. so in that case, Dasavathaaram clicked well.Yeah the make up for Fletcher was disturbing initially but my eyes got used to it. I go to the cinema to enjoy my 3 hours. And this movie kept me entertained for the whole 3 hours.

Himesh's songs were really good to me. Except for Mallika's number but i've seen even worse skimpily pictured songs in Hindi movies (or even our own Tamil ones). I don't know why but my mom liked Avtaar Singh a lot. =)

Asin, worth mentioning did pretty well. She reminded me of Oorvasi at few scenes. When she ran and shouting Perumale Perumale, and also when she jumped on Kamal. (reminded me terribly of Kamarajan) ;)

All in all 4/5, i would give..
And oh yeah i will go for it again.
provided my dad sponsors me again. =D


At 10:54 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon/RS, u'd notice that I said "for me". I saw 'sivaji' thrice on the big screen. so it certainly held repeat value for me :)

At 11:55 PM, Blogger D.E.V said...

balaji, i must admit, the film does not have a repeat value at all. I got watch "MMKR", "PKS","Tenali" and "Panchtanthiram" many times without feeling bored. But these film, may not even watch it a second time, may catch it, if it comes on Dvd or in Tv. But second time in the cinemas, no way at all. It is pretty sad for me to say thse as i thought may watch it every week...Oh Man, what is happening to tamil films these year, first it is "Bheema", then "vellithirai", "Kuruvi" and now "Dasavarthran"

At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous 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 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!")


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