Dasavathaaram – Not a review

This is not a review. I only view movies once (unless they are made by Hayao Miyazaki).

Warning 1: Spoilers ahead.

Warning 2: If you haven’t seen the movie, this post will make about as much sense as the plot in a Vijay movie.

Warning 3: Please read Warnings 1 & 2 before proceeding

What connects

  • Oppressive rule of the Burmese military junta
  • Chinese oppression of Tibet

If your answer is that these are pressing, contemporary global issues, you would only be partially right. Because more critically, these are the only topics left unexplored in Kamal’s Dasavathaaram. The rest of the usual suspects, atheism, caste, religion, climate change, Sand mafia, just to name a few, were there in full force.

If I had to present this movie in the form of bullets in an OpenOffice presentation, I would say that Dasavathaaram was fundamentally about

  • A US biological weapon that turns people into liquid versions of The Incredible Hulk.
  • Global discrimination against Muslims, and the critical role played by mosques as anti-Tsunami bunkers.
  • The continuing insistence by the priestly class in India that sculpted pieces of rock placed inside places of religious worship are best handled by saree-clad Keralite actresses speaking in a Dumbram accent (Tambram accent specifically exaggerated and tailored for Kollywood movies)
  • Religious fanaticism (especially by saree-clad Keralite actresses holding statuettes of Vishnu) trumping over the common-sense rationality of science.
  • The impact of Hiroshima on the Kung-fu skills of Japanese girls who can speak Tamizh.
  • Final and conclusive proof that all ex-CIA assassins become either exotic dancers or shorter versions of Steven Segal. (Kamal’s makeup is very impressive but it does kill facial expressions, like Botox injections do. The 7-foot tall Pathan character definitely looked like John Kerry while the ex-CIA hitman looked like Steven Segal’s mini-me)
  • Providing the NRA with an incredibly powerful new tagline – Guns don’t kill people, they kill cancer.
  • In a fight between Napoleon Iyer and Hassan Iyengar, Napoleon is likely to win.

I loved the movie. Ok. It wasn’t much of a movie. Perhaps, “The Kamalhassan Talent Show Extravaganza Mega Mela” might be more accurate a term to describe this three hour ride, but it was fun. Clearly, the storyline was rather dubious, but Kamal’s brilliance more than made up for it. Obviously Asin was annoying, but Balram Naidu was a masterstroke. Himesh’ music had about as much depth as the river Cauvery in summer, but Kamal’s rendition of “O O Sanam” was rousing. I rarely find George Bush funny, but Kamal’s Dubya sure was. Ah the great tragedy of Kamalhassan! When he makes movies with intelligent stories and works with classy directors, nobody watches them, and when he does a commercial flick like this, he makes the rest of the cast look about as qualified as Darryl Cullinan facing Shane Warne.

I don’t know if any of you noticed this, but the clear-as-day references to the original 10 avatars of Vishnu stood out so clearly that I didn’t even have to try to make them up.

  • The muscular Vaishnavite priest who gets hooks pierced through his skin for hoisting purposes and eventually drowns with the idol of his dear deity = Fish, because, fish live in water and get hooked by fisherman in a very similar way. Way too obvious.
  • The slow, turtle-like paati (grandmother)
  • The incredibly lame and uninteresting Kaifullah, the 7 foot Pathan = a complete Bore
  • The Loin from Pnjaab = Avtaar Singh
  • The stereotypical small, petty (albeit funny) bureaucrat who just has to assert his authority on more qualified people who literally dwarf him in many ways
  • The angry, bad ass ex-CIA assassin with an axe to grind
  • A leader with a complete inability to own up to his own faults and hypocrisies
  • The dark skinned, yet charismatic Poovaraghan
  • The calm, meditative Zen master
  • The Scientist, the bringer of the apocalypse of tomorrow (Kal ki Apocalypse)

The best dialogue of the movie

Asin – Are you saying God does not exist?

Kamal – No, I am not saying that at all. I’m just saying that it will be great if he does.

