Movie Review – Dasavataram

I was actually excited about watching Dasavataram on the first day of its release. Especially when NDTV, Times Now & Headlines Today carried non-stop hype about the film yesterday. Someone told me NDTV had given it a 4 out of 5.

I used to be an ardent fan of Kamal Hasan till I saw Hey Ram!

My faith in him fell rapidly after watching the movie. There’s a noble thought somewhere in the movie, but was lost completely in the portrayal of Kamal as a gift to Indian cinema…

“He should stop with just acting”, I thought. And with Panchatantram, Tenali, etc he did seem to make a come-back with just acting.

But Dasavataram? A total three-hour torture! Why can’t someone tell Kamal to retire from the movies? He’s totally lost it! Maybe, just maybe the movie’d been watchable if the 10 avatars had been played by 10 different people. There’d been a cohesive story, at least.

But this looks like its just a movie to showcase the various make-up tricks Kamal is capable of. And believe me, it varies from comical (Kamal as George Bush?! What’s he trying to say? I’m still on the floor laughing!) to  downright scary. The Iyengar old lady is made to like one of the scary witches we see in horror flicks… (incidentally a classmate of mine used to scare us with a rubber witch-mask which was very similar to Kamal’s old-lady get-up)

And someone tell me why, but why Kamal’s head looks so disproportionately big to his body in most of his Avatars?

And so many characters are forced, just so the avatars add up to 10. Justification of the title!

But if at all I have one good thing I have to say about the movie, its his avatar as Balram Naidu. We can see a bit of the old Kamal in that character. His Telugu accented Tamil is just too funny!

But Kamal as Dhaler Mehndi who’s cured of cancer by a stray bullet?!!!

Kamal as the white guy -( ex CIA who’s now on the other side of the law) with a huge head?

The 8 feet Kamal who just cannot get a decent word out of his mouth because the mask is obviously limiting his lip movements?

Again, Kamal as George Bush?

And George Bush who’s clue-less about NA CL, which is actually common salt?

The lovely Asin who does nothing but screech her dialogues and get on your nerves?

The never-ending car chases? (Make that train chases, bus chases & helicopter chases)

The Tsunami which makes its appearnace so timely to save the world? (yes, you heard me, save the world. Although a few thousands get wiped out in the process, it saves millions)

Give me a break!!

This movie has been shot with the sole purpose of feeding Kamal’s ego and nothing else.

You can sit through the whole movie and still like it, only if you love him unconditionally…

I liked Shivaji anyday better, simply beacuse it delivered what you expected. It did not have pretenses or claim to be anything cerebral. Just a simple commercial flick, where Rajnikanth did what was expected of him with style…



  1. sudhi said,

    June 14, 2008 at 12:57 am

    You have put all the feelings i had while watching it into exact words 🙂


  2. venkat said,

    June 14, 2008 at 2:47 am

    I think you have some personal rivelery with kamal .I am not at all a fan of kamal,but i am sure no other actor can perform like this .Observe the body languages how he varied from one charcter to other.every film will have negative cant simply say it is a three hour torture.surely, it can be watchable once.i will give 3.5 out of 5.
    Sorry if I’d offended your feelings! I have nothing against Kamal personally.I just feel sad he killed a great movie by showing off. Yes, he varied his body language greatly between characters. But he must have taken more care with the make-up

  3. Pradeep said,

    June 14, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Well, if Kamal makes a world class movie like Anbe Sivam, people don’t watch it. If he makes a commercial movie, you say its masala…
    I don’t think Kamal can ever stoop down to the levels of Sivaji. Sivaji was 25 years too late… Dasa is definitely going to be much better…

    Anbe Sivam was a great movie, no doubt. I loved it, expect for the last half hour. I’m definitely not saying this movie is masala. But a movie with a great potential, if only he knew where to stop. His love for himself over-rides his intention to make a good film. In my opinion, it’d have been a fantastic movie if he had stopped with playing the 12th century priest, Balram Naidu & Vincent, apart from Govind. These were his best… (Though I saw traces of Indhran-Chandran in Mr. Naidu & Vincent character didn’t do much to the main storyline) All the other 6 characters stood out like a sore thumb. If they were played by others, – a real white skin for Fletcher, a real Patti for the chidambaram Patti, it’d have been so much more watchable. But him as George Bush? A sardharji who’s cured of cancer by a stray bullet? It doesn’t sit well at all!

