Jun 17, 2008

Dasavatharam Review

I was not too sure, if I actually had to write this review. I just didn’t want to think about the movie again. Not that it was all that bad, but I would say it would be one of the not-so-memorable movies of the ‘Universal Hero.’

Dasavatharam – literally translating into ‘ten incarnations’, seems more so like a fancy dress competition, the different masks make it even worse. It is Kamalhassan in ten roles, and not all of them make a mark.

At the all new Cinemark movies, I saw this one with a lot of friends, and also with no expectations.

The first fifteen minutes of the movie set in the 12th century was really spectacular. If the movie had maintained the same pace and narration, it would been a better movie. But, in the end it seemed, why there was a need for this segment of the movie.

The storyline is simple – there is some bio-weapon under development, which needs to be stopped by going into the wrong hands, and it travels all the way to India. The scientist behind the development, Kamal also travels, only to meet many other Kamals who are different characters in the movie. Finally, while the bio-weapon is all set to cause destruction, the divine intervention (OMG, am I using all these words?) causes the Tsunami, thus combating the effect of the weapon.

If Kamalhassan had concentrated more on the story than on the ten roles, I am sure we would have seen a better product. I am sure the director KSR had no role to play in the movie, other than dancing for the last song as an item boy :).

Now speaking of the good things – three of the roles stay in your mind for a long time. The first person set in the 12th century, the police officer who speaks five languages in Telugu (someone said this was one of the Kamal’s best characters ever), and the ‘padikadha medhai’ – illiterate scholar. The ex-CIA agent seemed to be the most irritating character. I somehow like the Dr. Bush character for its right depiction of the ignorance.

The second half seemed to be gripping for 45 mniutes, and after that it was all lost. Especially, the Punjabi singer’s song was so unnecessary. But it came at the right place, and served as the interval for us poor souls, who sat through the movie without a break.

The tsunami scene was very well shot and did show most of the impact, mostly through graphics though.

Mallika Sherawat should probably be thanked for her little and insignificant on-screen time. Asin was irritating, with her just screaming of ‘perumale’, every two minutes. Luckily, there was no romance shown between Asin and Kamal till the very end. Thank the perumal, who spared us from a duet between the two of them.

Speaking of music, Himesh had no role in the movie, with 3 songs having the screen time and none of them being memorable. Devi Sri Prasad’s background score was better than expected.

Speaking of the ‘memorable’ scenes:

One Thanglish scientist in the lab saying ‘Thamizh’la sollanum na, adhukku paeru NaCl’.

George Bush saying – ‘Well, if it is complicated, don’t bother to explain’, ‘What is NaCl?’

The doctor saying – ‘Even the surgery would not have been as careful as the bullet, in removing the cancerous growth which was so close to your throat.’ OMG, give me a break from this one! Or was it a spoof towards Superstars movies.

Kamal saying – ‘Every one of us has a ulaga nayagan (Universal Hero) in them.’ OMG, would we be seeing 1 billion Kamals in the next movie.

Well, we must congratulate Kamal on achieving the record of putting together 10 Kamals on screen. He did what he wanted. Now it is the turn of the audience to approve of his effort or reject it.

I would give it 3 out of 5 for its concept but not-so-well presented content, and a 5 on 5 for its technical superiority. The music – not even worth grading!

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