I cannot imagine another commercial film actor saying these words in what is ultimately a LCD masala flick. Kudos to you Kamal. You might not win an Oscar for this film, but you have definitely won an Aascar.

52 Comments

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  1. Krish,
    Awesome.
    Minor thingies, these: The Naidu character’s name is Balram, not Balraj.
    The sand-mafia protestant’s name is Victor Boovaragan or something to that effect. 🙂
    However, I assume you love Asin and hence her irritating character was conveniently left out of the review. 🙂

  2. Delurked after a long time 🙂 Its amazing how every review of Dashavataram I’ve read so far tells me something new about the movie. Thanks 🙂 Well- written.

  3. fullu asathal!

    I thought bhoovaraghan suited the second avtaar for his name could be split as ‘Bhu(earth)’ + Varah(boar)

    and the great-khali guy for the ramavtaar as he fits the def of ‘aajaanubahu’…

    ok i’m stealin the fun out of this hilarious post, so I’ll shut up….

  4. i enjoyed the movie. one has to leave their brains back at home to enjoy this flick!

    the graphics sucked. i am wondering why this one was spared in your ‘not a review’.

  5. I have not yet joined the bandwagon and done this movie as of now…but this was more than enough to give me my much needed entertainment…great reiew and observation…
    **The impact of Hiroshima on the Kung-fu skills of Japanese girls who can speak Tamizh. **

    Only size has to be taken care of next I suppose ????

  6. Chance only no, saar. This is too funny.

    I think the Rangaraja Nambi bit was one of the best pieces of film making in all of cinema – right from the “punch” dialogues to camera work. Too bad, the movie lost steam after that. Though, Balram Naidu is the Kameshwaran (of MMKR) of this decade.

    BTW, am I the only one to make the connection that the Japanese girl might know Tamil because she is a fan of Rajni’s “Muthu!”

    Great take on the Dasavatharam link to the characters, but I have a slightly different take on a few:
    Since Rama wasn’t a leader when he didn’t own up to his mistakes (he was in exile), I think he makes a poor W. ( I assume you’re talking about when Rama went quail hunting with Vaali)

    I’d have thought of Dubya as the man that went on a genocide because someone insulted his dad, Fletcher as the bringer of the deluge and yesterday’s (Kal ki) apocalypse, and Govind as the guy that went into exile with an annoying girl and ended up saving the world with the help of a monkey.

  7. Had it been taken in a serious manner, then everyone would have appreciated the class. But just for the mass, adding comedies in irrelevant places is totally irritating, no one in this world will crack jokes at gunpoint. Except for few logical flaws and irritating asin the movie it really good.

    Best dialogue:
    Fletcher : Remember Hiroshima
    Naharshi : Remember Pearl Harbour

  8. Also, what’s with all the Veerasaivas wearing “poonols” – aren’t they non-Brahmins? In the first 15 mins, it seemed like everyone wore a sacred thread – even the henchmen! If the implication is that they are Iyers, then the director needs to be told that Iyers are Advaitins and not Veera-anything, philosophically or otherwise! And Nepolean (or however he misspells his own name) could’ve tried to pronounce “zha” right at least while playing a ChoZHA king! It’s not like he’s Japanese.

  9. Good review.Your interpretation of the DAS avataram was awesome but at places looked quite made up though.
    You forgot to mention about the poor graphics.They sucked.
    And ya,those bullets taking of cancer-That was really funny.
    But to me,the movie was awesome.Asin was good.

  10. Good one, KA! Quite agree with you on all counts.

    For a diehard Kamal fan (me) the movie was very disappointing. Screenplay and story are not the best of Kamal’s talents, as borne out by earlier flicks too.

    For me the most incredible dialogue was “Remember Hiroshima, Remember Pearl Harbour.” At that point I wondered why I’d stayed to that point.

