Friday, July 04, 2008

In defense of Dasavathaaram

There’s nothing novel in people trying to get famous by ridiculing things that are otherwise popular. I guess the case is no different with Dasavathaaram. [Some reviews here]. I had almost decided not to watch the movie in theaters after reading all the reviews blasting the movie, but I had to give in to my better half.

To start with, I liked the movie. I think I even loved it in bits and pieces. It isn’t a magnum opus in any case, but it does attempt to convey a lot of right messages. And it’s pretty bold. Kudos to Kamal - I haven’t seen a mainstream movie with a mainstream actor who’s bold enough to expound the values of atheism in such an emphatic manner, with absolutely no second thoughts.

Let’s start with the positives. Kamal’s effort is admirable, as always. If acting is his profession, there’s no doubt that he does total justice to it. Here is one guy who still believes in ‘acting’ as opposed to other forms for attracting the audience – such as humor, so-called ‘ssshtyle’, so-called ‘action’ etc, most of which turn out to be silly more often than not. His acting is second to none.

That said, I think the biggest point that works in the movie’s favor is the wide-sweeping nature of the tale itself. While bits and pieces appear disconnected, the movie works. It manages to thread all the pieces together, and, in the process, covers religion, atheism, God(s), bio-terrorism, global warming, Tsunami, and what not. That an Indian movie could be so wide-sweeping in nature and still manages to captivate the audience is heartening. I mean, do we really have to look for a racy entertainer all the time for a movie? How many movies have done this? Can we give credit for the effort? Playing 10 roles is purely a marketing element, but what is gladdening is an effort to connect multiple themes into a movie. The movie doesn’t end up like a ‘Babel’, but I guess Babel won’t run among Indian audience.

Onto to the negatives. When a character is supposed to perform 10 roles, there ought to be some force-fits, and there’s obviously a possibility of lesser attention to some of the roles. Some of the roles appear purely for adding to the count, and some just didn’t make any sense. Case in point is the Japanese warrior. Then there is the biggest blooper of all – the heroine, played by Asin. Boy, wasn’t that an irritating character? So annoying and almost nauseating! I guess half the sane people in the world would ditch her first thing if they encounter someone like her in their lives. The hero deciding to marry him is admirable, and courageous. She was a perfect example of how 'not to be'. The graphics could have certainly been better.

I loved the closing lines. “I don’t say there is no God… all I’m saying is it would be nice to have a God!” Seen from the context of movie, i.e. Tsunami, I can’t wonder how true and poignant those words are.

Rate Four out of Five. Kudos to Kamal for his audacity. People who were disappointed were victims of their own expectations.

10 Comments:

At Friday, July 04, 2008 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Prasad said...

welcome bk govar :) ... havent watched the movie yet ... i dun think the hindi one has been released here yet.s

 
At Friday, July 04, 2008 9:29:00 PM, Anonymous Govar said...

Hey Kida... dont know whether a hindi version is in the offing.. let's wait and see. Don't think its a must see anyway... so wouldn't recommend the pain of watching it in a language you wouldn't understand!

 
At Saturday, July 05, 2008 2:23:00 PM, Blogger Amit said...

Does it have subtitles?

Given that the language barrier is the only reason I haven't seen it yet, subtitles would certainly make me see it...

And I read a notice at E-Square here that says that some part of the movie had been taken off (related to Buddha or Vishnu) because they (the theater authorities) don't want to "hurt sensibilities".

Go figure...

 
At Sunday, July 06, 2008 2:10:00 AM, Blogger Vivacious Vetti said...

Govar, I was one of those victims of having an high expectation, to such an extent that I actually disliked the movie at the end of it. But, then, that's my own mistake; however, i think kamal went a little beyond boundaries in thinking that whatever he makes would, probably, sell. This is where I think he overdid a bit, and is now paying for it. There is, I'd imagine, a thin line of difference between doing and overdoing, and Kamal is definitely on the wrong side here.

 
At Sunday, July 06, 2008 1:45:00 PM, Anonymous Uma said...

true.. I went with lot of expectations and totally disappointed...watched a movie on a screen almost after 6 months and poor graphics upset me very badly...

 
At Sunday, July 06, 2008 10:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Movie is real good except for Asin,Few Unnecessary characters and Graphics.Don't know why most critics are panning the film.

Senthil

 
At Tuesday, July 08, 2008 9:26:00 AM, Blogger Jam said...

Read my review at http://mahabore.blogspot.com, scroll down a little and you ll see my review.

I liked the movie except for a few bits and parts though.

Cheers........Jam

PS: Loved the bit about the 'better half' forcing you to watch a Kamal movie.

 
At Friday, August 01, 2008 2:05:00 PM, Anonymous sheks said...

The worst WTF sequence in the movie is when Avtaar Singh recovers from cancer because of a bullet that passes through his body,taking with it the cancer!!!

 
At Sunday, September 07, 2008 8:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

watching the movie was so agonizing for me i cant give it any bonus points for the effort. it has an interesting (and message - the movie was so bad i completely overlooked the possible message until your post) story but that's not enough to make a movie worth watching. it also needs to work visually and auditorily(?). do not understand why you or some others have taken the time to compare it with Babel. i did not see any parallel stories here. all i saw was one long story with Kamal playing all the characters in bad make up and annoying accents.

 
At Monday, September 08, 2008 8:03:00 AM, Anonymous Govar said...

@Amit: No, I don't think. In any case, this isn't worth watching with sub-titles!

@Sheks: Haha... I totally agree! My doctor happens to be a doctor, and she had 'WTF' in her very looks!

@Anonymous: Hey, I really can't contest with your views there... agree pretty much!

 

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