'Dasavathaaram' - 10 Kamals too many (Review)

Film: 'Dasavathaaram'; Actors: Kamal Haasan, Asin, Mallika Sherawat, Santana Bharati; Director: K.S. Ravi Kumar; Music: Himesh Reshammiya. Rating: ***

Saturday, June 14, 2008 | 5:27:11 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Film: 'Dasavathaaram'; Actors: Kamal Haasan, Asin, Mallika Sherawat, Santana Bharati; Director: K.S. Ravi Kumar; Music: Himesh Reshammiya. Rating: ***

Apart from 10 different avatars (incarnations) of Kamal Haasan, the only thing worth writing home about 'Dasavathaaram' is its technical brilliance.

The roles are myriad.

Kamal plays US President George Bush, a bumbling RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) operative, a selfless scientist, an old hag, terrorist, Dalit activist, a medieval Vishnu devotee, a cancer-stricken Punjabi pop singer, Kung-fu martial arts expert and a 10-ft tall Muslim - not necessarily in that order.

Starting with the drowning punishment of a Vishnu devotee, 'Dasavathaaram', for no apparent reason, morphs into an action extravaganza - full of chases over a deadly virus involving a scientist and assisted and hindered in turn by the other characters - all played by Kamal.

Asin plays a double role in the film that is a part-comedy-part-tragedy mishmash. Mallika Sherawat flits across the screen in skimpy costumes and ends up dead.

While the cinematography by Ravi Varma, background score by Devi Sri Prasad and Kamal's acting are the film's highlights, the Himesh Reshammiya numbers have as much Tamil nativity as George Bush.

Dramatic incidents galore are actually one of the minus points of the film, of which there are one too many.

Kamal is in every frame of the movie and knowing his methods, director Ravi Kumar's role in the film seems to be seriously limited.

The unsolved puzzle as to why there are 10 Kamals when one would have been more than enough remains an unpleasant hangover long after the movie.

In all, 'Dasavathaaram' is a movie that every Kamal fan would want to watch.

As for the rest of the audience, it is the case of a Kamal-overkill.

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