Kamal Haasan Dasavatharam Movie Review, Facts and Fiction
  • Please post your views here.
  • Hi All,

    As for me, the movie just satisfied my expectation. The 2nd half was a
    bit of a drag and the most irritating characters were that of Asin's
    and the muslim Kamalhassan. Asin was total crack and that was the
    biggest minus of the movie. Another thing was the Panjathantiram type
    of comedy midst of supposedly high intensity chase. Other than that
    the movie was a great entertainer. The fight sequence, I could easily
    say the best in the indian movies so far, almost at par with the
    hollywood movies. The best Kamal is that of the dalit leader
    Aravamudan, a character made to talk only to the point, no more no
    As Sathis pointed out, the link between the 12th century sequence and
    the rest of the movie is not obvious. I made an interpretation that,
    Kamal and Asin gets killed by the statue and gets together again by
    the statue :-)

    Over all it was a good entertainer, historic folks of our group will
    be disappointed though.
  • Rediff reporter's views
    Now same reporter on Sivaji the Boss...

    When Superstar can come back to life after an hour...., yea
    sure..Avtaar singh can have cancer cured by a bullet.
    When Sivaji can hit some 200 odd men in 15 min and transact millions of
    dollars from being a no body with a Re.1 investment and having built an
    empire being a s/w consultant ...sure... kamal is way behind logistics.

    What I fail to understand is why such reporters cannot see things in
    the same light.
  • Dear All
    There have been a flurry of activities in the last two weeks...Been busy teacjing in Paris and in a conference in Bologna Italy...

    I have heard two versions of arguements Ill write my opinion on Wedenesday..after watching it..

    Campaorisons have been made to Shivaji....MMKR...
    Shivaji was a out and out no holds barred masala....

    People talk about Kamal because he has talent and is capalble of doing some remarkable roles....But I am tending to agree with most why do all of them? Only to do one more than Sivaji....Navarathiri...he didnt have highfy holywood make up man but each charector stood out on its own...I am amazed no one talked about that at all....

    MMKR was good without Make up...Indiana and Avvai Shanmugi were good with makeup though a lot of expressions were lost in AV....Suganya in Indian will beg to differ cause she may well have been weraing a mask....

    So thats where people come from....

    I liked his Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu where he had acted his age in a nice gripping Thriller though people said that movie was 2 decades ahead of Indian Culture and Indian Audience...Unfortunately Truth Hurts thats what happens in real world Gory ...stuff...Yes it was a bit upsetting to see two doctors as the culprits but hey they are human as well and there are flawed humans in all walks of life

    Kind Regards

    Dear ,_._,___
  • I have tried hard not to reveal any spoilers in here.Apologies if
    there are any.

    I personally think the movie is pretty good. The first five minutes
    of the movie where Kamal starts off narrating his views about Science
    and God is pretty important and forms the basis of the story. The
    12th century story and the current happenings also gels well with
    that theory. (Of course I do not endorse that view though)

    Kamal also tries to provide some insights into Chaos theory(and the
    butterfly effect). Only if one watches the movie in that perspective,
    one can understand some of the key characters of the movie and how
    some of the smaller acts(which although appears silly though) that
    they perform have an impact at the end. (Kamal might have marked 10
    such characters and chosen to play the 10 characters because of this
    reason too and so his egoistic self might not be the only reason why
    he chose to play 10 characters). It is a very good screenplay trying
    to connect the various characters, painting them in different shades,
    sizes and shapes and also some times telling the story at places in a
    non-linear sequence. If one doesn't understand the reason behind the
    creation of 10 characters one wouldn't be able to appreciate their
    presence. Kamal as usual tries to put his atheistic/agnostic views
    about God and it did not really matter to me, as it would take a lot
    more than just a movie to change my opinion in this respect. As it
    is expected of Kamal, each and every minute detail on the characters
    has been very well etched.I also thought that some of the names of
    the characters in the movie were interesting(when compared to real
    avatars).In my opinion, Kamal as a perfectionist has exceeded my
    expectations easily and I beleive, as a movie Dasavatharam stands
    really tall.

    Yes, the graphics could have been done better and they do not live up
    to the hollywood standard that most of the people expected it to be.

