Have you ever imagined one man playing the roles of 10 different characters in the same film?

Did you know that a Lead Actor can be the Story writer of the same film?

Have you ever thought of a Bio-war before this pandemic?

And Did you know, what was the first Sci-Fi of South-Indian Cinema that made everyone ‘Wow’?

                        Everything said so far was made possible. This mind-blowing, brilliant, and glossy film that mesmerized the audience was made 12 years ago, at a time when the equipment used for film making wasn’t developed to a potential that a human can visualize. A famous actor with a decent story-line made a sensation possible in the film world. From a young man to an old lady, from a scientist to the president of US, from a singer to a CIA agent, from a RAW agent to a Social Activist, almost every character in the film, including that of a 12th Century Vaishnavite (Devotee of Lord Vishnu), was enacted only by a single person. The magnum opus of the last decade and the favorite of the generations to come, DASAVATAR is a film that has made the Indian Film Industry proud.

            The direction, the screenplay, the editing and other filmography may seem very difficult and cumbersome from the outside but, over everything the Make-Up tests which lasted for more than 25 days proved to be the most difficult task. It took almost 9 hours for the implementation of the Make-Up and which means 9 hours of chemicals on the lead actor’s face. To compensate this, he had to take fluids using a straw and strictly refrain from moving any of the face muscles during this process. Later, the film shooting lasted for about a year to produce one of the most memorable films of his career for the lead actor. He simply made everything look easy on screen but his efforts are invaluable. Hard work, dedication and his eternal love for Cinema, undoubtedly makes KAMAL HASSAN, the Pride of Indian Cinema.

 Now that you know the name of the film and the lead actor who played 10 different roles in the same film, there is obviously a question of

“Why 10 roles by one, when 10 different people can do that?”.  Some of you may also call it narcissism.

But the only answer I can give you is to admire and appreciate the efforts put in by the actor. The example of a ‘sprinter who always aims of creating a world record even when winning the race is all he has to do’, will answer your question the best’. In this film, the entire cast and crew has made the impossible possible by working diligently to create a mark in the World Film Industry.

            It is today when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the entire world forcing us into a complete lock-down, all of us got to know the true meaning of virus and its implications on human life. It is today, all of us got to hear of a Bio-war and its consequences. It is today, we are more into science and biological terms like quarantine, isolation and virus. But this film which was released in 2008 had all these elements. The foresight of a virus outbreak due to a Bio-war turned into a story, even before we experienced it.

            One of the oldest debated question in this world is the existence of God. The current generation blindly calls everything science, sometimes with evidence and sometimes merely because he has a course with the title ‘Science’ in his schooling. On the other hand, the older generation calls everything the glory of God by showing him in good light, which sometimes seems not much credible. Hence, there is not a conclusive proof of who is correct. Similarly, Dasavatar also has the hero and heroine constantly supporting their own arguments but at the end somehow agree on a mutual idea that you will know only when you watch the film.

At a time when films were shot in less than 6 months in a tiny and comfortable location using graphics, the crew had to travel to the United States, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and many parts of India to ensure best experience to the viewers. The famous Tamil Director K.S Ravikumar gave life to an undeveloped story of Hassan. From a plot in the 12th century where Kings, riches of temples, the idea of intense devotion towards God were seen to the 19th century that is witnessing a biological war, this film promises us the best experience. The Background score from Devi Sri Prasad and Sound track by Himesh, as always added a special flavor to the film.

The Cinematographer- Ravi Varnam, of course needs a special mention. Every scene, every angle, every light that glowed in the film is simply at its best. The way in which simultaneous scenes were shot really lifted the film. The Computerized graphics of that time were used to the best extent possible. The killer shot of the entire film is the Tsunami at the end that washes away most of the lead characters. The destruction caused by the Tsunami along the coast line was showed in great detail to give viewers an overwhelming experience. On more than one occasion, you see multiple roles of Kamal fused in a seeming stream. Even then, everything never looked out of place. All credits to entire team!!

            Enough can’t be said about the film and Kamal Hassan. This film is simply a work that is way ahead of those times. The film is immaculate and highly appreciable. The amount of work and thought process gone into the film resulted in an end product which is a master-piece. Although words are still reluctant to stop describing this film, I finally should say this because the blog post has to be concluded “A lot has been said about the film but not a single scene revealed to the fullest and not a suspense broken because, now it is your turn to tune into your TV screens and witness an epic Sci-Fi thriller that will tie your torso to the seats and your eyes to the screens.”

Looking to hear your experiences of this epic film in the comment box…….


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Sampath Majeti

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