Cast: Kamal Hassan, Napolean, Chandran Bharathi, M.S. Baskar, Asin, Mallika Sherawat, Jayapradha etc
Banner: OSCAR Films Pvt Ltd
Music: Himesh Reshamiya, Devi Sri Prasad
Action: Thiyagarajan, Kanal Kannan
Make-Up: Michael Westmore and Mosher
Cinematography: Ravi Varman
Director: KS Ravi Kumar
Producer: Oscar V Ravichandran
Released Date: June 13, 2008
A one stop shop, the movie begins on a flashback mode when all of us are taken to the twelfth century when there were only two sects - Vaishnavites and Shaivaites fighting against each other and the dominance of the Vishnu devotees is challenged when the local king of Chidambaram Kulathunga Chozhan (Napoleon) puts his iron foot down and is on a spree to put an end to the presence of Lord Vishnu and replace it with Lord Shiva. However, his power is challenged when Rangaraja Nambi (Kamal) opposes the decree and despite his friendship with the king, he is tied to the idol and is drowned in the sea along with the idol of the Perumal. All this is watched by his wife (Asin) whose pleas fall on deaf ears and even she gives up her life. The story takes turns and reaches the present modern day and goes all the way to America where the protagonist Govind (Kamal) happens to be a scientist and is a key part to the crucial bio synthetic vial that is being devised. Due to a freak accident, the vial's danger is realized by Govind and much to his horror, he knows that this is being sold by his superior Dr Sethu to some unwanted elements. Govind takes it upon himself to ensure that the vial is kept away from wrong hands and he is chased by the professional killer Fletcher (Kamal) hired by the company. The vial reaches to India through coincidence and Govind reaches in search of that, he is being followed by Fletcher who comes to India with the assistance of Jasmine (Mallika Sherawat). Govind meets the Tamil cop Nadar (Kamal) and through a tale of events, he becomes the wanted criminal. In his search for the vial, he goes to Chidambaram and comes across Lakshmi (Asin) along with her granny (Kamal) who hails from an orthodox Brahmin family and there he discovers that the vial is inside the idol of Lord Perumal. He is being followed by Fletcher even to Chidambaram and finally in his efforts to retrieve the vial, Lakshmi is with him and both of them come across many characters like the famous Punjabi singer Avtar Singh (Kamal) and his wife Ranjeetha (Jaya Prada), the tall man Khalifullah (Kamal) and his family, the social leader Punyakoti (Kamal) who is against the land mafia, meanwhile there is also the president of America (Kamal) who is taking keen interest on this case. Then there is the Japanese martial arts sensei who comes to India to avenge the death of his sister since she happens to be a friend of Govind and gets killed by Fletcher in a skirmish to save the vial. What happens in the end? Does Govind get to the vial? Can he save the world from an end? All this forms the rest of the story.
The director has come up with a simple story line but then a lot has gone into the narration and the presentation of the plot. He has been well supported by good visuals, some crisp editing and a fairly good background score. The script looked like a cocktail thanks to the number of characters that had to be justified but then the arrangement of them and connecting the dots was well placed. The screenplay could have been a lot better during the initial stages of the film. Fight choreography and stunts were sub standard considering the budget and grandeur of the film. Asin looked perfect as the Brahmin girl and her innocence and simple mindedness was worth her performance, Mallika Sherawat added enough spice with her looks and song though her role was limited, Napoleon looked grand like the king, the others did their job with the required standards. The heart and soul of the movie was as expected Kamal Hassan in his ten different roles. He has put his everything to do justice to each and every character he did and has enacted the roles very well. The appearance of the ten roles was distinct and it was only the sheer talent and power of Kamal that could have carried out so many roles with elegance. He has yet again proved that he is a man beyond comparison when it comes to creativity and acting. The tsunami scene was taken really well and it looked like the Indian cinema met the Hollywood standards in some aspects while watching the clips.
The film which has been received with great hype and grandeur initially is a bit confusing with so many characters filling the screen with disturbing visuals and random scenes happening. Though the initial twenty minutes was unsettling, the film gradually falls in line and the audience start putting 2 and 2 together. The second half got a bit slow at some instants but then it picked up and the penultimate minutes of the film were worth a watch. The makers were trying to justify each and every character of Kamal which kind of made things difficult and more focus was given on the appearance and make up of the protagonist which kind of weakened the story line. One really wonders having spent so much money on the venture, why they could not spend few extra bucks to come up with some breathtaking fight sequences and stunts. The film has to be appreciated for the Herculean efforts that were put in the making and it could have been a sure shot blockbuster had they focused on small issues like the action sequences and other technical aspects.
Kamal portrayed 10 different roles in the film Dashavatharam as:
- Rangaraj Nambi, the Vaishnav Brahmin.
- Govind, the US Scientist
- Fletcher, American Terrorist
- Balaram Nadar, the Security Officer
- A Japanese Fighter
- Kamakshi, the Old Woman
- Avatar Singh, the Sikh Singer
- Punyakoti, the Dalit leader
- Bush, the American President and
- Khareemulla, the Tall Man