  11. And, btw, Kamal’s brilliance? Eh? Not sure what you mean … the only avataram that had any acting to do was the scientist (the rest being hideous caricatures) whose acting was so cringeworthy (poignantly so, for I took a Northie friend along to show him Kamal was the best!) Asin paled by comparison.

  12. Kamalahasan was fresh and interesting in movies like 16 Vayadhinile .. and I guess Apoorva Sagodharargal was the beginning of the end.

    Crap like Mahanadi, Hey Ram, Dasavatharam .. the guy’s got himself a very strong narcisstic streak and he makes all his movies to blow himself up to cosmic proportions.

    Striking acrobatic yoga poses with a Lüger pistol in Hey Ram, that nonsense with the poonal in Dasavatharam .. urgh

    It is a crying shame to see what was once a brilliant actor decline into this kind of mindless drivel. All that fame has gone to his head, and there’s probably a conscious effort to outdo Sivaji Ganesan in all that the man did.

    All that rhetoric and bombast came naturally to Sivaji thanks to his long, long apprenticeship in theater .. fit him like a glove. It doesnt quite fit Kamal, and it looks as highly contrived and artificial as it actually is.

  13. Kamal’s clearly tried to stretch his definition of creativity once more.

    The pure novelty of getting to don 10 roles has carried him away. The script connecting the 10 characters was very loosely done, bad movie sets, unconvincing background extras, pathetic voice overs of extras, bad make up. But bad make up? Is this not the USP of the movie ??

    His makeup was nothing to write home about. He has stretched his novelty with plaster of paris on his face a bit too far. I remember gasping at his do of Indian Thatha and Avai Shanmugi. But the potches on his face in this case seemed very artificial unless you wanted to keep your eyes shut and not question the great man’s sense of asthetics of make up.

    Thank God for the 12th century priest part of it – he was the Kamal I wanted to see in all the remaining 9 roles.

  14. Actually I found his George Bush to be weak – mainly because here in the US, we are used to better impersonators. Dubya’s idiocy has spawned a hundred of them and they do a good job. Kamal had the right elements in terms of dialog content, but voice, body language etc. were sub-par for a dubya impersonator.

    BTW, wasn’t Pearl Harbor before Hiroshima? I wonder then how that can qualify as a retort/come-back (although I enjoyed it and the fight scene).

  15. Nice read. I think you have it down pretty well. Agree with your sentiments that the storyline was as idiotic as can possibly be, but kamal’s brilliance makes up for it. Loved the cullinan reference ! 🙂

  16. This is a forwarded message –

    FOR THOSE WHO LOVED DASAVATHARAM AND ALSO FOR THOSE WHO CUDNT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT!!!!!!!!!!

    Too many doubts about correlation of the movie, Chaos theory and Butterfly Effect have come into Picture….!!!

    The movie clearly states about Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect [Kamal says it in his Speech in the Movie ]

    The concept of “CHAOS THEORY” and “BUTTERFLY EFFECT”, by itself is a complex concept, which mainly highlights the happening of huge unimaginable things because of least probable things…!!!!

    Dasa although deals with these concept, but does not necessarily confuse anyone with it,,,, As i said earlier, its mainly “YOU”… that plays a factor in how the movie gets along with “YOU”.

    You have got to be Case 1 or Case 2 as i have said earlier in this entry,,, No use being Half Baked…..!!!!

    To just brief about these Concepts,

    Q: What is Chaotic System ?
    A: Basically a chaotic system is one wherein long term predictions are impossible.Like for example,if I push a car, I know that it is going to move and it will continue to do so if I go on pushing it on and on.However,in a chaotic system,this situation cannot be predicted over a long period of time.
    Weather for example is a chaotic system.No matter how good your instruments are,you simply cannot predict the weather with 100% accuracy over a long term basis and forecast it.

    Q: What is the Butterfly Effect ?
    A: It is the most important component of a chaotic system.Basically,small perturbations results in amplifications which completely destroys the original nature of the system and makes prediction impossible.
    If a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa,it could result in a cyclone in USA.(Mark the word COULD).A highly dumbed down explanation of the butterfly effect is in the film Anniyan,where Vikram’s sister dies because a liquor shop owner sells liquor on a dry day.

