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Dasavatharam – Review – Film for the hardcore fans of Kamal Hasan

A film for the hardcore fans of Kamal HasanThe Cast and Crew
Cast: Kamal Hassan, Asin, Mallika Sherawat, Jaya Prada, Napoleon, P Vasu
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Background music: Devi Sri Prasad
Dialogues: Vennelakanti
Cinematography: Ravi Varma
Editing: K Tanikachalam
Art: Bharani
Producer: Oscar Ravi Chandran
Story – screenplay: Kamal Hassan
Direction: KS Ravi Kumar
Release date: 13 June 2008

The Film
Touted as the most prestigious venture of Kamal Hasan and the costliest film, Dasavatharam projects only Kamal Hasan, without much of a gripping narration of the story. The film has very high production values with some very good visual effects.

The Story
The story starts with an episode of the differences between Shivites and Vaishnavites in the 12th century AD. In the present context, Kamal Hasan, the hero, is working in USA as a scientist for an organization dealing with biological weapons of mass destruction.
When the hero comes to know that the secrets of these weapons are likely to go into the hands of terrorists. Kamal Hasan, the villain, is now out to terminate the hero Kamal.
The story is woven as a spy thriller with an undercurrent of thematic debate between theism and atheism. The final message is that somehow there will be divine intervention to save the world from destructive forces.

The Performance
In all the ten rolls donned by Kamal Hasan, he performs with his usual aplomb. However, in many roles, because of the make-up and costumes, he cannot be identified as Kamal Hasan, as the fans know. He brings in a very unique style and mannerisms to each of the characters he played. His role play is a feast for all the hard core fans of the thespian.
Because, Kamal plays so many roles, the other actors and actresses have very insignificant footage for themselves. Still, all of them have given adequate performances.

The Techniques
The storyline, though innovative, is not supported by thrilling narration with the screenplay going haywire here and there. A crime and chase subject must always have surprising subplots and unexpected turning points. The lyrics are adequate and the music has nothing to write about.
The costume and make-up is extraordinary, but its importance is lost for lack of gripping narration. The cinematography, editing and special effects are world class, but they do not by themselves make a film more interesting to watch.
A lot of interest has been made to make the film visually beautiful, but the overall effect is lost on the average cine audience.

The Verdict
This film is only for the hardcore fans of Kamal Hasan and also for the record that he plays ten different roles. Any mass product, including cinema, should have a specific USP to reach the masses. Dasavatharam fails to invoke interest in the audience or grab their attention.
One question will arise after watching this film…Why did Kamal Hasan made such hype on a damp squib?

The Rating
2.5 out of 5

Deen Kumar


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