First thing first: I like Kamal for his acting/effort he puts on each film/knowledge base. But I am not a crazy fan of him who would blindly say Rajini movies are crap 🙂
And, this is not a review about Dasavatharam as a lot had been already written about it. But of course it is about the movie 😀
So, I had been waiting for quite a long time for this Dasavatharam movie and I was so sad that I couldn’t watch the movie in the first week. Finally I saw it and I am certainly not impressed with the movie if at all satisfied. He took a good subject called “Chaos Theory” but made the narration chaotic. I certainly appreciate the amount of effort he had put in getting those 10 roles done. I wish he had put equal effort on the narration front especially when it comes to dealing with Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect. The chaos theory is as such well explained in the movie depicting how an event in 12th century can contribute to something like a Tsunami. He even shows the butterfly flying in 12th century and at the last scene. But what about the in between 150 odd minutes. Having taken a complex subject, the narration became a lot more complex in dealing with Sand Quarrying, Religion, God, and, God only knows what else… The real part (story) and the imaginary part (screenplay) together maketh the complex movie and as such the screenplay became invisible 🙂
My guess is that he would probably scripted it with 3 or 4 characters but eventually someone in his circle might have told him “Why not make 10 characters and create a world record?”. Anyone would easily agree that he could have avoided 3-4 characters in the movie. And certainly I didn’t get the kind of satisfaction one would get watching movies like “Indian”, “Michael Madana Kama Rajan”, “Anbe Sivam” and the likes…”Anbe Sivam” had a very long lasting impact on me and made lots of sense even though it dealt with a complex subject called God. But here in Dasa I wow at a lot of individual scenes, especially the first 10 minutes of the film. They are just independent scenes and when all of them flow through as a movie, somewhere the link is lost. If it is so difficult for people who can immediately Google and Wiki and find out info about Chaos Theory, I couldn’t disagree with the saloon wala and auto walas I met who said the movie is a crap. Now this is where Rajini differs as a mass entertainer.
OK. I think I have blamed Kamal a lot in this post than all these years. Having grown seeing his movies and acting skills I guess I have the right to say these when all his hard work goes unappreciated. I would sit and watch “n” number of times movies like Nayagan, Varumayin Niram Sivappu, Moondram Pirai, Punnagai Mannan, MMKR, Apoorva Sagodharagal, Devar Magan and the list goes on till Anbe Sivam. The precision with which he acts in every frame, the sheer brilliance he shows in adapting to a character and just living through his entire life for cinema surely stands as a great inspiration for me. Cutting down on height, increasing on weight, sporting an 80 year old guy, running around in a “Madisaar” he has shown variety in every film. Having studied around class 10 or so, his knowledge base is comparable to a researcher in any field. Getting to know so many things, keeping them indexed in his brain, he can start talking about any topic on earth. And when it comes to cinema the quick adaptation of technology and complex story telling techniques he certainly has taken Tamil cinema to the next level during any period.
Even in Dasa, you would definitely notice how much research he has done for each character. Getting trained on George Bush accent and mannerisms, unique walking style for the Dalit guy, punjabi accent, speaking Japanese, Iyengar “bhaashai” for the paati he has literally crafted every frame of the movie. He has taken Visual FX to the next level for Indian Cinema. In fact he tried that in Alavandhan itself when he got special motion controlled cameras for scenes having both the Kamals. People don’t even want to talk if I mention Alavandhan. But in my opinion even that movie was like Dasavatharam. A lot of scenes can be enjoyed individually. On the other side, as my colleague says Kamal fails miserably when movie is just seen for entertainment purposes. Like, there is a business side of it. A lot of people’s career, hard work and most importantly one guy’s huge huge money at stake. That’s where Rajini excels; Sivaji having just a moderate story with mere marketing and Rajini’s screen presence became a runaway hit. I am not saying that people only like masala movies. Of course a lot of movies that were serious have done good at the box office too. But 90% of such movies dealt with relationships, not the ones that handled complex subjects.
Another big let down in Dasa is the music (Songs, BGM and Re-recording). I do not understand the rational behind having Himesh as the composer and choosing Devi Sri Prasad for BGM. If it had been ARR or IR (my personal preference) that would have helped the movie a lot. Both of these guys are capable of creating themes for each period/character in the film and the BGMs will have a long lasting impact on the audience. I am not sure if it is just the dates problem of something the producer had in mind for marketing purposes (when the movie is released in Hindi). Also I missed Sujatha a lot in this movie. His dialogues would have surely made a difference.
I now wish this: if K.S.Ravikumar had directed Sivaji and Shankar directed “Dasa” it would have been really wonderful. Ravikumar rocks when it comes to masala movies and Shankar can create that impact in audience by emphasizing the social message in the film. But wait, I haven’t given up on Kamal. No one would for that matter. I have already started waiting for “Marma Yogi” and I want a Kamal – Mani Ratnam – ARR combo pack in some time… 🙂