    Q: OK, how does Dasa incorporate it ?
    A: In essence,Dasa talks about 8 characters who are inconsequential as such,but are integrated in a larger picture.Without Bush,the plane would have been called back.Without Shinghen, Govind would be dead.Without the tsunami,the world would have been destroyed.Even Krishnaveni Patti plays a very important role.If she had not put the vial in the idol,maybe Govind would have recovered it then and there and a powerful weapon would have been unleashed.The very fact that it went into the idol meant that it was being accelerated to its destiny.Without Kaifulla Khan, Govind would have never escaped;the list simply goes on.

    Q:OK,so does the film talk about theism or atheism?
    A:Neither.It talks about how humans drive the destiny of the world.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    The movie does Show ” A Butterfly ” flying accross the screen after the Tsunami Attcck, clearly indicating that the Tsunami is an Outcome of ” The Butterfly effect “.

    ALSOOOOOOO……..

    I said that the butterfly COULD cause a hurricane.That’s a huge probability. Would be a negligible probability. NOT a huge one. if that were true, we would have cyclones on an hourly basis as butterflies keep flitting all over Africa and u don’t have so many cyclones to account for a HUGE probability.
    Chaos,relativity and quantum mechanics are so damn weird that you will think I am talking metaphysics and pseudoscience.

    Like for example,according to quantum mechanics,there is a finite probability that you will fall right through a solid chair.And it is a PROBABILITY.
    Even 10 to the power -26 is finite 🙂 .

    But yes, Quantum Mechanics does allow for weird situations.

    THE CONNECTION !!!!!

    Guys check this link for a clear and complete explanation

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

    In the above links u can see that butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location..

    So in dasavatharam that idol thrown into sea in 12th century is the cause for tsunami…. so everything is interlinked .The wiki entry also says that chaos could play an important role in plate techtonics. Which means even the 12th century incident is connected.

    The 1st scene is perfectly connected to the climax, remember what Kamal says in the 1st scene, that he will not say “Om Nama Shivaya” , but Asin tells him to chant it , but still Kamal refuses , ( in this kamal in his story tries to tell that ) Nambi believes in his god more than anything, but Asin feels “Its ok if we change the god or chant other god’s name, its life thats most important.” Now if u see the climax its JUST OPPOSITE…. Kamal doesn’t believe in god much and values lives of people the most…. but Asin deeply believes in god and that too this dialogue comes when both Asin and Kamal’s hand is on the god which came from the sea , and it also means that they are getting united from the place they departed hundreds of years back ( Kamal and Asin).The connection between the 1st scene and the climax in the movie shows the generation circle combined with supernatural powers of GOD and destiny…..!!!

    If you watch it closely u can also find another actor who has done double action other than Asin and Kamal.
    Asin’s father Sahasranamam [12th Century], in the beginning he says to Nambi “Panchatchira manthirathai sollitu vaango mappillai” and at the End [After tsunami] he says “Avar enna jathiyo inga vaanga paati “.
    Another Eg. of Chaos Theory and circle of life.

    JUST IMAGINE THE CHAOS THEORY IN A TAMIL FILM ??
    WILL ANYONE HAVE THE GUTS TO HANDLE THIS KIND OF A SUBJECT IN A TAMIL FILM?

    ONLY KAMAL HAS THE GUTS…. U ROCK!!

    FURTHER————-

    Nambi explanation

    Okay, this is slightly outside the chaotic system driving the film as a whole.From what I could gather he says that this story is about ideologies like God,the madness surrounding such ideologies and decides to tell the story of the Shaivite-Vaishnavite conflict to show how people go crazy in the name of God as an example.

    As a loose end,it gets tied up in the end,when the Ranganathar idol is thrown out of the sea due to the tsunami which highlights the cyclic nature of life.Actually the Nambi character highlights both Chaos and Karma which I explained.That is the brilliance of this film,there is so much to see and understand.

