Govind (Kamal Hassan) is a scientist in USA. He works with the team that develops mass destructing biological weapon. He realizes that a colleague of him is selling such a bio-weapon to a terrorist from another country. In the process, he hides the weapon, but it gets shipped to India. A hit-man called Fletcher (Kamal Hassan) is after Govind. The weapon is clandestinely kept inside the idol of Lord Perumal. Govind pairs up with a girl (Asin) and runs away from Fletcher. Another cop chief (Kamal Hassan) is also after Govind. The rest of the story is all about how Govind gets back the missing bio-weapon.
Kamal Hassan: Kamal Hassan has done 10 different characters in this film as hero (scientist), villain (hit man - in the lines of Terminator), chief cop, Prez Bush, 12th century Vaishnava priest, a Dalit leader, a Punjabi singer, an old woman, a Japanese martial arts trainer and a tall Muslim. The versatile actor has shown striking variation in all the get-ups. You would not recognize Kamal in the get-ups of villain, Prez Bush, Dalit leader, old woman and Japanese martial arts leader. His histrionics as Vaishnava priest are terrific. The hero and villain characters have the maximum screen time. The characterization of chief cop is the most entertaining followed by the old woman character among the ten characters he donned.
Others: Who will be left in the star cast of the film if Kamal does 10 characters, except for the female leads? Asin is good as Brahmin devotee who accompanies the hero for the sake of Perumal's idol. Mallika Sherawat is alright as the Telugu translator to the villain. Jayaprada did the role of Punjabi singer's wife and has no significant role to play. Napoleon is terrific in the role as Shiva’s devotee. Director P Vasu also did a guest role in the film.
Story - screenplay - direction: The basic story line of the film is about how a scientist saved the lives of millions of people by securing the bio-weapon as a hit-man summoned by terrorists chases him. The hit man and the scientist roles are played by Kamal himself and in the process hero meets seven more characters played by the actor. Since all these characters are played by Kamal, these characters are given more footage and much importance than usual. Hence, the story of the film takes the back seat to highlight Kamal’s Dasavatarams. Direction is not satisfactory. Screenplay is little confusing. The 12th century episode is well-shot. The connection between the 12th century episode intro and the climax is not clearly explained. Another flaw in the film is that the hero would be tossing around the idol of God throughout the film on the pretext of saving the world. The story writer incorporated majority of Indian religions (Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh) in the film.
Other departments: Music by Himesh Reshmiyya is just average. The popular song – loka nayakuda – comes only during the end credits of the film. Mukunda Mukunda song is good. Background music by Devi Sri Prasad is adequate. Cinematography is good. Make-up department deserves a special mention for its extraordinary work. Editing is alright. Dialogues are just OK. Graphic work and special effects in certain scenes should have been better. The production values are extraordinary.
Analysis: The movie starts with an interesting episode set in the 12th century backdrop. Then the movie's tempo goes down till the character of cop enters. From then, the movie is interesting till the interval. The second half is not good. The climax is little interesting. The plus point of the film is Kamal Hassan. The minus point of the film is about diluting the story to give importance to all ten characters in the film. People go to a movie to watch Kamal Hassan. Half of the characters donned by him do not look like Kamal Hassan at all. Then why does he have to don those characters? On a whole, Dasavatharam disappoints a bit!
reviews of previous 5 films