I’ll review the film after a second watch because I missed the first few minutes tonight. But here are a few thoughts:
Dasavatharam is the most entertaining B-movie made in recent times with a classy, intelligent subtext for those who care. I couldn’t help wonder if such an intelligent script needed to be made with a spelling-it-out-for-the-mass sort of sensibility. But then, budgets dictate sensibility, I guess. He hasn’t made this for the Oscars. He made it for Aascar Ravichandran who needs lakhs of people to watch the film to recover the crores he spent.
With not a single dull moment, Kamal Hassan’s screenplay moves at breakneck speed, with some of the best action scenes we’ve seen in Indian cinema. It is extra-ordinary effort as Kamal Haasan brings alive every single of the ten characters from under all that prosthetic make-up.
The accents may be a little unsettling and difficult to follow if you’re watching it in Rohini complex and it is tough to keep up with the Tamil subtitles… but the man’s face speaks volumes.
The film plays out through a series of adventures and like any good chase movie, the story is told and the conflicts unfold while the characters are on the run… with each character representing a type. There’s Govind Ramasamy who is a man of science while Andal (Asin) is the face of faith. Then, there’s the peace-loving Afghani, a daft American President, an old school Jap who could’ve been a Samurai, an ex-CIA agent who’s a meticulous killing machine, a contrastingly tame RAW agent, an entertaining Sardar, a senile Paati, a dark-skinned son of the soil and the Vaishnavite priest. Through these types, science meets religion, biological warfare meets martial arts, action meets comedy, conspiracy meets destiny and good meets evil… all seamlessly and at a scale that will make Indian cinema proud.
Most of the parallel-running narratives are tied up quite neatly towards the end while some are just tied up conveniently for the sake of the statement – that everything happens for a reason.
Yes, it’s a little cheesy but that’s the way we like it, don’t we?
Watch it with a bag of NaCl, minus all that hype and you are sure to have one hell of a ride. Get yourself a darshan of the demi-god’s dashavatar, at the price of a movie ticket.