    Another explanation(and this is slightly far fetched— as explained earlier) is that Govind is in fact the reincaranation of Nambi. As Nambi he couldn’t protect God and died in the name of God.In order to fulfill his Karma,he is reincarnated as Govind Ramasamy who ultimately saves the world from destruction.The idol in the end somewhat hints to this theory; his story began with the idol and it ends with the idol.
    As far as the connection with Nambi character and events in 12th Century goes…
    The connection is based on the “Butterfly effect “.

    When Govind and Andal goes to the bury the idol in the sands, Andal will stumble on a particular stone couple of times…This is the same stone as the one from 12th Century hen Kothai rips her Thaali and flings it at Kulothunga Chozan…it will end up hanging on the stone. So, the implied message here is Andal is Kothai reborn in the 21s century.
    During the encounter with Santhana Bharathi in the sand quarry, it is repeat of the incident from 12th century. Instead of Kulothunga Chozhan, it is the Sand Mafia which tries to inflict damage on the land.
    This movie is a brilliant juxtaposition of independent characters whose paths cross, if only briefly, which is stunning example of Chaos Theory.

    The idol that is drowned in the sea along with Rangarajan in 12th century by Chozha king results in a fault being developed at the bottom of the ocean and creates tremors more than 800 years later. These tremors result in the Tsunami. This again is a classic case of Butterfly Effect wherein a seemingly inconcsequential event (the drowing of the idol) saves Tamil Nadu from being wiped out off the face of the earth.

    But actually kamal has not left anything for our imagination… Explanation struck the right chord, Kamal does tell to Asin in a dialogue that idol which gets sunken back then gets struck between the tectonic plates under the sea and causes tsunami…
    Many people missed this dialogue i guess. Kamal’s accent was so very perfect Tamil, that many people missed it…. Being perfect Is a Problem by Itself !!! 🙂

    Although the explanation is a least possible theory, that is what “Chaos Theory” And “Butterfly Effect” are all about.
    Its not just the statue that caused the tsunami, but it just started a large chain of effects which kept multiplying exponentially and finally lead to it after 800 years….!!
    Why just say this concept is perfectly illogical… it is possible… thats what i have been explaining all the while !!!

    The story line is that things going wrong are made to be right which involves many people and countries knowingly or unknowingly.

    Knowingly:

    -Bush, Manmohan Singh, Govindh, Fletcher, Balaram Naidu, Mallika Sherawath.

    Unknowingly:

    -Nambi’s drowning to death with the heavy statue causes simple changes to the seabed that causes a devastating tsunami 800 years later [Acc. to Chaos theor it is possible…. although it is least probable… It is possible.. so nothing TOTALLY WRONG About it ]
    -Poovaragan(actually saved kamal unknowingly—when poovaragan enters kamal and asin were caught by those manal kollayargal.There poovaragan distracts the gang helping kamal to escape),
    – Avatar Singh(gave way to Fletcher to escape in the airport unknowingly),
    – Japanese(saved govind from fletcher,he knows he is saving but he doesnt know about the play and was there only for revenge),
    – Kallifulla and family(saved govind unknowingly)……..
    -Vincent is a dalit leader of a lower caste( the so called ) but saved an Iyengar Girl ……and at the end becomes the son of the Iyengar Paati !!
    – If Shingen Narahashi’s sister was not killed, Fletcher could have killed govind and used the virus for wrong purpose..

    This is based on Chaos Theory..!!!!!

  17. Kamal, I saw the movie and knew it was based on Butterfly Effect loosely then. After reading yours, the movie seems to be of more depth than previously thought. Thank you. All these could have been avoided if the movie was shorter with no songs (The day Indian Cinema will be regarded is if they do away with songs and dance), without annoying characters like Asin – the idol fanatic, some terrible mokkas and counter mokkas that dim our wits and the obsessive compulsion to include has beens of yester years in some part even though it is inconsequential and without substance. Because, all I see is these minor things distracting and never truly helping us understand the movie. I blame it on K.S. Ravikumar. I always hated that guy dance in his own directed movies.

