DASAVATHAARAM - A Futile Head Spinning Exercise

6 min read · Posted on: Jun 17, 2008 · Print this page

Dasavathaaram or Dashavathaaram or Dasavataaram has a premise that could have worked. Kamal’s retelling of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu to the modern audience (if you think I am crazy, please click here ). Each Avatar (like the legendary Avatars) contributes to the sustenance of the universe (ok, just Earth in this case). It would have been a classic, but here is what probably happened over a plate of idli and filter coffee:

Koffee with Kamal. See my photoshop skillz r better than Dasavathaaram

Kamal: I have written a rough script that will be the mother of all scripts. It will be my biggest project of all time and it will have the budget of a Hollywood movie…ummm… around 70 crores.

Aascar: 70 crore? (Stops chewing) Sounds huge. But why 70, sir?

Kamal: I dunno. 70 crore sounds really big, you know.

Aascar: Yeah, good point.

Kamal: I mean, it will be colossal. Should take at least 10 years in the making and I should have 10 different roles, more than anybody else has ever tried before.

Aascar: Errr… 10 years? what will we do for 10 years!!!?

Kamal: Makeup, of course

Aascar: Oh, that’s true… but, err…. we would still have time left!

Kamal: Build some hype around for a long time. The buzz will be good for the publicity.

Aascar: Hmmm, ok…. but we might still have little time left

Kamal: Oh, then postpone the release a couple of times. Tell them its Post-production delays. Filling in jazzy visual effects and stuff, you know

Aascar: (Chuckles) Yeah. I like the sound of it. Sounds like a Sooper Dooper Meggga Hit already. Lets work out a rough budget for the producers and finally we can figure out the visual effects budget.

Kamal: Oh, I almost forgot. We need to hire only Hollywood folks for all the lead technical stuff. This one is for the Oscars. They might be a bit pricey though.

Aascar: (Face brightens when Kamal says Oscars, but saddens when he hears Pricey) hmmm… okay

(Several furious punches on the calculator later)

Aascar: (Yelling) Got it, sir! The Visual Effects budget figure is also done.

Kamal: (Excitedly) Really? How much do we have? 30 Crore?

Aascar: No, sir!

Kamal: 20 Crore?

Aascar: Nope!

Kamal: 10 Crore?

Aascar: No, no, no….

Kamal: Huh? (Angrily) 1 Crore? 10 Lakhs? What is it?

Aascar: No, dear sir… its only 1 Lakh. These days even Tsunamis can be created on laptop computers. Besides, due to our global offshore animators, the entire film can be done in India at low cost.

Kamal: But thats the budget for a TV serial’s special effects these days. I wonder if the output will be any better. Isn’t there any other area where we can cut costs?

Aascar: Hmmm… well sir, then there is your pay package….

Kamal: (Interrupts) Oh… 1 Lakh you say? That’s should be fine, then.

Yes folks… the visual effects are an eye sore. Even a 2 year old will be able to make out that the stadium was computer generated, the ship carrying the idol is a 3D model and Kamal is not present in many of the stunts. The grotesque makeup of some characters have tones that remind you of plastic and dough rather than skin. The only saving grace is Kamal’s rendering of some characters by imitating their accents and body language (Bush was truly delightful :lol: ).

In short, don’t have any (Hollywood? :roll: ) level of expectations.

Dasavathaaram - Meaning of 10 Avataars

This is copied from a forward and I lay no claims on the authenticity of its contents. But kudos whoever wrote this, he understood more than I understood in 3 hrs and 10 mins

Dasavathaaram Demystified

One thing we had noticed is why people didn’t get the real subtext and reason for the various roles and hence the title. If you knew the real dasavatharams of Lord Vishnu and their characters you can appreciate the script more.

Let me explain, starting with the best adapted role:

  1. Krishna avatar - Vincent Poovaraghavan Lord krishna is actually a dalit, he is dark-skinned [shyamalam]. He saved draupadi when she was being violated and he was the actual diplomat in mahabharatham. Lord krishna dies of an arrow striking his lower leg. Now look at how vincent was introduced.. he appears when asin is about to be molested and he saves her like draupadi. Vincent is the dalit diplomat, fights for land issue [soil issue to be exact] and dies from the metal rod striking his leg. Oh even five of vincent’s men are drugged at P. Vasu’s.. sounds familiar???

  2. Balarama avatar - Balarama naidu This is an easy given. as the name suggests and the role personifies you can easily get it.

  3. Mathsya avatar - Ranagaraja nambi nambi is thrown into water in an act of trying to save lord from being thrown into sea, though vainly. what more clue do you want?

  4. Varaha avatar - Krishnaveni paatti During the mukunda song, krishnaveni paatti does varaha avatar in the shadow puppetry. The frame freezes on it for a second. there is the clue. Moreover, in varaha avatar lord actually hides earth so as to protect life forms. Here too krishnaveni hides the germs - life form inside the statue so as to protect.

  5. Vamana avatar - Kalifulla khan remember in vamana avatar, lord vishnu takes the vishvaroopa, that is the giant form! Hence the giant kalifulla here symbolises vamana avatar.

  6. Parasurama avatar - Christian Fletcher Parasurama is actually on an angry killing spree and killed 21 generations of the particular kshatriya vamsa. Hence the real KILLER… Guess what thats what our Fletcher is! He comes around with the gun [modern upgrade for axe] and kills everyone around. I have to check if he kills 21 people though. :-D

  7. Narasimha avatar - Shingen Narahashi first of all the name itself is a play on the words singam [means lion in tamil] and narasimha [the avatar being symbolised]. Lord Narasimha manifests himelf to kill the bad guy and he also teaches prahaladha. In the movie, he shows up to kill the killer fletcher! and is also a teacher.. Lord Narasimha had to kill the asura with bare hands and hence the martial arts exponent here.. get it?

  8. Rama avatar - Avatar Singh Lord Rama stands for the one man one woman maxim, kind of symbolising true love.. Here Avatar portrays that spirit by saying that he loves his woman more than anything and wants to live for her.

  9. Kalki avatar - Govindaraj Ramasamy As you know, the hero in kaliyug can be none other than the Kalki avatar!!!

  10. Koorma avatar - Bush This is the most loose adaptation I couldn’t clearly comprehend. But if you look at the real koorma avatar, the lord is the turtle/tortoise that helps in stirring the ksheera sagara and bringing out the amruth. This essentially creates war among the devas and asuras. Similarly today Bush facilitates war between you know whom… May be Kamal also indicates that this avatar is a bit dumb like the tortoise…

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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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