After watching Dasavatharam- the so called magnum opus of the year- an ardent fan of Kamal Hassan will ask why indeed it is called a magnum opus in the first place. Why was all the hype, tension, cases, expectations and unnecessary expenses wasted on this average film. Once again, Kamal fails to attract Tamil audiences with his own script.
The story starts with an incident taking place in 12th century during the rule of the Chozha dynasty when Hindus were divided into Saivites and Vaishnavites. Rangarajan Nambi (Avatar No.1) is a loyal disciple of Ramanuja Azhwar. King Kulothunga (Napolean - what a fantastic performance!), a follower of Lord Siva, compels Nambi to change his religious beliefs and worship Lord Siva instead of Lord Vishnu but Nambi refuses.
The king then orders for the immersion of the statue of Lord Ranganatha along with Nambi into the sea.
After this meaningless first avatar, the movie shifts to the present scientific world. Govind (Avatar No.2), an American scientist invents a dangerous bio weapon in his lab but wants to destroy the same after realizing its dangerous consequences. But the US Govt and scientists don't allow him to do that. One fine day, Govind runs away from the lab with the bio weapon but Fletcher (Avatar No.3), a former CIA officer turned villian, chases him to get the weapon back to destroy other countries.
The weapon is mistakenly sent to an Indian address by courier where a 95 year old lady (Avatar No.4) receives the parcel. Govind immediately rushes to India and traces down the address. He is followed by Fletcher who is accompanied by his prostitute cum translator (Mallika Sherawat). The old lady refuses to give the weapon to them without understanding the danger it could cause and puts it inside a statue of Lord Vishnu.
The scientist captures the statue and starts running with it pulling Asin close relative of the old lady, along with him. Fletcher chases him till the end of the film. A foolish police officer Balram Naidu (Avatar No.5) too is in the race always chasing both these characters.
In between a Punjabi singer (Avatar No.5), US President George Bush ( Avatar No.6), a tall Muslim ( Avatar No.7), a martial arts trainer ( Avatar No.8) and a Southern district resident Annachi ( Avatar No.9) comes, does something and disappears.
Finally the tsunami comes to the rescue of the Scientist and destroys the weapon along with drowning Fletcher . The statue of Lord Rangaraja which was immersed in the sea in 12th century also appears on the shore after the tsunami.
What did Kamal Hassan really want to convey? Lord Ranganatha, the almighty who is sleeping inside the sea for centuries, finally sends a tsunami to destroy the bio weapon along with the bad guy. No doubt, Dasavatharam is really an average movie with a poor plot and characterization that fails in most of the departments and fails to attract the viewers.
What is the necessity or compulsion of portraying Kamal in 10 different get ups?To create some mindless hype or register it as a record in the Industry? Highly idiotic! Particularly the role of Punjabi Singer, Muslim tall man Kalifullah Khan, Annachi and Japanese martial arts trainer unnecessarily intervene in the flow of story.
There is no professionalism in makeup also. For most of the characters, the makeup looks very amateur. Kamal looks like an animation character playing the bad guys role because the makeup is over done. However, one must appreciate him for the hardwork put into playing so many different characters to perform in many roles simultaneously at this age.
Apart from Kamal, Asin plays dual roles for the first time but nothing is special in any of her get ups. Her performance is also not par excellence. Jayapradha appears in few scenes and does well in them. Nothing is special in Himesh Reshammiya's songs or Devi Sri Prasad's background score. Ravi Varman unnecessarily lifts the camera to top angle and shakes even inside a house.
Technically the film is far superior to any other Tamil movie in some scenes, particularly in the tsunami climax. The special effects of Jennie in the last 15 minutes simply rocks. Also the body language of Japanese Kamal is simply excellent. Watch this movie to see Kamal in 10 different avatars. But is it really enough to make a fan to watch a film? This is a big question stand before Kamal fans those known as the lovers of good movies like sensational Mahanadhi or Kuruthipunal!
Kamalji, we expected a lot from you!
Verdict: Not up to expectations!
Cast: Kamal Hassan, Asin, Jayapradha
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
Camera: Ravi Varman