Monday, June 30, 2008

Dasavatharam - Views

Its sad to see Kamal Haasan being reduced to this by the audience of Tamizh Cinema. The 10 roles are a gimmick and nothing more. In the roles of Shingen, Fletcher and the old woman, the make up is so heavy that any acting, whatsoever, is ruled out. And Flectcher, aptly (as he cannot 'act') wears shades and keeps running as if there is no tomorrow. Asin repeating "Perumalae" is a definite contender for the most irritating character in tamizh cinema award. The last 10 minutes - the Ulaganaayagane song, where they show Kamal 'undergoing' extensive make-up sessions seems to be an anti-thesis to what Kamal keeps saying on tv - that doing movies is not his work, but holiday. The screenplay is good till the interval and after that it is much like KrishnaVeni - senile and pointless. Music - is puke-able. And recently I heard that the only decent song, Kallai Mattum Kandaal song is also a rip-off!!! Its pathetic that Rajni and Kamal, the two pillars which has made Tamizh cinema survive in terms of money and quality, have given us cardboardish movies in Sivaji and Dasavadharam. I hope both of them decide to hang up their boots. Kamal Haasan's looks (as Govind) easily matches his worst so far - Vasool Raja and Vettaiaadu Vilayadu! After seeing people like Surya having six pack abs, its no longer to pleasure to see Kamal and Ajit having a paunch and Vijay looking like an AIDS stricken patient.

Cast:

Its Kamal Haasan in all the important roles. Out of these, the pick is Balaram Naidu whose wit and one liners keep you interested in the movie. The character of Rangarajan Nambi is good as well. Asin is downright irritating. If I were Govind in the movie, I'd be trying to be as far away from Asin, as possible - but as they say Vidhi Valiyadhu and Govind ends up being in love with Asin.

Tech Crew:
KSR - 25/100
Cameraman (Ravi Varman, I guess) - 80/100
Music - 0/100
BGM - 30/100
Make up - Biggest letdown - no marks!

History/facts Distorted:
Kamal Haasan (or the director KSR) is confused between Shavities and Smaarthas. People who are called Iyers of today (except the Ashtasastram sub-sect) are Smaarthas and have neither ill-will towards Maha Vishnu nor particular attachment to Parameswaran. In fact, in the Sandyavandhana ritual, we do say, Asavadityo Brahma / Brahmaivaasmi// meaning, Light/Sun is the only God and I myself am a manifestion of Sun. I make an educated guess that Vadakalai Iyengars, who I think have their scriptures in Sanskrit, follow Yajur Upakarma which means they might have the same Aikyanusandhaanam. I have been to Chidambaram, but failed to notice if the Perumaal there is vadakalai or then-kalai. But going by logic, with the Nataraja being non-lingam form, which is a classical Chozha/Aadheenam/pre- 'rise of thenkalai' trait, I'm tempted to believe that the perumal has to be vadakalai too - which makes the whole 12th century epsiode shaky and iffy as Kamal Haasan says, "Adiyen Ramanuja Daasan" - meaning he is a then-kalai Iyengar. I'm not a pro on the history of Smaarthas and Iyengars, but someone who is more knowledgable, please enlighten me on this. And in fact, when I say Smaarthas are not anti-Vishnu, there can be no greater proof than Maha Periyava Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Sankara Math (I'm not calling on jayendra Saraswathi because of various reasons - the prime being, I myself am not convinced that the Math is as sacred it was when Maha Periyava was the Mata-athipathi) who signs (they cannot ink their name as they have renounced the world ) as "Naarayana-Smriti" (meaning, a Tool of Sri Naarayana). Well, people can ask me why the heck I dissect a masala movie thus far - its just to show how the concept of Brahmism has been raped and interpreted in totally erroneous ways, thanks to the Dravida Movement.


P.S: I'm trying to come up with a post as to the origin of the Vedas, which I came to know by attending some arbit discourse in April 2007 in Chennai (when I had actually gone there for Arusuvai Arasu's Canteen's Badam Alwa and some vadais. :D). Any help with regard to that is welcome!

17 comments:

NIRMAL said...

Machan,
I think we have to appreciate Kamalji for this attempt.
Most of the ppl who told me said they liked the movie and can be watched atleast once..not that bad as some sections of media claim..

Some where i read an article that rajni did 14 getups in KUSELAN..how kiddish that news is..simply changign hair style or different dress doesnt mean getups...

the word 14 was stressed just to put down DASA.

If we dont appreciate such movies or hardwork we might end up seeing remakes after remakes from Vijay's,Ravi's etc etc

Man,i dont know much abt tambram funda
all i know is
IYERS keep vibudhi and worship Shiva
IYENGARS keep naamam and worship Vishnu
What is this vadakalai and thenkalai?

curdriceaurora said...

kamal IS thenkalai. according to my paatti, he is my rendu vitta thaattha or something like that who was a big brat as a small kid.

Anonymous said...

Did Dasavatharam talk about Smaarthas at all? It was about Shaivism and Vaishnavism, right? (first 10 mins)
I think you are confusing Iyengars and Iyers from Vaishnavites and Shaivites.

-Prabhu

Karthik Sriram said...