  4. shaktiman said,

    June 14, 2008 at 8:34 am u have somebody who was thrilled by shivaji even having guts to comeout n write a review of a KAMAL film? hey u didnt like hey ram n u liked sivaji…kool…this is much said abt u!!so this review is better ignored

  5. navin said,

    June 14, 2008 at 11:50 am

    come on guys u shld encourage these types of films….dis movie is very gud technically.1 might compare dis movie to any hollywood movies……indian movies are movie r moving towards d hollywood erra

    Sorry, I was just talkin about Kamal’s ego. Not his technical capablities!

  6. Suresh N said,

    June 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    You can’t simple say it a torture. k . Use words which will not hurt him and his fans.

    k. sorry. it was just my humble opinion.

  7. A...B said,

    June 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I think you ll see even movies where rajini shits in style. Rajini is a mass hero, first of all comparing his movies to kamals is wrong. Secondly from ur blog I understand your an illiterate without knowing concepts such as CHAOS THEORY which kamal tries to portray. Thirdly I would not rate as a human if you hadnt laughed for kamal s performance in Panchathantiram or Thenali.

    Versatile acting in Dashavatharam. Probably i wanna see if you would get into acting or even writing a short script for 5 min. I challenge you. The assistant dance director, the beginner, the star, the master, the director, the producer, the visionary- all the way to Universal Star. This is what Kamal is all about. If you dint like the movie or his acting, you dint understand it.

    P.S I think Hey ram was made for Class A people. If u dint understand even hey ram, well how could you have understood dashavatharam. U see kamal does not restrict himself to four walls. There is a purpose behind each and everyline. Im sorry I can criticise you for another 2000 words but, I really apologise If i did hurt you. I am a kamal fan, a guy who loves to watch movie of class. That is why I still adore actors like Al PAcino, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, and the list goes on. Obviously Kamal is out there.

    This is what entertainment is all about. Not your vijay, not ur rajini. There are local heroes suited to class C. Salaam.

    Hey, I’m not exactly a fan of Rajni. I compared both the movies only because of the pre-release hype made in both cases. What I’d meant was with Sivaji, I’d expected a no-logic, melodramatic, typical tamil cinema & I got exactly that. But with Dasavataram, my expectations were much higher than what was finally delivered.

  8. maami said,

    June 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    And to think we once found him God’s gift to women.Remember how the reruns of his movies on your video made us laugh and cry through whole summers? Sigh!

    sigh! Indeed!

  9. kumar said,

    June 15, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Note: The below review is only on movie, nothing personal to any one.

    This movie is of great disappointment after such hype ( Not worth for such hype, just marketing stuff – bullshit bluff, liars )

    I was eagerly waiting to watch this movie for a long period and finally attended premiere show of this movie with great expectations. Kamal did fair job in all 10 roles and people can watch this movie to see kamal and tsunami graphics at end of movie.

    Regd Story – believe me, it’s completely bullshit and ridiculously stupid. For the first 20 minutes, am wondering whats happening on screen and felt that there was no connection with previous frames( esp 12th century episode)

  10. Satish said,

    June 16, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    i am not a kamal fan but still i could very well say it much better than rajni’s shivaji.i dont really understand which type of movies u like. in every aspect it was more like a hollywood movie.evrypart of it is awesome .i think u also commented about the makeup.For the japanese guy and for tall guy makeup might be bit different or not well suited but for Fletcher and the old lady can urecognize them .makeup for fletcher is awesome its really difficult to identify him which means that its good.
    A small request if u have any negative opinion about any actor please do mention that its only u r opinion.