    I think the amount of money I spent for the movie ticket is really
    worth every penny, for the value of entertainment it provided to me.I
    do not think the movie is that bad as it has been projected in some
    of the reviews.
  • If somebody paint the historical references made in the movie, then we
    our members will find out the percentage of truth behind it. We may be
    able to consider whether the movie can be used as a reference to
    history or purely fictional, entertainer and should be disregarded.

    So far, it seems that the reference to 12th Century is not relevant in
    the movie. Request members who have seen it to post the dialogues,
    real life character names, etc.,
  • Very true.

    I am not a great movie buff. I seldom go to theaters or watch movies
    frequently. But I enjoy good movies and hate to watch silly movies
    All movies are for entertainment, let it be Sivaji or Dasavatharam
    or any other crap movie. Its produced only for one purpose - money
    for the producers and entertainment for the audience.

    And definitely Dasavatharam is an wholesome entertainer and surely a
    milestone in Indian cinema. Except Kamal no one else could dare to
    dream such things.

    Everyone says, they missed the Kamal of Nayagan or moondram pirai or
    sagara sangamam....when he has done all those already, why should he
    do the same thing again? Everyone accepts that Kamal is an
    outstanding actor and he has portrayed best of his roles, then why
    should he do which already he is good at? Surely any skilled person
    will try to do something different which has already not been done.
    Microsoft's windows 95 was a mega hit. Does this mean, they should
    not have ventured into any other OS of the later years? Should they
    be selling only 95 till date because they were good at that, at that
    point of time? Silly argument, i would say.

    Its all parinama valarchi. If it has to be termed super ego, let it
    be. He has the stuff to be an egoist. After all he is human.

    We should be magnanimous to appreciate the thought process and hard
    work went into this at the same time comment on the flaws. If Kamal
    made us to cry in Mahanadhi, doesnt mean he should do that in every
    movie. Watch the movie as an entertainer and surely its worth it.

    And if I want to derive philosophy out of it, Kamal, knowingly or
    unknowingly has done a wonderful job by giving beautiful philosophy
    n this movie.
  • Dear Dr Sri, I did mention Navarathiri as a classic in
    my response. Navarithiri is a true showcase of
    Sivaji's acting talent, it is very difficult to choose
    which of those 9 roles he really excelled in, they
    were all one better than the other and the movie truly
    did not have one dull moment.

    The reason why Navarithiri stands apart, the actor
    once again did what he was good at - acting, and left
    other things to people who excelled in them. Second, a
    strong story line and no other distraction for the

  • Satish, nobody disputes your liking the moviel- liking
    a movie is purely someone's taste, there is nothing in
    it to be defended about..

    I disagree with you that 'super ego' is a 'parinama
    valarchi', it is in fact an immature way to grow. Yes
    Kamal has done many roles and we can't expect him to
    do similar roles. But that does not mean he can do
    everything either, acting is a talent, same way script
    writing/direction/everything is a talent some people
    are blessed with. A good script writer need not be a
    good actor and vice versa. A similar example to what
    Kamal did is what the late NTR did in telugu - his
    Narthanashala made in 1953 with a great team (SVR as
    Kechaka and Savirti as Draupadi) is a great classic
    and is even used at some universities abroad for
    indian mythological studies. NTR tried to remake the
    same movie with himself playing all the key roles -
    Krishna, Arjuna, Kechaka etc. The movie flopped
    miserably and was quite unbearable.

    Growth is possible if one is realistic about one's own
    talents and capabilities. Laurence Olivier and Peter O
    Toole in the later days did custom stage appearances
    and taught a lot of young actors. Sivaji did not
    venture beyond his own acting capabilities but did
    some great very mature roles. SV Rangarao cautiously
    directed couple of movies and stopped soon after.

    The comparison to Rajini movies is the same thing that
    used to happen between MGR and Sivaji fans. Am not
    venturing there.

  • Another good review from Jeyamohan

  • Sorry to bring this topic again. As I said earlier, the movie is a
    milestone in Indian cinema and has a lot of philosophy in it. I didnt
    spell out everything that i was thinking about the movie.

    Today I stepped on this comment by someone in www.imdb.com
    (international movie database) and this reflects most of the things
    which I was thinking.