  18. Sooperb Review Kris!

    \\“The Kamalhassan Talent Show Extravaganza Mega Mela” might be more accurate a term to describe this three hour ride, but it was fun. \\
    100% rite 🙂

    Relation Avtars of Vishu was a good catch 🙂

  19. Poovarahan is actually Bhoovarahan, but the tamil alphabet for poo and bhoo are the same, hence the mispronunciation. He is part Varaha , (his quest for saving the soil and the earth) and part krishna (the dark skinned hero who prevents “vastraharanam” and is finally killed by a sharp object that pierces his heel)

    Avtar i guess is avathaara purushan and eka patni vrathan

    Does Fletcher kill 21 people ? then he is Parashurama i guess

    Shingha Narahasi is ofcouse good word play for Narasimha

    now here is the wacky theory for George Bush..
    the turtle that brought out all the poison as well as all the amrit..
    the turtle that pushed one race (devas) against another (asuras) in some obscure way

    The diminutive vaamana does assume a viswaroopa eventually… so that may kalifullah, even though his name bears “kali”..

    keep the guessing game going

  20. This comment is for BR.

    Non-Brahmins also can wear ‘poonool’. Im a N-B and I do and also most of my relatives. It is however required that ‘Upanayanam’ be done.

  21. Hey, yeah the dasavatharam connection wasnt exactly a coincidence was it. I however has a differing list when it came to which character is which avataram.

  22. <>

    The veerashaivas (aka lingayats) of north karnataka were a sect started by basaveshwara, and he started the tradition of their worshipping shivalingas and wearing sacred threads.

    I spent about 5 years as a kid in Bidar (on the karnataka – andhra – maharashtra border, about 160 km from hyderabad and the hyderabad equivalent of pondy for madras .. where you’d go to get booze during prohibition) – that was dominated by Lingayats

    Basaveshwara was the minister of a “kingdom” thats now all of one small town in bidar district.. a district that’s perhaps best known now for “bidri work” copper ware, and a funny accent that comes in very handy for rustic villager type roles in kannada movies..

  23. Hi,nice review.Also about the comment by Kamal,it seems the film is not perfect enough to handle such a big concept.It has lots of stupid characters,made just to reach the magic number.
    The 12th century priest Kamal was good,but I must mention my doubt about whether a Vaishnav priest might have gone to the extent of physically beating up a horde of soldiers.The rest looked good,as well as the connection between the first and last parts.

    Asin was not needed in the movie.And instead of running around for so long(especially around interval time) and doing lots of mix-ups that is usually seen only in comedy films,there should have been a more detailed display of the connections,which could give hints to the attentive viewer.I was on the lookout for one…dissapointed that none existed.
    And what was the purpose of the stage having Manmohan Singh and others..pure waste.The way Bush behaved at the end is completely out of line of the movie till that point,as Govind,in the previous scene mentions about Bush’s evil plans and in the next scene,the very man is shown like a superhero,posing and walking(like a clown) on the stage.

    Instead of focusing on the number of characters,Kamal could have made a better film by focussing on the concept and creating a master piece film by giving hints and twists in between.The 12th century priest,Govind,Balarama Naidu,Fletcher and even Avatar singh would have been enough.

    Anyway,it was good entertainment.Graphics were average,but appealing.Acting was also average.Story had good scope.

  24. K. A. !!
    I was following the pre movie song launch and read a tedious tirade from Jackie Chans’ blog [BIG BIG FAN of JC BTW]. I already rated the songs as Baah! Only redeemable tune was Mukunda which BTW was very bhajan like 🙂

    My fav. recent Kamal movies so far: Raghavan. I actually saw this on ein Tamil. Didnt want to lose the dialogue flavor via dubbing. Glad i did so.