I thought a section of the crowd in the first 12 mins had their poonool on... So I made the assumption. And the chidambaram temple is the only one run by Diksheethars (smarthaas) and not Kurukkals (adheenam based, Sozhiya sub-caste). It has been this ever since and as the adheenams were a later advent to curtail the power of Brahmins, I made the statement.

LKS

Anonymous said...

Ok. But the person enforcing it is Kulothunga Chozha, a Shaivite. And you see Diksheethars outside because the temple was locked:-)
Anyway, I dont think he intended to show that Dikshithars/smarthas played a reole in getting the Idol out of the temple.

>>"Adiyen Ramanuja Daasan" - meaning he is a then-kalai Iyengar

Why do you think so? The thenkalai/vadakalai iyengar sects did not exist in 12th century. Both Vadakalai and Thenkalai Iyengars are Ramanuja followers. ("Iyengar" itself was coined only during Ramanuja's time period)

-Prabhu

Karthik Sriram said...

Sorry - I had one staunch Vada Galai Iyengar friend in SVCE who used to frown upon Ramanujar and Then kalai...

As I said, I'm a fraud Brahmin - So ennaku avlo va theriyaadhu. But one thing I do know is the perception of Brahminism in movies has been pathetic since KB times and Kamal, could have done more research for that segment!

LKS

Hawkeye said...

/* "Adiyen Ramanuja Daasan" - meaning he is a then-kalai Iyengar */

both vadakalai and thenkalai follow ramanuja and the split didn't happen until 15th century. Both follow similar scriptures which has a 50-50 mix of sanskrit and thamizh.

i think the chidambaram temple is Thenkalai. Its a divya desam and there are only 4-5 divya desams which are vadakalai.

Smarthas are not Shaivites. They are classified under Vaishnavites. Many iyengars beived that if Sankara lived longer he would have ended up exactly where Ramanuja did as all his later work pointed in that direction. 'Saiva Pillaimaars' are shaivites. Saiva Pillais are the exact opposite equivalent of Iyengars. Not Smarthaas.

However, the depiction of the movie not entirely inaccurate. The Chozha wanted everybody to sign a paper that claimed 'Siva was supreme than vishnu' and he killed people who didn't. It is logical to assume that Smaarthas were the only brahmins who were willing to sign it as they did believe that Siva was part of the brahman. (Sri) Vaishnavites did not. This does not mean Smarthaas were anti-Vishnu but just like every human being pro-survival.

If you notice every man shown in that movie-segment wears a poonal. Can you guess what distinguishes the brahmins among the men from those who weren't brahmins?

Karthik Sriram said...

@ Hawkeye,

I know some other castes wear poonool too. I do not get your point on what qualifies a brahmin? if its by scriptures then its nadaththai and propogation of vedas.


LKS

Hawkeye said...

No.No. Not 'qualification' - Just a cosmetic visual representation. I thought Kamal was making a deliberate point there.

Most other castes wore poonal. I think all castes where men got educated wore poonal.

Karthik Sriram said...

@ hawkeye,

Is it Sigai and Deetchshai? Apdi illena, I do not know :(


LKS

Hawkeye said...

semi-tonsured heads.

Karthik Sriram said...

@ Hawkeye,

Hairstyle/semi-tonsure daan naan Sigai nu tooya tamizh la solla try pannen... oothikichu!


LKS

Blogeswari said...

LKS - I know you chose to not publish my comment only coz I said and I repeat "K.hassan lauvsss to take a dig at Iyers, much like his jaalras - madhan, crazy mohan, late sujatha and the likes..."
K.hassan sucks!!!! esp when he takes a dig at Iyers!

Now go publish this comment,... you better!

Hawkeye said...

karthik,

mannichikoba. avasarama reply pannen. i wa sbusy yday. naanga ellam itha 'appala kudumi' solluvom :-) (just kiddin)

Karthik Sriram said...

@ hawkeye,

Alright Annathey - I have been at a constant fight over remembering the tamizh i learnt at school. So I was for a brief while confused if sigai meant hair or not.

And yeah, it is appala kudumi daan - I had something like that for my poonool ceremony.. Bloody embarassing!

LKS

Karthik Sriram said...

@ Nirmal,

Machi,

'Kamal-ji' enna arrear vecha student ah? Attempt ku appreciate panna?


LKS

Soccerfan777 said...

I'm too late. Sorry. First if all "Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan" is used by both vadakalais & thenkalais.

Ramanuja is common to both kalais and is the founder of srivaishnavism; the first guru for both kalais.

But "Desika=Vadakalai", while "Manavala Mamuni & Pillailokacharya = Thenkalai"

Probably, a few half baked non-iyengars (who literally have zero knowledge about the community) think Ramanuja is for thenkalais, probably because many of his portraits/images bear a thenkalai tilak. You go to a vadakalai temple, ramanuja's idols will bear a vadakalai tilak. Or check in to vadakalai mutt websites for ramanuja's vadakalai images.

@curdriceaurora
Kamal Haasan is a pukka Vadakalai from both sides. He is related to one "Thirukoshtiyur Swami - a munitraya saint". But many of his relatives including his 2 aunts have married thenkalais - Due to this & other factors like "Ramanathapuram dist'", some thenkalais might claim him to be one of theirs. But he is 100% Vadakalai by birth. And I'm 120% sure of this.

Plz check wiki' Vadakalai article & that of thenkalai too, for more info' on these communities.