    A good read... enjoy...
  • I haven't seen this movie yet and do not have knowledge about Chaos
    and Butterfly theories. The review seems to explain things clearly.

    If I remember correctly, Sujatha tried to explain these things in one
    of his weekly article atleast 5-10 years back!

    Thanks Satish.
  • Found this link about it (Katrathum Petrathum)
  • Very interesting post, thanks Satish. I have not seen
    this movie and so i do not choose to judge too much.
    But to my mind, you can fit any darn tamil movie into
    chaos theory!!! I mean reverse engineer the story to
    say this is related to that, you will get it. I have
    seen some fake spiritual gurus do the same with Karmic
    theories, i mean come up with hugely contrived
    explanations especially on puranic stories (eg Vali
    was someone in his first birth, Sri Rama was someone
    else they are balancing karma, this that).

    Kamal is a very smart guy, really he has introduced
    these big concepts like he is doing something great
    while telling a regular movie story. It does not hurt
    people to think, so I don't think that is anything
    wrong. It does take a Kamal however to make people
    think that these concepts can be pondered on with the
    aid of his movie!!
  • You missed "That is s all" :-)
  • Butterfly effect,in essence, means that small variables in the
    intial state of a system can result in calamities/unexpected results
    during a later stage. We, project managers, are hammered this on
    regular basis to catch up with the issues/defects at the start of
    the project else pay the price during delivery.
    But I think for all the pseudo-intellectual explanation, I dont
    think Dasavatharam is a 'butterfly effect' movie. Its just a plain
    thriller that is executed well. I would think '12B' as a butterfly
    effect movie (which is a copy of 'Sliding doors') which diverges at
    an earlier point and a seemingly innocous decision to board a bus
    results in drastically different results.
    To connect the first 20 minutes of the movie (which BTW is the
    brilliant part of the entire movie) with the rest, the mail says this
    "Kamal does tell to Asin in a dialogue that idol which gets sunken
    back then gets struck between the tectonic plates under the sea and
    causes tsunami"
    May be I didn't hear it right when I watched it. But the above
    sentence is the most, absolute BS that can be said and I believe
    Kamal is not stupid enough to say such a thing. I mean, the writer
    has no idea of tectonic plates or the subduction process that
    creates a Tsunami. He/she assumes everyone to be the same and
    postulates something that is nothing but horse crap.
    I am not a Kamal fan (primarily because of the intolerable
    intellectual pretense of his fans in presuming him to be something
    other than what he is i.e a good actor and someone who works hard,
    ref. 'ulaga nayagane' song, hubris, anyone?).
    But I found the movie to be a neat entertainer and having some
    interesting concepts, new to tamil cinema. No unnecessary songs,
    biggest relief no Vivek or Vadivelu. I agreed with Jeyamohan's
    review posted sometime before in this forum. Its just a pop-corn
    movie and trying to paint it as something else is like trying to
    understand aliens after watching the 'IJ and crystal skull'.

    Muthu Prakash R
  • Hi All,
    The form of screenplay technique used in the movie is by itself an example
    of Chaos, The technique is what is reffered to as Non Linear Screenplay,
    Sujatha (aka Rangarajan) had written about this in one of the kelvi pathil
    in KP in 2006.
    The ability to correlate Chaos to most of our life is by itself a challenge
    and an art

    I had an opportunity to be present in one of the discussions of ponnin
    selvan, when they were trying to use movie magic to write its screenplay,
    thought that was a great example of chaos!!

    Another friend in this group had written about intellectual and pseudo
    intellectual stuff, being a thalivars fan (and having seen every single
    movie from mannan till sivaji and hopefully kuselan too, on the first day),
    it is vasishtar vayal brahma rishi when i say that Dashavataram is a good

    When one goes to a rich buffet it is not neccessary to eat every single item
    there, you eat what you like? or rather when you go to a gold mine , the one
    who uses a shovel to dig will get the shovels quanity of gold, the one who
    uses a spoon will get the spoons quanityt and one who uses the nail will get
    the nails quanity of gold.

    My 2 cents!
  • Muthu, very well put!!
  • oh....padam pakkamaye Dasavaratham and kamala appadi
    hard criticism of Dasavatharam, I thought you are writing after seeing
    the movie. ungalukke koncham overa illa?

