Dasavatharam

Dasavatharam – Kamal’s Revenge on cinema.

Take That world!

 

Good Grief.

 

The Housefull midnight Audience were pummeled into a stunned silence from bad visuals unkind make up, garishly fake computer animation, pukey falsettos and a basic lack of consideration for the audience. I ended up feeling sorry for trashing Tashan. This is a few levels worse. It’s a throwback to the bad old days of a desperate “make movies cuz our film crew needs work” times in the 80’s.  There are NO redeeming features. The rest of this review is me working out MY frustration at the wasted opportunity and time. Stop reading now if you get the picture. Stay away from this film, if it’s not too late already.

 Sinks like a false god.

Sinks like a false god

The Seagull , in his many many years of film watching has never seen a film fail in so many of its conceits as this one has. The SFX- Terrible. The Make up- like paper mache masks Oldfashioned movie making skills- Absent. A sense of history (essential for a historical film) missing. Basic consideration for the viewer – absent. Kamal’s interpretations of the ten charecters -sub intelligent. Sociopolitical theory- like an old village communist “comrade”‘s drunken rant.

 

The film is an 1980’s style con job on the distributors to scam up as much money as possible on a premise (actor casts himself in ten roles) and deliver a stinking dud knowing the short memories of the bollywood filmmaking market.

 

It is not as though kamal does not know how to make movies.This is Kamal acting out his creative erectile disfunction. The film is a fast talking con. God we miss a real sci fi drama from India.

 A segway is High tech? since when?

High tech failed product

Kamal is missing something basic here.The whole purpose of special effects generated on the computer is that they look real. These look like they are computer generated painted cardboard props. The whole purpose of make up is that the “made up” person looks real . These look like some horror film masks melted in the Madras sun.

 

The whole purpose of playing ten charecters is that an actor explores different character ketches and makes them real people you can identify with. Kamal ‘s ten feels like an attempt to save appearance money he would have to have paid to get ten other people.

 

Ten Kamals : Jowls and all

Walking through the half dimensional character essays,

 

Rangarajan nambi (the 12th century priest) is a cardboard cutout fist banger with a Brahmin priest’s getup. I never thought I’d see a film where a person dressed like a temple priest is introduced in the inner sanctum of a temple bashing the heads of bad guys(squirting blood) against the large stone idol of Vishnu. A first of sorts in world film.

 

Christian Fletzer- is supposed to be a rogue CIA Agent, he looks like he has trouble swallowing from goitre. When he speaks , he sounds like there’s a grapefruit sized lump in his throat.

 

Avtar Singh- The sikh singer (which is a terrible pun. He’s sick with cancer…singh sing- get it?) Looks like a middle aged bottling company executive with a ashion emergency and cries too much.

 Fat , not baby phat.

Sick singh-er

Shingsen Narashi- the Japanese martial arts instructor speaks terrible Japanese for even my untained ears , and looks like one of those alien cat people in star trek. He seems to be inspired by the unisex waiter costumes at an American hibachi steakhouse.

 

George W Bush: looks like red riding hood’s granma wolf version of george bush and speaks in a somewhat strange howl.

 

Kaifullah Khan: the 7 foot tall muslim cariciature (a tamil film equivalent of blackface)  Sounds retarded and catactonic. His character feels vaguely offensive, the way a “white person from West Virginia” sketch might be essayed incestuously.

 

Krishnaveni patti : this is one of the three real acting roles in the film although Its drowned out by the shrieking and sqeaking in fifty different sharps and flats.

 

Vincent poovaragan: The black Indian low caste leader is the political statement of the movie and a believable essay is caught in the tsunami of bad taste that is dasavatharam.

 

Balram naidu : the Indian intelligence official from Andhra must be the funniest role Kamalhasan has ever played. Why didn’t he show up in the film earlier? This is one reason I believe that this film is really the revenge of Kamalahasan on his audiences in the world at large.

 

Govund ramaswamy: the conventional hero, Kamal is too old and fat to essay this role convincingly.

 

Mallika serawat: doesn’t know how to pole dance.sings an embarrassingly bad English number.

 

Im a broken man now.I thought life had served me every possible doozie. Dasavatharam , I was completely unprepared for. But no one really prepares for the tsunami. 

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About rameshram

Name : Ramesh Ram... Email Address : Cdrakenc@gmail.com (don't even ask) Blog: (never updated) http://ramesh.journalspace.com Height/ Weight: 6'1 175 (varies between 160 and 185) Color of hair/ eyes black/ brown Bald? Nope (not yet, but give me 20 years.) Interests: Film (Bollywood/international indie), Travel (Germany/Japan/Central America/Sout/east/west Asia/ Northern Africa), Gizmo geek, Clubbing... What do I like in a good movie?: Women, Music, Auters, Special effects, Style. What do I like in a bad movie?: Women, Music, Auters, Special effects, Style. Favorite Critic: International: Bazin Domestic: J Hobermann Indian : me. (noone else comes close ...India or here..) Best quality: Humility. Outspokenness. Warmth Worst quality: Intolerence Favorite color : Yellow Black Blue Favorite Perfume : men: Grey Flannel(Geoffery Beene) Women: Celine dion: Obsession Boxers / briefs : Boxers Did I inhale: And how! Author: Marquiz, Rushdie, Murakami, Jong Last Book: The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt Music : Patricia Kass, Alejandro Sanz,Nina Simone, Amir Diab Sports person: uh..me? What am I usually in : White briefs and tees. Chianti or Burgandy: Chianti Food: French Japanese(street/fast food). Saw and liked: No Country for old men, Lust Caution Saw and disliked: Nishabd Didnt see: Aaja Nach le. Call me: Write me first.
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11 Responses to Dasavatharam

  1. Manoj says:

    heh-heh, I saw some of the “make-up” visuals on Youtube, and you’re right, looks more like something poured on his face than applied. Esp. that pathetic George Bush stuff. Madayan!

