Readers of the comic strip “Mayavi” in “Balarama” would remember the two nerd scientists – Lottulodukk and GulGulMal. They come up with these quirky gadgets for the evil likes of Kuttoosan and Dakini, and in the end of the strip “Mayavi” destroys the gadget (sometimes he pours water on that, sometimes it falls down from Dakini’s hand) – destroying evil and sustaining the good. Dasavatharam’s story line revolves around a more siller invention, a more sillier plot, a more sillier way to destroy the invention and a very silly way to tell a story. Kamal’s most hyped movie till date goes directly into the forgettable basket.
The movie reeks of a fancy dress competition, with Kamal playing 10 characters (a lousy world record for INR 100 crore) AND 5 of the 10 characters : George Bush, Christian Fletcher, Shinghen Narahasi,Kalifullah Mukhtaar and Krishnaveni literally wearing masks. Going by this logic Kamal can get one of those Rs.5 tiger masks from Marina Beach and claim he is playing a tiger in his next movie.
Kamal, as an actor has no comparisons in Indian cinema. But as a film maker, he is not a “master” even if you consider Thevar Magan, Virumandi, Anbe Sivam and Hey Ram – the ones he created. The lack of cohesion while trying to do so many things at the same time shows off in the movie. It doesn’t even reach Avvai Shanmughi’s entertainment level because of 2 reasons – Avvai Shanmughi was a borrowed script and Dasavatharam has almost no chance of exploiting Kamal’s comic timing except for one or two characters. The movie tries to be comical, preaching, philosophical and exquisite – all at the same time and falls flat as there is no time for anything to develop properly around the 10 fancy dress characters.
Perhaps the only excuse is that, the other great superstar used all his star power to make the audience feel like worms in hot shit (that for you is one of the coolest dialogues from Vincent Poovaraagan in Dasavatharam), while Kamal used all his star power to make an average movie. If you have expectations from Kamal, you’ll feel like “Aalavandhan”.
Story Line: The movie begins in the 12th Century when the local Shaivaite King’s move to remove the Vishnu idol from a temple is opposed by Nambi (Kamal), a Vaishnavite. King Kulothunga packs the idol and the idol lover together and dumps both in the Bay of Bengal. Then we are transported to 2004 where Dr Govind(Kamal) discovers a fatal virus and Ex-CIA bad guy Christian Fletcher tries to take it from him. Rest of the movie is one big chase which finally ends up in the Bay of Bengal where the Vishnu idol lies. Every chase needs 2 chicks, the good girl with the hero is Asin and the vamp with the villain is Mallika Sherawat. Rest is one hell of a fancy dress competition.
1. Even though 9 Kamal’s are there in the fray at one time, the make-up and characterization gives us a feel that there is only one Kamal(Dr Govind,the hero). You panic when the formidable Christian Fletcher (looks like Shane Warne) chases Dr Govind, it doesn’t hit you that both are Kamal and you root for your hero. Maybe thats Kamals message about religion as a whole, packaged well and very fast.
2. The scope of the film and the effort that went in may go unmatched in Indian cinema. The effort is epic, sadly the product is not.
3. The first 20 minutes and the last 20 are superb (including a 3 character fight in the last scene), must watch. Sadly there is no way you can do this in the theater. The action scenes are classic Kamal.
4. 2 Characters Vincent Poovaraagan and Balram Naidu, played by Kamal are exceptional. Sadly, they get like 15 minutes on screen.
5. Kamal Haassan man! What an actor!
1. Asin’s character Andal gives you a bad headache with her “Perumal” cries. She is cute though completely out of place and such a nuisance.
2. 7 of 10 characters in the movie are played by Kamal just for the heck of it. I don’t get it, why does Kamal have to put on a George Bush mask and say – “I’m Bush”
3. Music and cinematography are nothing close to an epic effort. falls flat.
4. The story I guess was borrowed from Tinkle or Chandamama. Science Fiction (3-7 years)
5. Asin man! I’m still having that headache
6. The screenplay doesn’t let anything develop, its a bonsai garden of stunted efforts at everything from sentiments to philosophy to action.
7. Kamal recently said, he doesn’t strive for perfection but excellence. This time you have to give it to him.
8. “Avtaar Singh” – this character gets his throat cancer removed by a passing bullet. Is Rajnikanth watching?
9. Will somebody stick some cotton into Asin’s mouth? What a pain!
10. Like they say, if you strive for perfection you reach excellence. Kamal strived for excellence and ended with a half baked movie which will be forgotten in six months time.
You may say, I made up 10 points just for the sake of it. So did Kamal make his 10 characters.
Verdict: Too much money involved, let them make some. For 50 bucks, you get to watch 10 Kamals. Go for it! Call it a Blockbuster.
In the end Asin (somebody give her her ‘Perumal’) agrees to marry Dr Govind if he would stop saying “there is no God”
Classic Kamal dialogue then, in his usual subtle, breaking style “I’m not saying there is no God, All I am saying is that it would have been really nice if there was God”
That indeed was a good one! Kamal doesn’t seem to have a problem with the inside or the outside world, his problems are around the intermediate world. Sadly thats where his “magnus opus” ends up, the intermediate world, right in the middle, mediocre.