  • Yes. Thats why i was wondering why people didnt like this movie. In
    india entertainment = hero + (glamorous) heroine + 5 songs + 1 villain
    + 5 fights (hero winning over 100 people single handed)..typical formula.
    But this is definitely unique movie which has never been attempted in
    Indian cinema. Whether Kamal really had chaos theory in mind or not,
    the story and script is good and above all one of the movie which
    makes you think even after you leave the theater.

    Everyone has his/her own interpretation of the movie and thats the
    success of Kamal's script. This is exactly what Kalki did in PS. left
    the readers to think and derive their own conclusions. I think Kamal
    should be given due credit for this attempt.

    A simple philosophy well knitted - every action of ours, knowingly or
    unknowingly, affects some one, whom we might never know. Thats why our
    culture says - always think good, do good and be good.

    Someone said (in this group or outside, I am not sure) - Kamal is
    becoming a theist and this movie is a reflection of his self search,
    like Kannadasan et al :)
  • Yes. Every other comment for a review is by you and that too on promoting.

    Satish, unmaya sollunga (Enakku oru unma therinjaganum)

    >your effort to understand why they do not like seems 'over' to me too.
  • ithu enna vamba pochu..As I said earlier, I rarely watch movies, and
    I am a bit choosy. If I like a movie, atleast so far, it will be a
    real good movie with good reception from various quarters. May be,
    now I am proved wrong.

    promote panni enakku enna aga poguthu...If someone tells you that PS
    is a crap and its not at all a good historical novel (actually
    Prabanchan said so), how most of this group members will feel. Thats
    the same feeling I had when people said this movie is not good. PS-la
    illatha ottaya....We have discussed enough of it. When we can accpet
    that PS is a masterpeice, with all its faults, why not this movie is
    my question? Ofcourse like and dislike is individual taste, I dont
    question that...but even if a group says that PS is not a good novel,
    the truth is something else. Thats what I tried to project when I

    I think I will stop here.
  • Satish,  What made your emails look like 'promos' atleast to me, was that it seemed to think highly of kamal than the movie, unlike Muthu or some others who pointed out obvous flaws in his approach even though they liked the movie. Kamal is not some pathetic dude in need of credit he has made his millions and will survive regardless of whether peopel like his movie or not.
    What you said on PS, what brought us together is our love for PS and its author with all its ottais. So whether we critque or not we like someting about Kalki that is all. Perhaps a kamal rasigar mandram would feel same about his work but unfortunately we are not that.
    Lastly if you comment on movies you watch being 'good' that is purely a personal thing. My taste appeals to friends and people I know that is all,need not be to all.
    Anyway nothing personal on my side. Sorry if your feelings were hurt in any way.
  • hey, I was just "Kaliachufying".

    > I think I will stop here.
  • Malathy,

    Did you ever read all my mails? In the very first few mails I did say
    what are all the things that was not good in that movie. Almost in
    similar lines with others.....but I am questioning my communications
    skills now....am i not clear in what I am conveying...or is it that
    you reply to mails without reading (like commenting on the movie
    without watching :) ) just kidding..
  • Satish, I regard this as a classic case of an email debate..not just me rarely people read every word and syllable we write, it is usually the subject predominantly that sticks in people's minds.
    I may not have read your first post, my comments predominantly have been on Kamal, much less on the movie since I did not see it. If I remember right one other person said so too, yours have been on the lines of Kamal not getting credit, this that (more on the person, less on the movie). Perhaps that is really why I ended up talking more to you, and less to others!!
    Regardless it is always a good idea for all of us to keep revisiting our communication skills.
    Want to rest this issue for now. Thanks.
  • I thought I will stop, but could not..

    If I say/write something without listening/reading what others
    say...is it called a debate??? As far as i know debate should take
    into consideration what others say :)

    we have beautiful words in our land - vadham - prathivadham....without
    vadham there is no prathivadham...

    Again, nothing serious..just like that...trying to correct myself if
    my understandings are wrong....please dont take me wrong..

  • The movie is alright, with a right masala of action, comedy, romance and
    visual effects. The film and Kamal may get national awards, if political
    conditions are favourable in future.

