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‘Dasavatharam’ has a lot of Al Gore and Ramanujar, says Kamal Haasan

Malathi Rangarajan

Film uses a complex story-telling technique that never loses sight of audience entertainment


There are 10 characters, ranging in scope from a Ramanujar and a Galileo to a particle physicist

It will have messages encompassing such concerns as the environment, science and faith


Photo: Special Arrangement

Innovative: A promotional still from Dasavatharam starring Kamal Haasan. —

Chennai: Kamal Haasan’s ‘Dasavatharam’ uses a complex story-telling technique that never loses sight of audience entertainment.

“We are letting them get the full clip,” said the star in an interview at his residence on Tuesday.

No conversation with Kamal is complete without a reference to his mentor Ananthu.

“He would always say, ‘keep it simple.’ I’ve followed that,” says the veteran.

The humour and fun of ‘Michael Madana Kamarajan,’ the sadness of ‘Mahanadhi,’ the sentimentality of ‘Thevar Magan’ and the emotions of ‘Hey!Ram!’ are all woven into a screenplay that is irreverent enough to defy pundit-driven formulas.

Yet, ‘Dasavatharam’ will remain faithful to time-tested storytelling techniques, he says.

With an ambitious storyline featuring 10 characters, ‘Dasavatharam’ will have contemporaneous messages encompassing such concerns as the environment, science and faith. “Dasavatharam has a lot of Al Gore in it, and also Ramanujar,” he says.

Describing the film as “honest to the core,” Kamal says he has explored religion at length. “Are we going to continue using the same blunt tool…religion?,” he asks.

Is there a strong story line that elevates it from other blockbusters that we have seen in recent times?

“For one, there are 10 characters, ranging in scope from a Ramanujar and a Galileo to a particle physicist. Computer graphics bring to life many of the scenes.”

‘Dasavatharam’ has convinced him that audiences were ready for good film stories even a decade earlier.

Assumption

“If such films have not been made it was just the assumption that the audiences had not evolved,” he argues.

Between giving post-production instructions and gearing up for the audio launch of ‘Dasavatharam,’ Kamal continues to explain his magnum opus, and how it does not dumb down to the audience.

The stage is set for the audio launch of the film on a grand scale on April 25. Jackie Chan is coming for the event.

“Amitabh Bachchan will also be here,” adds Kamal.

“Chan is well known to the producer. So he decided to invite him. It will be a grand event,” he says with a smile.

The music of ‘Dasavatharam,’ will be mesmeric. Himesh Reshammiya has composed some excellent pieces. “It’s rare for a composer from the north to create tunes that allow the lyricist here to lend words with equal ease. Himesh has pulled that off. You will find in Himesh’s song, the joy of an M.S.Viswanathan tune. Those in the unit were initially sceptical but they fell for his music,” says Kamal.

Devi Sriprasad is handling the re-recording.

The story, screenplay and dialogue for ‘Dasavatharam’ are all by Kamal.

He talks of the challenge of coming up with a screenplay for a complex project.

“I enjoy telling stories so it was a wonderful experience. And it’s been a great team, together with an understanding producer (Oscar Ravichandran) and a competent director (K.S. Ravikumar) at the helm.

“It’s not as though there were no egos but the project sailed smoothly thanks to frank and creative exchanges,” Kamal adds.

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