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Friday, 18 July 2008

Ten Manifestations... Whiffs of stale air and breathtakingly boring to say the least!

I happened to watch Kamal's magnum opus, mega "ulaga" release yet painstakingly slowly brewed "Dasavatharam" - Yaaaawn! And if you ask me, it was an utter waste of all the man days that it took to get this movie made. This post is not going to go down well with the many Kamal fans [read- fanatics] or those who looked at the recent media/critic reviews of this movie... So, look away now if you have to.

I believe Kamal's self obsession probably lead him to make this movie in the first place - "Naan dhan greatest actor". All of that was quite evident from the way he was speaking on television news channels (Rewind all the way back to the day this flick was released). South Indian fans [read- maniacs] will be glad to put him on a pedastal - and make him a megalomaniac in the process. "Aascar" Ravichandran may not write off all the millions he spent financing this but Himesh's string of countless hits has definitely ended. Someone needs to tell Kamal that he can only bray, not sing a tune.

So what went wrong? It had absolutely no story to speak of, and the twists and turns were predictable. In the end, it turned out to be a routine film rendered more aggravating by its incessant near-miss plot structure. You desperately want to like the film for its maddeningly zany characters played out by Kamal Hassan. Alas! There’s only so much life an actor can pump into a moribund script. It once again proves the old theory that, without a proper story and script, no film, however big the actors are, can succeed.

In fact, it is very easy to dislike the film and get dissatisfied with the much hyped ten performances… But first, let me also mention the 11th role that Kamal Haasan has performed; that of the script writer, which he has failed miserably… The biggest failure of Dasavathaaram is the lack of a proper story, a tight screenplay and well connected characters. One gets the feeling that because Kamal Haasan wanted to make history by portraying ten different characters, he created them. Otherwise, one cannot think of any justification in him appearing all sorts of get-ups.

An incomprehensibly mediocre movie, it’s a shame that Dasavatharam is the best that someone with 35+ years in the Tamil movie business can come up with.

A total mess of a story is compounded by a mostly so-so performance by Kamal Haasan (except in some roles like the Indian intelligence officer Balram Naidu, Patti and Rangaraja Nambi) and below par music.

Since Kamal Haasan also takes credit for the story, screenplay and dialogs in Dasavatharam, it’s only right that the major discredit for the movie should also accrue to this manga madaya (stupid fellow).

If the overall story - with the distracting side stories - is a jumbled mess, the dialogs are hopelessly banal. No life in them at all. Even a movie like Mozhi featuring a bunch of B-grade stars like Prakash Raj and Prithviraj had better dialogs.

Much of the movie centers around the efforts of a U.S.-based scientist Govind Ramasamy (Kamal Haasan’s primary role in the movie) desperately trying to safeguard a deadly germ vial (containing a strain of the Ebola virus?) and prevent it from falling into the hands of a really nasty element called Christian Fletcher (Kamal Haasan again).

The fight to grab the deadly vial that starts in the U.S. ultimately ends in India after many boring detours. And oh yes! The vial... In the movie, Govind says, the vial should be stored at an optimum temperature- neither too hot, nor too cold. Doesn't the climate of Tamil Nadu fall under the 'too hot' category? I wonder...

Some of the roles that Kamal plays in Dasavatharam like the activist Vincent Poovaraghan, George W.Bush, the singer Avtar Singh, the 7-ft tall Kalifulla Khan and the Japanese martial arts expert Shingen Narahashi were very poorly fleshed out. It was as if these characters were included just to hit the magic number of ten and justify the title of the movie. An example once again of the sloppy work by Kamal in the story department.

Makeup work for the many roles Kamal Haasan plays in Dasavatharam is a mixed bag. While the makeup was decent for the Indian RAW officer Balram Naidu, Rangaraja Nambi and Patti (grandma), it was sub-mediocre for some of the others, particularly Christian Fletcher and George Bush.

Mallika Sherawat’s pole dance number in Dasavatharam is one of the crudest and most disgusting dances I’ve had the misfortune to ever see in a long life. Plain awful. From what I have heard, even the late Silk Smita used to do a better job in these voluptuous dance scenes. None of the songs had any magic in them. Himesh Reshammiya’s music failed to evoke much enthusiasm either.

One of the few saving graces of Dasavatharam was Asin Thottumkal’s performance. In her role as Andal, a conservative Brahmin girl from the temple town of Chidambaram as well as in an earlier brief appearance as Kothai, wife of a 12th century Vaisnavite devotee Rangaraja Nambi (Kamal Haasan), Asin brings some life to this dreary movie.

The other saving grace in Dasavatharam was the special effects, usually hopelessly crude in Tamil movies. Some of the Tsunami scenes as well as some of the action scenes were nicely done. Speaking of the tsunami... Coincidences galore! And how can I forget- a bullet punctures an unfortunate fellows neck and ends up killing his cancerous cells! You can have all the laughs you need for an eternity.

Dasavatharaam reminds us of all the weird things crazy people do just to get noticed or make it to the Guiness Book - eating 500 burgers, standing upside down for two days, walking backwards for three weeks, dancing on a buffalo’s back, fighting with a donkey or some other equally silly antic. Kamal Haasan tries a similar attention-grabbing gimmick - for the first time, 10 different roles in a movie. So what? It’s still a lousy movie and overall a bad freak show.

If a crappy fiasco like Dasavatharam is all that we can expect from Kamal Haasan after forking out $15 for a ticket, it’s time this dinosaur of the Tamil movie industry moves on to less taxing pursuits, like aadu, maadu maikara vela (a cowherd, grazing goats and cows).

Bottomline: Dasavatharam is just another freak-show. Like all these asinine tricks people try to get their name into the Guinness records book.


Anonymous said...

Sudeshna ma'am writes:

Hey, you have been ruthlessly ruthless. Spare the man some blushes at least! God how i laughed. Poor K , he doesn't know what hit him. But i agree with you on most of the points 'cause every 'sensible' review i read spoke of the guy's megalomania. Pity as he was once a powerful actor. We haven't learnt to accept our ageing with grace, more's the pity.

i like watching movies where the hero has no agenda that he has to be seen in every shot. KH has the tendency of overwhelming everyone who watches his films. i loved him in Pushpak when he hadn't become this big a megalomaniac. his face is so mobile, why does he need to shove himself down our throats?

By anonymous user, # 6. August 2008, 09:40:52

Kartz said...

I hate tht fellow! x(

And tht movie was crap... Totally!



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