*No spoilers ahead* :)
Imagine. Imagine Kamal Haasan making a movie that has all the commercial elements, a little bit of new found heroism thrown in, but, at the same time, not a single sign of smudge in that Kamal Haasan stamp. Dasavatharam is all this and much more.
I am not giving away any story, plot details as such. This will just stick to the merits and demerits. The movie begins magnanimously and ends as magnanimously. The story and screenplay by Kamal is top notch and the whole movie is a true roller coaster ride. There is a chase throughout and the intensity doesn’t drop even a little bit at any moment. If this does not keep you glued, at least spotting Kamal Haasan in each frame will.
Kamal Haasan as an actor and filmmaker is breathtaking to say the least. It will take you years to name another artist who gives so much attention to detail. Every frame, every scene, every reasoning has so much detail to it that it turns out to be both the positive and the negative of the movie. Positive because, that’s what makes the movie worthwhile and negative because not many people would get it/endorse it.
The only drawbacks I could point out are the plot build up initially. There is little bit of mokkai and very silly scenes/dialog in the first half that kind of makes you frown. But the interval sets up nicely and the second half quite makes up for it. The other drawback is probably what is touted as the USP- Kamal playing 10 roles. Yes, he can do it. He has done it. He has done them amazingly well. Bearing four or five roles that he has played, I don’t see the necessity in playing all the 10 roles himself. Some of the roles fall flat. But let’s give it to him once shall we. Here is an artist, who takes a leaf out of those mass hero image chasers, carves it all by himself in his own style, visibly enjoying it and delivers a remarkable performance. Kamal deserves an applause and his time in the limelight. Such a hero worshiping limelight, for a change.
The music is just average. Some of the songs, like maxu believed, become likable after the situation, picturization. But it is very very clear that music has not been given any priority whatsoever. There is no song that plays separately. All of them are situational and do not break the flow of the movie.
Let’s face it. Kamal Haasan sets a benchmark for himself before he makes any movie. The media and the audience hypes it up. But in every movie, he reaches that benchmark and comes out as the performer we’ve always known him to be. Unfortunately, some people set the benchmark too high just because it’s Kamal and are disappointed when they see the movie. Have an open mind. Be very very broad minded. Look at every frame carefully. Look at the marvelous attention to detail. You’ll love this movie!
He has taken an array of subjects. Weapons of mass destruction, atheism, religion, chaos theory, butterfly effect, caste system to name a few. To combine all this with some great performances, set pieces, story and a message, with a commercial flavor, is an effort doable only by Kamal Haasan. People praise and shower accolades on far less worthy movies in this country. Kamal deserves much more. Applaud this effort, will you? If you tell me, “Dei, mokkai da, confuse pannitan”, I can’t help but say, “Dei votha, over ah pesadhinga da”! (Sorry, no translation)