Kamal Hassan’s magnum opus a hit with fans in Sri Lanka

Kamal Hassan’s mega cine creation, Dasavatharam is breaking box office records in Sri Lanka.

In Colombo the blockbuster is now showing at Cine City (Maradana), Liberty (Kollupitiya) Savoy (Wellawatta) and Samantha (Dematagoda) and several other locations around the country.

All the movie houses are showing with full houses for several days now, winning praise from all movie goers.

[Kamal Hassan emboldened the phrase “Humanity Ashore”, in the aftermath of the catastrophe of Dec 26th, 2004: A Song from the movie & A slide show marks the release of Dasavatharam, featuring slides from Sri Lanka]

Here is what Ramesh Kandasamy compiled, in the ‘Kollywood Life’ section of Colombo newspaper Daily Mirror’s June 24th edition:

Dasavatharam, which was under production for almost two years, has finally hit the marquee and in style. Kamal and the marvel of technology rule this venture of Aascar Films directed by K S Ravikumar who has packaged Kamal’s dream with aplomb.

It would be an uphill task in understanding Dasavatharam if one does not pay adequate attention to the opening stadium scene where Kamal as scientist Govinda Ramasamy, renders an acceptance speech for all the praise he receives. The ensuing 12th century sequences will not fall into place if one does not concentrate on this scene.

Kamal as Rangarajan Nambi, in a gravity-defying movement, flies from the bottom of the statue and thrashes the baddies who are involved in removing the Lord Ranganathar idol. Napoleon plays Kulothunga Chozhan who is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He agrees to pardon Kamal if he just chants Om Nama Shivaya but the latter meets his watery grave by saying Om Namo Narayanaya along with the idol.

Sharpness of dialogues exchanged between Kamal’s family and Napoleon in this scene is commendable and a testimony to the clashes between Saivism and Vaishnavism that persisted in those earlier times. Napoleon, albeit in a small role, dazzles in his performance as the Saivite King. His arrogant countenance and ‘mightier than thou’ body language reiterate the experience of this veteran star in filmdom.

Cut to the present time again: Govinda Ramasamy (Kamal) is a scientist working in America, researching the components of biological warfare which are potent enough to wipe out the human race. The story that follows shows Kamal in a race to save mankind from the hands of his superior who purloins this dangerous chemical. His struggle begins in America and ends in Chennai on the 26th of December 2004 – during the tsunami.

Out of the ten Kamals, the first one who walks away with plaudits is Indian RAW agent Balram Naidu who is presented with little make up. His Telugu dialogues are enjoyable and remind us of the SPB of Guna. Next is Boovaraghan with his Nellai Tamil. His body language is exemplary. The Japanese kung fu exponent comes third in this avatar race with limited dialogues and moderate make-up. The remaining Kamals fail to make an impression.

The theatre broke into raptures when the American Kamal asks the Japanese Kamal if he remembers Hiroshima to which the Japanese Kamal counters with, ‘Do you remember Pearl harbour?’ Dialogue writing in the movie needs to be singled out. In short Dasavatharam is a make-up magic.

“The sea took away human lives but left humanity ashore, its time now to show humanity” – Padmashree Kamal Hassan, Actor – Producer – Director

Related: An intriguing connection between the 10 avatars of Lord Narayana and the film Dasavatharam

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