The basic problem or advantage (depending on your taste in movies) in Mr. Hassan's movies are that he tries to convey lot of things in one movie and sometimes it just spills out. While the average viewer used to dappankuthu and punch dialog stuff as in Vijaykanth, Balakrishna and Vijay's movies may find it too hard to understand and digest, the avid cinema lover would embrace it with all his heart as watching it time and again gives him a refreshing experience and conveys a new meaning every time its viewed.
That is exactly the same problem/advantage in Dasavatharam.
Among all the hype and hoopla surrounding the 10 characters Mr. Kamal has portrayed, it is quite to difficult to spot and be in awe of them and lose the plot and narration. There is no story to speak of and so it is quite odd to write a review and not mention the basic plot.
The plot revolves around Govind, a scientist in US who finds a virus which he says is powerful than anthrax. Govinds superior is corrupt and tries to sell the virus which leads to a chain reaction which ultimatley brings forth all the avatars of Mr. Kamal. In between he meets all the Kamals and that to say...is Dasavatharam. Odd? What the heck? Yep. Thats what strikes you when you hear the story (or lack of it).
But truly, Mr. Hassan is indeed a jack-of-all-trades. Not only does he don the mantle of writing the screenplay, but also plays all the 10 roles (virtually hogging every other frame of the 3 hours odd movie) and plays them with distinctive touches. Thank god, if not for the central character Govind, I would have even forgotten what the real Kamal looks like.
Almost every other issue under the sun has been discussed ranging from Butterfly Effect, Nuclear war to Caste discrimination and Sand Quarry Theft. Personally I think it is a masterstroke to include so many of them in a pot pourri masala flick and possibly only Mr. Hassan can achieve it. But that as well robs the movie of the distinction of belonging to any one particular genre.
Personally I think the characters of Fletcher and Balram Naidu were the best. Bush was needless to say funny. Given a choice, I would love to see a movie featuring Balram Naidu and his stupid antics. Fletcher should rank as Mr. Hassan's most stylish role to date (the square jaw being characteristic of CIA Assassins?). The general complaint has been that there have been some roles which were just filled in to make a round count of 10. Not to defend it, but I think that is EXACTLY the point. Don’t we see how one small action triggered in one small corner of the world affects someone somewhere else?
I don’t know if it is me, but personally I felt that the character of Govind stood the most poorly sketched. And yeah, what was with the Bullet-curing-cancer theory Mr. Hassan? Hope we wont have cancer patients who will run around the doctors with guns in their hand and asking them to shoot-and-cure them. Asin was so irritating that I wished that Kamal would take the vial from the statue, tie her to it and throw her in the Indian Ocean. Among all the pygmies among Gulliver Kamal, M S Bhaskar raised few laughs with his Jeppiarish english.
Surprisingly Himesh Reshamaiyya's two bhajan type Kallai Kandal and Mukunda fared better. Hope that doesnt prompt him to wear the swoosh cap and croon "Om Jai Jagadish Hare" in his nasal accent. Devisri Prasad's background score is good and sometime has some Harris Jairajish touches. But dont know why he needed to include the Spiderman 3 promo music in the beginning. Maybe all Mr. K S Ravikumar was needed for was for the Balram Naidu parts and to dance in the climax.
The graphic sequences are quite tacky compared to hollywood, but then cant complain much as we can do that much with limited budget and so we are still taking baby steps in graphics. Don’t know how many of you noticed, but Mr. Hassan has a small homage to his acting guru Mr. DeNiro when Fletcher quips "You talking to me?" in the climax reminiscent of the famous monologue in Taxi Driver.
Mr. Hassan is a great actor and we all know it. But this film does not require much of his acting abilities. Rather other skills as his patience to go through the grind of hours of make up for minutes of shots, his unmatched perfect linguistic talents and change of body language have been put to test. Finally, this film would be remembered for an intelligent (but incoherent) screenplay talent of Mr. Hassan that he has used to bind these 10 characters.
Last but not the least, there was this amazing piece of dialogue.
Asin: Are you saying that God does not exist?
Kamal: I am not saying that. All I am saying is that I wish he did.
This one piece of dialogue was bloody worth my ticket price and a standing ovation.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Rating: 3.5 / 5