  2. karthik says:

    Hey hey

    I agree the make up part and the charaters speaking part were messy but the subject is fantastic. Tsunami was good or bad from this story point of view is debateble. Why God never prevent Tusnami from hitting Indian Shores. Was Tusnami developed by God to supress the powers of synthetic chemical by NACL( salt).

  3. rameshram says:

    Karthi,

    I agree that many important subjects were tackled in the film, but the treatment made it impossible for me to take the film seriously.

    The difference between when APJ Abdul kalam talks about missiles (which I will take seriously) and Cho Ramaswamy talks about missiles. (which I might not).

    Kamal took his eyes off the ball. He should have known better.

    Maybe he’s just like how tendulkar is seen in the Indian team now. all those centuries don’t matter if he’s tadavifying in a 20-20’s competition.

  4. noor says:

    Kamal never change. He is a good actor and should not experiment in other areas such as scripting, direction. His ego never allows.

    No big production houses will take risk with him.

    compare with this Sivaji is fore better in attracting the entire world.

    Kamal’s brother Chandra Hasan many times advises him to do only acting. Indian, Nayagan, Devarmagan, THenali, Vasolraja, vettaiyadu vilaiyadu and more……

    If he interfere much then it will be big ‘oothal’.

    Better luck next time.

  5. rameshram says:

    Noor,

    exactly correct.

    The other thing I noticed in the film is that some sequences were very slick and other sequences looked like old chinese martial arts films version of history.

    I think this is because they started making this film six years ago, and it changed hands many times.

    I think, if kamal has original Ideas he should make films. Mahanadi was a good movie. Rajaparvai was a good movie. If he does not have anything to say he should just not make films, instead of spoiling all the goodwill he has with his audience.

  6. Karigai says:

    Papa, (apropos to “O Ho enthan baby” lol)

    My first time reading your Dasavatharam review. Why read it now? Well, I re-watched Dasavatharam on Sunday that’s why (actually did an almost back-to-back of Dasa and Virumaandi coz it was a combo DVD).

    I remember saying to stagulu (yes, during one of those now-infamous oneWay conversations back when) that Dasavatharam has REALLY grown on me. I’m nearly oblivious to its flaws. In fact, each time I come across it, I discover something new…some facet of it that I (hated or) overlooked earlier reveals itself to me. Also (don’t laugh now) I feel that the distractions of Makeup-that-melts-in-the-Madras-Sun apart, the film does warrant Kamal playing all 10 roles. Watch it several times (to overcome your initial shock/distraction from the rank-bad treatment) and you’ll see why.

    But you’re not exactly rooting for a re-watch right, if your review is any indication, or is it? Because (you do realize) this (googly of a) review IS a wink and a nod to what (you say) Kamal is doing with/in Dasavatharam — “saying” Tsunami is bad but “showing” Tsunami is good; “saying” I am a nasty gun, kadavul illai, irundhaal nallaa irukkum etc but “showing” (kallaanaalum) kadavul(laaR)… And you “say” he’s taken eye off the ball, but we’re “shown” that He hasn’t… 🙂

    Speaking of which, I was more than thrilled to take note of a raft name Ramasamy (or was that a trout trawler named Ramasamy?) out there on the Besant Nagar beach, overseeing the closing sequence of the movie:

    With its rugged Blue body, its name (Thamizhla naamam) painted on in Red, the boat is an effective backdrop for — and a silent observer of — the three Kamals (Fletcher, Govind, Shingsen) sparring on the shores. And when the Big wave suddenly comes, the boat becomes Noah’s Ark, rescuing/sheltering the Govind-Andal duo. Ultimately, Dasavatharam is an unlikely love story (note the Kamal-Asin bookends).

    All of this, I missed during my previous viewings. Looks I also missed the “sick singer” pun, cha! How could I??

    • rameshram says:

      dasavatharam would appeal to you, of all people because in my mind, it is the kind of film you might have written , with its free association and loaded symbolic references.

      its also the kind of film people will easily mistake for an intellectual film, which is more the pity because its unadultrated tripe.

      for a really mindblowing historical experience, it’s Ayiratthil oruvan all the way.

  7. Karigai says:

    En moonjiku (backhanded)compliment onnu thaan korachal, but I’ll take whatever I’m able to lay hands on. 🙂 Agree 100% on what you say about me/AO; too bad so few people seem to be in the know..

    • rameshram says:

      now I’m offended . that wasn’t a backhanded compliment it was a friendly insult!

      I showed AO to joey(a screenwriter friend of mine) and he, and his WB friends were blown away by it..

      • Karigai says:

        Enna pannardhu… neenga, stagulu laam palaar nu aranja kooda compliment-a thaan padardhu… chalk it up to my very warped worldview, what else can I say! Besides, compare me to Kamal’s (albeit worst) writing? chance-ey illa.. I’ll take it, I’ll take it.. insult me all you want, friendly or otherwise.

        Would love to get a hold of a good DVD of AO… the ones I’d rented in these parts all looked like camera prints… even then I found the movie monumentally good. Like stagulu said of selvaraghavan, he got (one-eyed?) vision.

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