  11. Arunk said,

    June 16, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    > I liked Shivaji anyday better, simply beacuse it delivered what you expected.
    May I suggest there in lies in the problem even with kamal fans, perhaps something that he has cultivated. I think the expectation is somehow he will deliver something profound via his acting and the story. It is his curse 🙂

    I am not a big fan of either Kamal or Rajini, but like them both, saw both Sivaji and Dasavataram, and I liked both equally. The simple reason was that my only expectation (if any) was to get entertained (besides having fun with the guys I went to the movie with) and I got entertained. I wasnt looking for the greatest story, greatest movie, whether it was better than Sivaji – blah blah blah.

    Yes I thought the makeup was overdone (or underdone), and even the graphics/CGI at times was under par (tsunami, and even the 12th century parts). But the man has spun a good yarn, the movie fast paced almost throughout, and his acting is excellent for many of the roles. There was no need to don 10 roles himself – he was overreaching with the makeup stuff – most of them looked fake. Yes it is all about Kamal just like Sivaji was all about Rajini. , So I will let it, and the other negatives pass and give him a break, just because I got entertained. There are many such breaks I give Rajini, Arnold etc. It’s the only way I get entertained 🙂

  12. Lakshmi said,

    June 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    My mom and sis went to see the movie.. walked out half-way. and promptly called me to warn me against spending $10 just in case I decide to trek to a distant movie theater to watch the showing.
    Hollywood makes some bloopers also (in my own opinion of course, example: Cloverfield, which we sat through till the end in anticipation of something somewhere). But a movie wherein my mom walks out in the middle.. guess the appeal is not universal.

  13. kamala said,

    June 24, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Ok. a few, very few parts are good. But overall it is a 3 hour torture.. Acting skills OK, but who the f… wants to see his horrible make up skills???


  14. charles irwin said,

    June 24, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Great weblog. a group of us watched the movie and walked out half way thro’. i would have walked out earler had it not been for the popcorn.
    you must be a directionless and clueless person to watch the whole movie and then defend it.
    I was really traumatised after watching this movie and had to restort to binge drinking.

    Thanx! I had nightmares too!!

  15. Jayalakshmi said,

    June 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Good review, Kamal disappoints… He has not peaked after”Nayakan” yet.. Sad waste of a good actor!. As you had rightly said he sould restrict to only acting and leave the rest to capable hands..


  16. July 8, 2008 at 1:24 am

    […] of my friends in blogosphere attributed it to Kamal’s inability to age gracefully, or his high ambition and ego. All along I thought the movie was good, something new and unexpected, but even I never quite […]

  17. anupam said,

    September 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    In this film there is no story line. There are 10 characters of kamal but they r not necessary at all. There are unecessary dialogs by the actors. The make up is worst. The story consists of kamal being chased by kamal throughout the movie.The honorable producer of the movie know that anything sold in kamal’s name will be a profit hence is the movie. As far as acting is concerned i think Asin is the one who has potrayed the character of simple village girl wonderfully. As for Kamal, he was most of the time busy running and chasing and fighting. The movie has got very good special effects but can’t meet the standards of hollywood flicks like Matrix, Terminator2 or That of transformers. I dont watch bollywood movies except which potray social issues, But it was kamal for whom I tried to finish the movie till end. But I must say without hurting anyones feeling for the universal hero, that the movie really tested my patience. I liked kamal’s movie pushpak. Well I always say he is an wonderful actor but with a poor script of dasavataram he cant do anything on it.

  18. talamanda said,

    November 24, 2009 at 2:15 am

    Outstanding Article , I considered it phenomenal

    I look forward to more innovative postings like this one. Does Your Blog have a RSS I can subscribe to for fresh posts?

    Thanx! I have no clue what you’re asking, since I’m technically challenged! 🙂

  19. Nappy Rash said,

    December 3, 2010 at 1:09 am

    i can see a lot of movie reviews on the internet and i usually buy dvd movies with great reviews -::

  20. January 26, 2011 at 2:31 am

    `~; I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information *”

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