    There are more dialogues supporting theism than atheism; it is really
    funny that some went to court to stop release of the movie without even
    seeing it. This is nothing new, as all those who oppose supposedly
    controversial books, films or articles never get acquainted with the
    originals. The whole scene was dignified and impressive, with majority
    of the local population observing a pained silence during the last
    procession to immersion (except a couple of stray incidents).

    My cribbing is about the title; Dasavataram has a definite connotation
    and meaning and it must not be indiscriminately used to denote anything
    adding up to ten. Of course it is anyone's guess what will be the
    reaction if movies are named after holy symbols of other religions.

    A yet to be made film starring Napolean is named as "Pallkondapuram".
    The author Mr. Padmanabhan, who got the Sahitya Academy award in 1970
    for the novel "Pallikondapuram" has objected to the use of the novel's
    title for the film and has sent a legal notice.

    What will be our stand if a movie on Veerappan's exploits is named
    "Ponniyin Selvan", the hero of 1500 members of this august group?
    Veerappan has also drank Kaveri water.

  • Dear Sampath,

    > What will be our stand if a movie on Veerappan's exploits is named
    > "Ponniyin Selvan", the hero of 1500 members of this august group?
    > Veerappan has also drank Kaveri water.
    > Sampath

    Please note that there is atleast a connection to the count when
    Kamal titled it Dasavatharam. Also I did not find anything
    derogatory in terming it so. On the contrary I feel that your above
    example is a little far fetched. Definitely Veerappan cannot be
    termed Ponniyin Selvan and you know this. So there "will" be
    heartburns definitely.

    On the contrary, rather than worrying about the title being
    Dasavatharam (of course it was not in a derogatory sense), if one is
    interested in the proper representation of the religious symbols, I
    feel that we need to take up the case of the Comedians making fun of
    the "thiruneeru" and "thiruman" and any other such religious
    symbols. I see that these are used in a more derogatory sense in
    movies than being titled Dasavatharam.

    So my humble opinion is let us not lose the focus on real problems,
    by looking at something that, in reality, is not a problem at all,
    considering the derogatory remarks,
  • I disagree - this is worse than using "Ponniyin selvan" for
    Veerappan. In that case, it would have been just inappropriate, but
    here, it is wrong and erodes the historic meaning we attach to words.

    "avatharam" cannot apply to anybody. Literally, it may
    mean "reincarnation", but the term per our religion/mythology has
    applied only to divine incarnations, which happen for a exalted
    purpose.. for ordinary mortals, it is just punarjanmam :)

    Like many other words, the word "avatar" has been hijacked into
    English and used in other contexts.. Airbender, Second Life avatars..

    But Kamal should have known better.. Fletcher an avatar? ugh..

    In addition, he has created confusion in kids - my 5-yr old daughter
    is wondering why she cannot see the movie if its about Dasavatharam :
  • Okay, let me agree with you on your disagreement. But why are you
    silent about the more derogatory comments on our direct marks like
    Thiruneeru and Thiruman? Dont you think that they are more derogatory
    and that, in a literal sense you dont find anything derogatory in
    using the word avataram

    Also as you rightly pointed out, as long as we do not do anything to
    get rid of the "englishized" usage of avatar, why should we be making
    a mountain out of a mole hill here?

    I am really sorry, if my comment looks like rubbing on the wrong
    side. But my intention is to say that there are much more serious
    defamations going on and we are not protesting it, then why only this?

    Hope you get my point and sorry if my words have hurt you.
  • Rahul, if anyone ha an opinion there will be counter opinion. It is wholly unfair to dub counter opinions as kutram kandu...whatever . I must confess also that I have noticed grouping of people - probably members who have known one another as friends and one lines up supporting
    anoother, one person even took offence and left a while ago. If we connot hav counter opinions this is only a news group not a healthy discussion board and it may very well be so no harm. But to allow only some people to have opinions and others to read is imbalanced. that is all.
  • Dear All

    Everybody has viewpoints and arguments let's not hurt each other..

    I think someone was tempting fate by commenting how civil our forum was not
    long ago.

    Lets maintain that spirit.

    Kind Regards

  • Hi Satish,
    Are you a hardcore fan of Kamal?
  • I am fan of no one :)

    thiramai enga irunthalum madhikkanu...avvalauthan...

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