Sunday, June 15, 2008

I had a principle for my blog. That, I would never write about any movie on my blog. But Dasavatharam made me break my principle. Technically, it is the best Tamil movie ever (possibly best Indian movie ever).

[Spoiler ~~~~ Contains the plot of the story. Those who have not watched the movie or intend to do so, don’t read further]

Kamal has performed ten roles in the movie.
The roles are as follows:
1. Govind Ramasamy(a scientist in USA)

2. Rangarajan Nambi (a 12th Century Vaishnavite Youngster)

3. George Bush (American President)

4. Christian Fletcher (ex CIA Agent)

5. Balram Naidu (Telugu speaking RAW officer)

6.Avtar Singh (Punjabi Pop Singer)

7. Shingen Narahasi (Japanese Karate Master)

8. Krishnaveni (a 95 year old mentally retarded lady in a Vaishnavite Math)

9. Khalifulla Khan(an eight feet tall Muslim youngster)

10. Vincent Poovaraghan (A Dalit youngster who fights against Sand Mafia)

I have given the order of roles as they appear in the film(with importance).

The film starts with Govind (played by Kamal) narrating us the story of Rangarajan Nambi in a meeting attended by George Bush, Kalaignar Karunanidhi and Dr.Manmohan Singh. The main plot of the story starts on 20th December 2004 and ends on 26th December 2004.

Kulothunga Kulasekara Chozha-II (played by Napolean) was a Shiva Devotee. He orders the removal of statue of Lord Govindaraja Permuaal from the temple and throw it into the sea. Rangarajan Nambi tries to save the statue but only in vain. Kulothunga tells to Nambi “If you praise Lord Shiva and say ‘Om Nama Shivaya’ I would leave you or else you have to reach vaikundam (place where Lord Narayanan lives)”. Nambi closes his eyes and starts saying, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM”. The suspense prevails for some time. He finally finishes “Om Namo Narayana!”. The song Kallai Mattum starts, the song has been beautifully picturised showing the pain of a Vaishnavite. At the end of the song both the statue of Lord Govindaraja Permuaal and Rangarajan Nambi tied to it are thrown into the sea. All this happened in the 12th century.

Immediately the story shifts to USA (21st century). It shows Govind working in a research lab. The two wheeled mini scooter-like vehicle (as shown in the above image) used by the scientists of that lab is awesome. Govind places a vial inside a dry cold storage unit and leaves to watch the announcement of George Bush (played by Kamal again) regarding synthetic bio weapons. Anu, a monkey escapes from its cage and eats the semi-solid substance present inside a vial. The monkey dies with blood splashing out from it. They pour enormous amount of NaCl (Sodium Chloride) and arrest the virus. The semi-solid substance is a bio synthetic virus developed by Govind. It is capable of mass killing if it is let free inside a city. So Govind wants to destroy it. But he finds that his superior officer wants to sell the virus to terrorists. Govind takes the vial (containing the virus) out and escapes to his friend Suresh’s home. Suresh too works for the terrorists.

Fletcher (played by Kamal again), an ex-CIA agent comes in the helicopter to the home of Suresh. He shoots Suresh. But Suresh’s wife a Japanese girl (sister of Japanese martial arts teacher Shingen Narahasi, played by kamal) trained in karate helps Govind escape but dies in her attempt. Govind finds another friend in the car park. Along with him Govind escapes in his car. Still Fletcher chases him in the helicopter. ‘How does Fletcher trace them?’ Govind thinks and finds that it is with his cell phone. He throws the cell phone out of his friend's car into another car.

The vial was sent as a parcel to India by Govind’s friend by mistake. Govind tries to stop the Cargo Flight and goes to the airport. Fletcher follows him there too. Govind tries to escape and falls into the cargo luggage and is board into the flight.

Govind is arrested in Chennai by Balram Naidu (played by Kamal again), a RAW officer who has fondness for telugu people. Meanwhile Fletcher finds a Tamil speaking ex-CIA agent in Mallika Sherwath. He marries her and soon leaves to India. At the same time Avtar Singh (played by Kamal again) arrives at the airport for a concert. Avtar vomits blood in the airport. It attracts everyone in the airport. Making use of this, Fletcher takes custody of Govind and a police officer.

But before Fletcher takes him to custody, Govind had cleverly sent the vial to Chidambaram. Govind also escapes from Fletcher and reaches Chidambaram. In Chidambaram Govind meets Aandaal (played by Asin) in a math. The vial parcel was sent by Govind to Krishnaveni (played by Kamal again) in the math. She is mentally retarded and ninety five years old. Krishnaveni doesn’t return the vial back to Govind. Govind says that the vial contains a bio bomb, a virus. Krishnaveni runs out of the math and throws the vial into the Statue of Lord Permuaal, saying that Lord would save all from the virus. Fletcher follows Govind to Chidambaram.

Govind tries to escape with the statue and Aandaal follows Govind because it was the statue that she had been worshipping for long. On their way they are caught by a sand mafia gang and they escape from the gang while Poovaraghan (played by Kamal again) fights against sand mafia. Govind and Aandaal meet with an accident. There they meet an eight feet tall Muslim (Khalifulla played by Kamal again).

After this, what happened to the vial? Was the city saved? What is the connection to all this with the 12th century episode? All these questions are answered in an eventful manner with the Tsunami playing an important role.

Either the eight feet tall Khalifulla or the Japanese martial arts master, Kamal Hassan has proved that he is the Universal Hero. His dialogues especially in the climax when Fletcher asks the Japanese Martial arts master 'Remember Hiroshima?' to which the the Master counters him with another question , 'Do you remember Pearl Harbor?' was a treat. Michael Westmore (the make-up designer) needs a lot of appreciation for his work on Kamal’s face and body, without him Dasavatharam would not have been possible. Special words of appreciation must be given to Ravi Varman for his excellent cinematography and Devi Sri Prasad for a great BGM. Though the stunts of Fletcher (Kamal’s villain role) are super human it is enjoyable. This movie is the best (techinically) in the career of Kamal Hassan and director K.S.RaviKumar.

One doubt solved….

What is the connection between 12th century episode and Tsunami?

There are two connections

1. Butterfly effect – A small event like a butterfly flapping its wing is responsible for a tornado in some other part of the world.

2. Because the statue was thrown into the sea, it resulted in movement of tectonic plates and caused tsunami.

Kamal had not explained it in a detailed manner. In addition to the ten roles he has played on-screen he has played another off-screen role of a script writer also. He has performed all the roles perfectly. The movie runs for three hours. As a true Cinema fan I still like Anbe Sivam, but this movie is of a different genre, a scientific thriller. There may be many logical flaws.Still, it is definitely worth a watch.

Rating: ********* / 10
Bottomline: Fantastic entertainer,Defintely worth a watch!