THE CHAOS BUTTERFLY

The long time-slot film fasting of mine is over, at last. I have seen Kamal Haasan's magnum opus - DASAVATHAARAM with my wife (as first film post marriage) at INOX movies, Bengalooru on 13-June-2008, Friday, 03:45PM. (Also, this is the first movie review in my blog).


The film already attracted the expectation among general public worldwide because of a bunch reasons such as one of the best actors of Indian cinema is doing 10 different roles, highest budget movie ever made in India (70 crores), Jackie Chan came for audio release of the movie, a supreme court petition against the movie / title and the "extra-ordinary" preview-reviews by Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi, Super Star Rajinikanth and Director K.Balachandar.

First of all, let me give a big hand to Kamal Haasan for performing the incredibly good 10 different characters in which he captivated the body language, voice modulation and slang of those excellently. The "dasa" avatars include
  • Rangaraja Nambi, a 12th Century Vaishnavite
  • Govindarajan Naickar, a US Bio-Scientist
  • Christian Fletcher, an Ex-CIA agent
  • Balram Naidu, a RAW Official
  • Krishnaveni, a 95 Year Old Lady
  • Vincent Poovaraagan, a Dalit Activist
  • Avtaar Singh, a Punjabi Pop Singer
  • Shinghen Narahasi, a Japanese Fighter
  • Kalifullah Mukhtaar, a Muslim Youth and
  • George Bush, US President
The mannerisms adopted by Kamal Haasan to portray Fletcher, Naidu, Poovaraagan and Narahasi are extraordinary. In the mean time, one has to agree that the make-up looks artificial for few characters like Kalifullah.

The screenplay of this movie is (said to be) based on Chaos theory which says "small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system". To explain the phenomenon, Kamal Haasan used the popular Butter-fly Effect in a dialogue - "a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately results in a tornado".

The core plot involves only 2 characters - Govindarajan who courier himself along with a synthetic bio-weapon to India to prevent a disaster and Fletcher who is appointed to rob the weapon. All the other characters are linked to this plot based on butterfly effect. The screenplay is awesome such that it can be rated as one of the best screenplays ever made in Tamil cinema. But it has its own negatives in few spots.

Govindarajan at some point says "I am a scientist, doctor, teacher and above all a student". But in many scenes, the seriousness of the plot (that he is chasing a dangerous bio-weapon) is missing very much (that too after the introduction of Asin). It is really irritating to see Asin in this movie as Andal (I am not sure whether its because of the character or her performance).

Mallika sherawat too "acted" in few places. The other notable cast are Napolean and M.S.Bhaskar. Lyricist Kapilan also appears with a blend of poetry. Though big people like Jayaprada, Nagesh, K.R.Vijaya, Santhana Bharathi, P.Vasu, Rekha and Sundararajan are there, it's Kamal Haasan and his 10 avatars steal the show and occupy the whole of the 3+ hours movie (there is no wonder in it).

The direction is very good in chase scenes and Tsunami which proves that some person like K.S.Ravikumar is really doing something apart from Kamal Haasan's intelligence, particularly in these kind of movies. The worst part of the movie is songs which is best compensated by the decision to have songs as bits and pieces and the better background score.

Though the cinematography is good compared to contemporary Tamil cinema, it doesn't actually matches the real standards of Ravivarman (which he has shown already in his previous movies - Anniyan and Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu). Also, I didn't expect this much good editing exposure from K.Thanikachalam who is the director's all-time favourite.

Art is taken care to the core (US president office has Christmas tree lighted as the event date is just prior to Christmas). Another example is the 12th century Chola Mandapam set. Though, the graphics looks odd in few places, the overall mood it is creating on the film is satisfactory. In few scenes, the cinematography and graphics goes hand in hand (Ex: Camera facing Naidu and the mirror image of Govindarajan during the investigation at airport).

The dialogues are very good (particularly, Balram Naidu portions) so as the previous Kamal Haasan penned movies. It seems that Sujatha's contribution is comparatively less as his name came at last as "Late Sujatha" in a microscopic size under the title "Story Discussion Group" (along with Crazy Mohan, Kamalesh Kumar and Kalyanji).

Often, the film struggles between chaos theory and KS theory (K.S.Ravi Kumar's masala mix). Any how, the film turned out to be a fast moving screenplay of wholesome entertainer which is sure to be a block-buster. As of now, I have watched (chewed, swallowed and digested) the movie thrice and I am damn sure that Kamal Haasan already bagged National Film Award (Silver Lotus) for Best Actor - 2008. Wait and See.

4 comments:

swamy said...

The anti thesis to this post
http://swamyg.com/post/38585068/i-want-my-rs-160-back-or-why-i-hate-dasavatharam-so

For those who are too lazy to read, long story short: This movie sucked donkey balls, Big time.

ತೇಜಸ್ವಿನಿ ಹೆಗಡೆ- said...

Good Review. am eager to watch the film.

Ragavendra Dinesh said...

dai,, ,all the big comments about dasavatharam is fine,.... But just answer to this question.

1. Tsunami incident was happened during the period of Jayalalitha which is also shown in the Movie.
But, Mr.Kamalhaasan is narating the whole story to the audience in stage where Kalaignar & Bush are sitting together. What is the logic behind???? Do not blaber something for this. Reply if u think something is logically right for this matter:)

kannan said...

Mr Ragavendra the intellectual.

It is never said in the movie that the function was held the next day of tsunami and no one would be celebrating when such a tragedy had happened. Presume its held after some time.