    Yet to see Dasavatharam. You are the Nth person who is harping on the costumes and lack of story.. Maybe I shall not go to the theatre at all, and wait for the DVD release.. 🙂

    I already had a stressful time with overhyped Kantri and avoided Pandurangudu for the same. I was so looking forward to seeing Dasavatharam, but now feel, NO..

  25. “I loved the movie. Ok. It wasn’t much of a movie. Perhaps, “The Kamalhassan Talent Show Extravaganza Mega Mela” might be more accurate a term to describe this three hour ride, but it was fun.”
    Show me one other person from Kollywood who would have the guts to weave together 10 characters and illustrate Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect on screen with such grandeur?
    And regd the dubious storyline factor, I would not agree to this altogether. This is Kollywood, where movies with non-existant scripts and just star power have grossed more money than awesome movies like “Rhythm” and “Anbe Sivam” were not commercial successes 🙂
    Landed from somewhere onto your blog. But I like the way you have put your points across.

  26. Hey Ashok,

    You don’t believe me if I say that i was about to write a very similar post in my blog about Dasavatharam. I was

    really surprised going through your post, and find that my view on Dasavatharam is almost matching with yours (May

    be everyone’s).

    In my view, the director has really tried alot to convey something really great and extraordinary, but he was not

    successfull in it. Kamal’s action wise and makeup wise, the movie was Ok.

    Also, the way you related Darasavathara’s of Kamal with the Dasavathara’s of Lord Maha Vishnu is INCREDIABLE,

    AWESOME, INNOVATIVE, SUPERB, …… (whew .. you fill the remaining gaap….).

    Keep rocking as always,
    Durga Prasad.

  27. Sorry, My previous comment is a not formatted well………

    You don’t believe me if I say that i was about to write a very similar post in my blog about Dasavatharam. I was really surprised going through your post, and find that my view on Dasavatharam is almost matching with yours (May be everyone’s).

    In my view, the director has really tried alot to convey something really great and extraordinary, but he was not successfull in it. Kamal’s action wise and makeup wise, the movie was Ok.

    Also, the way you related Darasavathara’s of Kamal with the Dasavathara’s of Lord Maha Vishnu is INCREDIABLE, AWESOME, INNOVATIVE, SUPERB, …… (whew .. you fill the remaining gaap….).

    Keep rocking as always,
    Durga Prasad.

  28. Oh yeahhh….every review gives a new look at the movie…i wonder how it actually is buttttt…..i’d luv 2 watch it……

  29. //”The Kamalhassan Talent Show Extravaganza Mega Mela” might be more accurate a term…
    ROFL:)))…Man read umpteen reviews but this stands out.

    //Kamal – No, I am not saying that at all. I’m just saying that it will be great if he does.
    Itha kalaingar eppovo sollitapla…:))

  30. The movie had a great start and good build up into the story. But after a while, I was looking for Balram Naidu to light up the boring moments in the screen. Too many Kamalhassan. At some point I was starting to doubt if every other character was Kamal hassan. Result: Indigestion!

  31. Really amazed to see such a vision 🙂 well … this movie was an expected masala entertainer… and the way that u have taken much time to analyze n articulate 😉 could have been wonderful in just casually watching this as yet another masala 😉
    appreciate ur thol(l)ai pArvai 😉

  32. thanks for putting up the fwd..it does help a lot becoz for once i understood y kamal made such a movie…definitely kamal needs to be commended for this..i realize now y the audience came out so silent after the movie..having read ur explanation..i just need some more understanding on this…

    i have tried to understand a bit of the chaos theory n butterfly effect..but my question is why should we keep finding logical / illogical / imaginary / realistic theories/answers for things that happen – be it good or bad…for example – y do we need to connect the 1st incident n last incident or y shld we connect the chain-reactions????

