One striking feature that hits you in the face once you have watched 'Dasavatharam' is Kamal Haasan's passion for filmmaking. All the ten roles he has essayed have been meticulously planned right from the body language to dialogue delivery. Be it the American president George Bush, the Vaishnavite priest of the 12th century or Fletcher, the American baddie.
The eyes are considered the most effective tools in creating the right kind of attitude for any actor and Kamal Haasan is a master at that. There are many a time in the film when the audience would have to force themselves to believe that it is the same actor who is the good guy as well as the bad guy.
The expressive and determined eyes of the priest, the mushy and yet funny countenance of Balaram Naidu, the hilarious CBI officer and the peaceful martial artist eyes of the Japanese character have all shaped up to fit into any acting text book. Hats off to Kamal Haasan on the acting front!!
Based loosely on Chaos theory, the narration of the film promises a lot of excitement and as the story unfolds, somewhere down the line there are a few missing links that have been forcefully stitched together. Govind, the bio-scientist in the United States of America has been wronged by his boss who has intentions of selling his invention to wrong hands. The determined scientist doesn't give up. He sneaks it away and after a few accidents the invention lands in India. The hunt and race against time especially with Fletcher, the ex-CIA baddie sniffing at his neck with murderous intent culminates into Govind meeting an irrationally sentimental and at times sweet Andal (Asin). The baddie with sizzling Mallika Sherawat for company proceeds along the vulnerable Indian security system and shows up at the right places at the right time.
The narration then makes sure most of the characters played by Kamal get into close proximity in terms of geography. The stunt sequences are quite professional with its share of thrilling moments, but then there are too many coincidences consistently. The protagonist and his slowly, but surely falling-in-love lady companion seem to be jumping off just about everything. Soft landing seems to be a predictable option at most times.
When it comes to action and stunt scenes, 'Dasavatharam' is head and shoulders above most Indian films. The music element in the film is passable with some breathtaking re-recording bits in patches.
Cinematography has been simply awesome. The heavy compositing and trick shots have not dampened Ravi Varman's innate talent at creating the right kind of mood the film depicts.
'Dasavatharam's' review can never be complete without talking about the makeup part. Apart from the desired result one can guess the kind of effort and hard work Kamal Haasan would have had to go through just to get them on and that too on a daily basis. Makeup has been good overall except for a few shots that show off a kind of plastic look.
Computer Generated Imagery plays a huge role in the film. When the same actor plays seven feet plus youth and an old woman who is barely five feet, one can imagine the kind of intensive scaling and image manipulation by the CG team. Recreation of the 2004 Tsunami is impressive and the action part weaves the intensity of the story.
The direction has been apt sticking to the script in the true sense of the term. K. S. Ravikumar known for his simple style of narration has not been himself with 'Dasavatharam', but has shown sparks of ingenuity.
Kamal Haasan has stuck to his favorite subject of the 'no God' debate in this film too and has glorified himself probably for the first time on screen with a dialogue directed at him as being the 'Ulaga Nayagan'.
With Kamal Haasan playing ten roles, all other actors have been completely overshadowed.
This is a movie that has highlighted a highly talented and passionate actor in his entire splendor. At the end of the film one tends to ask....has Kamal Haasan been so spectacular that he has overshadowed the script and story this time?