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