A case of ten avatarams (Part 2)

(continued from the previous post)

My rants don’t end with the screenplay but with the reason behind why it was stretched to the limit, and that being the all hyped ten roles. Firstly, I failed
see the
need for the
ten roles
I failed to see the need for the ten roles. Some of them were outright outrageous and the rest could have been essayed by any character artist. Lets face it, you wanted to emulate your idol, the late Sivaji Ganesan and get into the record books. This thirst for roles led you to conjure three of the weirdest characters  have ever seen in Indian cinema. You may have guessed by now that I am referring to that Frankensteinsh ‘cauliflower khan’ guy who looked like the lost son of ‘Lurch‘, the irritating ‘Dubyaman‘ guy and the Chinese martial arts teacher. If they were in jest then I apologize, for I failed to see the humor in them. The three guys collectively account for less than ten minutes of screen time and their existence is justified only by the fact that you wanted to please certain sections of the society. Your fans may argue that hadn’t it been for them, Govind would have never recovered the vial. Is this the lame excuse you wish to give in the name of chaos theory? To me the film seemed to resemble the election agenda of the UPA, as it seemed to have a little something for everyone. So you had, shaivism vs vaishnavism, bio-nuclear warfare, sand mining, cancer therapy,  brahmins, muslims, christians, dalits buddhists, sikhs, strippers, CIA mercenaries, heads of state, casteism, martial arts, and a tsunami all under one umbrella called ‘Dasavataram’. Now that certainly is a feat to be proud of, but then were they warranted in the first place?

Many have been comparing Dasavataram to Sivaji, for both of them were hyped summer releases on mega budgets featuring the biggest stars of the industry. Before I receive scathing remarks on my comparison, let me tell you why I found Sivaji to be a more enjoyable experience. Firstly I had no expectations in the acting department, secondly the music was kickass and songs were well choreographed and thirdly the movie never took itself too seriously. Even in my review for Sivaji, I wrote

forget the rants, forget that there exists something called logic, watch the movie for what it is, the screaming, dancing, the rejoicing in the aisles, buckets of paper at your feet and a sore throat three hours later. This is what sums up the whole Sivaji experience.[link]

That was possible because we never took it seriously, we never sought any logic and enjoyed it for its madness. However it isn’t possible to just sit back and watch Dasavataram for you talk of things like the ‘Chaos Theory’, ‘Butterfly Effect’ and so-called mind-boggling-CGI. As educated audiences we are forced to put on our intelligent caps, recollect
wikipedia entries and
attempt to relate events
in the movie as we connect the dots
we are forced to put on our intelligent caps, recollect wikipedia entries and attempt to relate events in the movie as we connect the dots. This is where things began to fall apart for me as the loopholes seemed pretty evident. Most of the characters seemed unwanted, the music seemed insipid and the CG seemed shabby. The CG dept was the most interesting one, for some sequences were breathtaking and stunning would be a very small word to describe them, whereas some sequences reminded me of the production values of archaic times where we had cardboard houses and toy cars blown up. The much hyped tsunami sequence was ironically pretty damp but by Indian standards, it was a brave feat.

A majority of chaos has been caused not by the concepts adapted by the film but by your fans, who’ve launched a scathing attack against blogs that have carried mixed views. The illogical comments and email forwards doing the rounds today are a testimonial to your intolerant fan base. Some have even gone all the way to connect each of your role to the avataars of Lord Vishnu and thus attempting to explain the non-existent logic behind them. For every rediff style commentor who challenges my views, I have my answers ready. I managed to get a ‘Thirittu VCD'(pirated version) and can hence post screenshots and clips to elucidate my stand.

There are a few positives that mustn’t go unnoticed though. Dasavataram has proved that Mallika can even disappoint in a made-for-mallika role. The very thought of Mallika cavorting in a club as a stripper was reason enough to watch the movie, however she manages to disappoint in a role only she could have pulled off. Just like the way you managed to curb emotion, expression and even your voice behind two inches of latex. After the breathtaking first fifteen minutes, the only moment that sought attention was the short and hilarious interogation session between Balram naidu and Govind. The rest of the movie though watchable, never gained the focus it lost.

I love to see you emote, break into tears, evoke laughter and much more without even uttering a single dialogue. Such is the greatness of a great actor called Kamal Haasan who is second to none. But narcissism has it limits and calling yourself ‘Ullaga Nayagan’ on screen with a song dedicated to you is a bit too much to endure. It could have been anyone behind all those layers of latex, but I feel cheated for I wanted to see you. Ten people with oversized heads is ok for the record, a villian looking like Shane Warne suffering from pigmentation is also tolerable. The authentic accents of a dalit christian and a telugu officer reminded me of vintage kamal, while the constipated faces of the giant, chinese guy  and the president made me squirm in my seat. The nambi made us wail in support and the song that followed was heart wrenching. The sardar showed us cancer therapy that was heard of only in email forwards ridiculing the Thalaivar. The scientist was the sootradhar but the old lady made me want to slit my wrists everytime she appeared on screen. The best part was however, watching K.S.Ravikumar prancing along with scantily clad egyptian women!

In short, I missed Kamal the actor.

ps: It hurts when guys like this are touted as the ‘Tom Cruise of India