So, we did land up at the theatre on the first day. In the so many months in Mumbai, this was the first time that no empty seat stared at me. House Full !!
I try and listen to what audiences say, post the movie, for it gives me an indication. So there was an young man who said, “it’s a technically well made movie”. There was another with a ‘try me’ T-Shirt who quipped to another: “This was Hollywood style”.
I was lost. When comments are this incongruous to my opinions, well, it provokes thought. Did I miss something? Was there more? Am I getting too old?!? Am in uncool?!?
Kamal Haasan stars in 10 different roles. (And one of them as George Bush. Goodness gracious me!) The fact that tremendous amount of physical work must have gone into plastering the different masks on the face is well acknowledged. Digital rework & multi-media magic is doubly acknowledged. Some ‘daredevil’ stunts… hmmm perhaps noticed. Every rookie filmstar claims a trapezoid linkage to Tarzan these days.
Imagine. You are loaded with cash, and you want to buy a car.
Imagine a crystal adorned dashboard. Throw in the best of designer leather trim and fabulous bucket seats. The best of 18 inch radials and alloys. The slickest of gear shifts. Get the best possible German powertrains and shock absorbers. The best of gadgets. Including an ashtray with remote control ! ( God help you to understand how you would use it from the rear seat. ).
And then in a ‘masterful’ stroke, put in a 600 CC engine inside the boot. What are you likely to see? A wonderful concept that offers all possibilities to your imagination. Until the time you crank the engine put the car in move.
I have long held the belief that a movie’s heart lies in its story. In the plot. If that is weak, everything else becomes irrelevant!
Dasavatharam is something similar. A very weak story line and 10 different Kamals. If there was any role which still holds my attention, it is the characters of Balram Naidu, the RAW officer & Vincent, the activist. Every other character is forgettable.
Some make ups are tacky and seemed to suggest a disfigurement perhaps due to steroid overuse rather than a make up !
Stunt sequences show up in predictable intervals. BMW. Helicopter. Motorbike. Local train. Lorry. Tempo Traveller. Jeep. Cargo plane. US roads. Agraharams. Sky rises. All provide backdrops to some loud noised bashing up of somebody on screen.
The intensity of my own dislike for the movie is clear. It was a shoddy piece of work in weaving it all together!
Amongst the many other scenes, which I stared in disbelief, was the ‘love’ conversation happening with the Tsunami suffering in the backdrop. To me that was insensitive and appalling. And by the way, if you have throat cancer & you get shot, the bullet can dislodge the cancer and you can be fit as a fiddle !
That was Dasavatharam for you. Despite all the technical wizardy ( of having scenes with four Kamals in the same car etc), carrying a plot without substance. Faces without meaning. And meaning far suspended from reason!
And this billed as the most expensive film ever made in India, I was already yawning when KS Ravi Kumar dances to ‘ulllaaaga – naaayaganea’ in the end.
A cryptic comment from somewhere floated in the air. “Dasavatharam: The ten avatars of pain !!” That summed it up well.