The helium surrounding the release of Dasa took me to Sangam theater on a very drab Sunday afternoon. Considering the group reviews it looks like I'll be the only exception. If it has to, so be it - I was much saddened by the movie.
I had the opportunity of working with him on Hey Ram and Anbe Sivam and learnt from him and his crew a few aspects of film making like Continuity, Sets, Lighting, Scripting etc. I defended him after Hey Ram (to my friends) and blamed them for not being able to understand the concept of the great man.
But he's clearly tried to stretch his definition of creativity once more.
The pure novelty of getting to don 10 roles carried him away. The script connecting the 10 characters was very loosely done, bad movie sets, unconvincing background extras, pathetic voice overs of extras, bad make up. But bad make up? Is this not the USP of the movie ??
His makeup was nothing to write home about. He has stretched his novelty with plaster of paris on his face a bit too far. I remember gasping at his do of Indian Thatha and Avai Shanmugi. But the potches on his face in this case seemed very artificial unless you wanted to keep your eyes shut and not question the great man's sense of asthetics of make up.
Thank God for the 12th century priest part of it - he was the Kamal I wanted to see in all the remaining 9 roles.
But why am I looking for sense in a movie?? Ain't I just supposed to see it and forget it?
Well, differentiation has been used by us in every sphere of life... Commercially (WTO Vs Non WTO), Socially (I'll refrain from examples), etc.. and its exactly this that makes us want to set apart a Kamal from the crowd... and chant his name in the same bracket as one would associate a Satyajit Ray or a Akiro Kurosowa. So I guess it was not him, but me, who let myself down.
But yes, if quantity is king then the 10 roles are classic. Period.
Allow me the luxury of a cut and paste job from rediff:
"To tide over the disappointment of watching Dasavatharam, I am going to watch again the DVDs of timeless classics like Nayagan, Moodram Pirai, Sagara Sangamam, Michael Madana Kama Rajan and Pushpak. Let me see the Kamal Haasan I missed in Dasavathaaram."
I would add Anbe Sivam to that list.
The middling Kamal fan,