On the Anvil


Saturday, June 14, 2008


Heard the breaking news?
Time travel made possible.Omnipresence, a reality.
Now,Now.Now. I really do appreciate your inquisitiveness - your endeavor to verify these disclosures. But sometimes, the truth commands a price to get yourself its taste. In this case, the price is the price you are willing to pay for a ticket to view 'DASAVATHAARAM'.
Tagore, he of the 'first Indian nobel prize winner' fame, often resorted to the phrase 'the Diviner's rod' in his poetry to drive home the message of the magnetic, the almost black-hole like attractive power of Love and all such allied virtues belonging to that hallowed league. Dasavathaaram has Kamal Hasan breathing life into Tagore's golden phrase. Indubitably, he is the 'Diviner's rod'. Making his advent in ten roles and each time holding together the cosmos that's this masterpiece requires divine powers and Kamal does anything but belie that hope. Maybe, he ought to change his name. Not Kamal Haasan. 'Kamaal' (wonder) Haasan would befit.
Don't worry. I won't be spilling the beans with respect to the storyline. The last thing I want are 'death threats' in my inbox or on my mobile from unwary readers who haven't watched the movie but chanced to read this post. I value my life and one sure reason is the man himself. Just can't wait for Kamal's next masterpiece. But until then, letz just waltz through the movie for what it is - art imbued with heart, effort induced with life.
Kamal's roles, they too need discretion on my part with respect to disclosure. I will play it safe and just drop the tidbits suggestive enough to serve as a worthy appetizer to the feast. Well for one, they have characters from almost all walks of life, of all sizes and 'heights', many nationalities, the major religions, across genders and over time. And asked to pick the best among these best, my vote will go for the 'villain' Kamal.
Now onto the techicalities. The casting is just about perfect though Asin's vocal outpourings could have been be a little more restrained.Mallika Sherawat gets a 'promotion'. She doesn't stop with 'killer' looks. This time, she gets to play the killer as well. The artwork would need no additional mention. What with Thota Tharani in play? The storyline is good, though the starting and concluding twenty minutes could have been connected in a better fashion. The connection seems a touch contrived, just to get the protagonists romantically linked. The graphics are praise worthy but again in the concluding act, a little dilute on the reality front. The stunts are well rendered and Boy, Oh, Boy how could I forget the costumes and the make-up? Step aside David Blaine and the magician folks. Take a VRS. Here comes the best among them all, Michael Westmore. Thankfully, HR (the much 'capped' crooner cum music man) admirably underplays his tunes by avoiding his presence on the vocal front. On the music front, this work should have his distractors debating his musical credences eat their words. 'Mukunda, Mukunda' stirs and is cleverly shot. Kamal's voice for 'Oh, Oh, Sanam' and 'Mukunda,Mukunda' just leads this feast to the saturation point. What versatility!!!
So, as I watched the show, there were voices of dissent heard too!!! For fans from smaller towns and their associated rural hinterland, the sophisticated casting of most of Kamal's roles invited a bit of disapproval from these fans who sought promixity with their 'Thalivar'(hero), viz-a-viz, more simple, rustic, 'mass' roles. However, the tide is going one way the world over - globalization. Even 'superstar' Rajni couldn't refute it. Used to donning 'mass' appeal roles like autodriver, porter and milkman; he gradually switched to 'Psychologist' in Chandramukhi and a believe-it-or-not 'Software engineer' in Sivaji. Guess, the stars have their own stars to follow. These fans will come to accept this just as they have welcomed the 'FM'(radio) and embraced the use of mobiles.
Post 'prime time' movie, when the credits were being rolled up, parallely, the 'make-up' process for each of these roles also were being displayed. That was when the blast got me. People stopped on their tracks and watched till the end of the credits and with some gasps and exclaims - so 'so & so', 'this & this' character was also Kamal!!!! Rarely. No, not even one Indian movie have I watched where almost all of the audience sat or watched through till the end of credit. If not for anything else, Dasavathaaram is a precedent and trend-setter atleast on that front.
While finally leaving the theatre premises, I overheard one comment that summarized the magic I had been through. One girl, seemingly in her late 20's was saying to this boy who looked the brother -
" I have seen a lot of movies. Tamil. Quite a few in Hindi as well. But there even while watching, i see only Rajni, Vijay, Shahrukh or Amitabh. It takes after-interval to get into their roles and forget that they are the stars. Kamal is a magician. I enter the theatre.He enters the movie. And for the next three hours i'm lost to this world."
The conclusion is simple. While the stars are plenty, the actor can only be the One - Ulaganayagan(Universal hero).
As the song goes in this movie -
Come dance with me before you go
Life is short. Shorter than a 3 hour movie coz atleast there we are assured those 3 hours and the ending. With life, sadly we are not assured of our expected times. Only one take. So why not take a leaf out of Kamal's book.Lets dance.So full of zest, it will have Yama himself shake a leg & hum-
Come dance with me before we go
That way, we have made even death dance to our tunes. Got the point.

1 comment:

J.Kamesh said...

That's indeed a great dedication to the master piece that "Dasavathaaram" is and to the master crafts man (Kamal Haasan) who made it and his team of artisans!

Subbu that's a wonderful tribute to the ONE Ulaganayagan! Kalakita Subbu, my personal favorite was 'Kamaal' (wonder) Haasan!