    i believe that things that happen everyday – be it good/ bad/ normal, can never be explained…its a mystery tat can never be sorted…n tat mystery has really caught our lives too…infact i feel it has strangled our lives with religion/traditions n its after-effects…

    my point is if kamal hassan is an atheist,,,y shld he believe in such theories.. because i believe this chaos theory or butterful effect has paved way to religion n crap…choas theory n butterful effect is full of probabilites..n so is our religion – full of probabilites….these are theories which will never end n make no sense…n y shld we keep finding answers for something which can never be explained…rather we shld spend our energy doing better things like protecting humanity, environment etc….

    nwayz i just felt like this chaos theory or butterfly effect reinforces such religious ideologies like – everything happens for our own good or bad or karma…all i want to know is – why should we keep convincing ourselves with such stuff…i understand that it is diffcult to digest hard facts (like someone’s death etc.) but such explanations dont justify anything…we r just cheating ourselves..i mean we are just fooling our brain that something happened because of blaaaa n tat we shld keep doing it…i know tat kamal does not insist or enforce on us but i feel that the movie just conveys such a message..

    so i feel as per the movie – we should keep consoling/convincing ourselves everytime something bad/good happens…but my QUESTION IS – why should be give such explanations or convince ourselves…IS it necessary to give such explanations??…shouldn’t we accept whatever happens and move ahead with our life…why should we keep convincing our brain…

    isn’t it all a social structure of thinking?…tat we shld convince our brain when something good/bad happens…

    i understand life is mystery n tat is what the movie has been explaining…well all i can say is that, such conclusions can be inferred from any movie – if wanted, even though they are not directed from such angle (well i am not comparing any movies here, but such inference can be drawn from any angle and anywhere)…

    all i want kamal or anyone to answer is – what if the society does not believe in this concept of inferences? – what kind of a society would that be?

    WELL i dont want u to think this as an irony to my question – all of us in chennai n other affected parts had a very bitter feeling about the tsunami – like it took away many lives, livelihood, questions like y the hell did this happen to chennaities etc…but now the movie has given it a different picture – the movie makes us think that the tsunami happened for a good cause n nothing bad about it…For Ex: if the earthquake wld have happened anywhere near chennai then, whole of chennai would have collapsed, but since it took place some 1000s of kilo meters away, it just killed few 1000s instead of lakhs…………..THE NEXT QUESTION IS – can we draw n shld we ever draw such conclusions for all the corruption, bribery, criminal-acts etc. tat happen across the world…so shld we just keep quiet n believe tat such criminals will be punished one day some way somewhere…WELL INSTEAD OF FIGHTING FOR THE EVIL – WE ARE FOOLING OUR BRAINS n waiting for stupid things to happen?? the movie emphasises that we should wait…n tats what people have been practicing since ages…

    well its a cycle of inferences n assumptions, which are again a social construction…y shld be construct such theories – may be this cannot be called religion because there is no culture to be attached, but it cannot be science either…

    thing i disliked in the movie:
    – getting karunanidhi – all of us know he is an atheist…but its stupid to get someone support ur thinking..y cldnt kamal have another artist…

  33. I was just telling hubby the other day that one doesn’t hear pithy epithets like ‘brahmahathi’ anymore – and the paati filled that hole. Modern words do not do enuf justice, I say!

  34. I quite liked the movie, actually..it requires a bias towards a disproportionate cocktail of Crazy Mohan one-liners, excellent Telugu acting (Balram) and nice Agraharam ripoffs (Patti likes rosemilk) without looking for Kurosawa or Fellini effects.
    It might help if you like the carefully structured chaos-butterfly parts as a breathtaking act of philosophical musing in a society that has regressed to chakkalathi serials in satellite TV.
    Give Kamal some due for attempting the near impossible in both acting and story-telling.

  35. Great review…! I personally feel that one cant truly understand and decipher so much by seeing it just once…. I have seen it once and want to see it again.. . Obviously there is a lot told in a very short time… Some might find it difficult to comprehend with the “more than one line” story of the movie…!! And i believe there is a lot left for the imagination to fill up the gaps. Allowing for a whole lot of different interpretations. Thats the genius of kamalhassan…!! No one else could have pulled this off…!!
    and cheers man… great review..!!

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