Category Archives: Films

Anbe Sivam: Review of Kamal’s Intellectual Movie

Hi,

It has been almost 6 years since “Anbe Sivam” has released. Many would have watched the movie umpteen number of times on TV as well..But with most who like the movie, like it for the humour or for Kamal/ Madhavan’s acting. Most don’t like it bcoz they are not able to relate to/ don’t understand the story.

The movie was a Box Office Failure and mixed review from critics. Most people who have seen the movie would still love the movie…but wayback in 2003, piracy was at its best and hence many would have caught up on a pirated copy rather than watching this in theatre.

Story Plot:

Rich girl and Poor Boy meet and fall in love. Girl’s father and Boy have an issue. He tries to seperate them by playing foul. Years later, rich girl marries poor boy’s friend. Simple story – Let’s look at how Kamal transforms this

The film is based on “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” about 2 strangers becoming friends while travelling. But there ends the similarity.

The film’s lead characters are ‘Anb’arasu and Nalla‘Sivam’. Moreover the 3 lead characters have names that are split into 2. Kamal gets addressed as Mr. Sivam by Maddy and as Nalla by others. Maddy’s name is Anbarasu, while he likes being called A.Ars. Kiran’s name (Bala Saraswati) is addressed as ‘Bala’ by all while Maddy addresses her as ‘Saras’.

I happened to watch this movie First Day First Show. Some scenes that have been deleted from the picture which is not included in the TV versions are:

  •  The story happens in Coimbatore. Kamal is representing Tea Estate Workers?? Kamal and Kiran elope to get married in Kerala, which is closer to Cbe
  •  In the scene where Kiran secretly meets Kama in the theatre and they decide to elope and get married. After that shot is over, Uma Riyaz confesses her love to Kamal. Poun, who is Kamal’s aid confesses hsi love to Uma Riyaz.
  •  In the party at Kiran’s house, Kamal does some art work using food items. When the same is done on PC, Kiran tells him that the version of Software used in Photoshop 5.  Uma Riyaz responds saying that Kamal is well versed in Photoshop 7.

Some more interesting facts

  • Madan makes a cameo in the movie as himself. He is the dialogue writer for the movie. He is a well known cartoonist and film critic.
  • Yugi Sethu makes a cameo as “Uttamaa”, a petty theif who talks from Ogilvey to M.K. Gandhi in the 2 scenes he comes.
  • Kamal learnt how to play the “thavil” for the song.
  • In orissa, when Kamal and Maddy share the room, if u notice, u can find one of Kamal’s leg being shorter than the other, which’ll get reiterated in the next scene, when Maddy throws his shoes and Kamal explains his problems.
  • In Orissa, when Maddy gets a blow on the head, he tells Kamal that his bloog group is a rare one. Kamal recounts this during the train mishap and makes sure Maddy donates blood to the child. But the gap in the story was, the previous night, Maddy consumes Whiskey in the train with Yugi sethu and an alcoholic cannot donate blood. The boy is shown to die in the movie without any explicit reason.
  • Kamal also talks about Tsunami in this movie, when not many were aware about Tsunami at that point. In 2004 Dec, Tsunami hit most parts of the SE Asia. Tsunami was a recurring them in Dasavatharam as well.
  • Kamal would wear black/ maroon shirts when he plays the role of a disabled, while in the initial sections, it shall be rolled sleeves light color shirts.
  • Kamal essays the role of a person who has mellowed down from a angry man to a person who can see the issues in a ligher vein. Maddy’s role is in line with the initial role of Kamal who expects processes and procedures to be adhered to.
  • Many still claim that the movie was Ghost Directed by Kamal, while Sundar C was the original director

I have tried to capture some of the most important aspects of the movie, though each time the movie is seen, there are lot of newer things to learn from this movie and the legend.

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Analysis of Dasavatharam Movie – Part II

Vamana avatar – Kalifulla khan Khalifullah Khan

Remember in vamana avatar, lord vishnu takes the vishvaroopa, that is the giant form! Hence the giant kalifulla here symbolises vamana avatar.

Parasurama avatar – Christian Fletcher

 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 that’s what our Fletcher is! He comes around with the gun [modern upgrade for axe] and kills everyone around.

Narasimha avatar – Shingen Narahashi Singhei Narashi

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?

Rama avatar – Avatar Singh Avtar 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.

Kalki avatar – Govindaraj Ramasamy Govind

As you know, the hero in kaliyug can be none other than the Kalki avatar!!!

Koorma avatar – Bush George 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…

 

Dasavatharam is a brilliant and bold effort which talks about the physics of Karma,Chaos theory and cycle of life. I came across across Dr.Kamal Hassan’s words about Dasa on the internet:

“This theory is under the skin of the film and you will find little veins, tissues and muscles, every layer of it. One is the chaos theory — we are all connected to everyone in the world. None of our acts will be without effects. One act will collide with another. It is like what you learnt in physics — where one object crashes into another object and produces something else. This is basically our sensibilities, insensibilities, crime, disregard for society and good deeds.In religion, it is called good karma. It all comes around because there is some physics to it but we are not talking about it in bombastic terms as people will come for entertainment and will understand it in the process”.

 Dasa talks about this chaos theory by showing how different characters are responsible for the change in life patern of scientist Govind and goes a step further by showing how Govind is reponsible for the change in life patterns of these characters (For instance Avtaar singh is cured of cancer because of Fletcher who comes into picture because of govind.If not for them, he would have undergone the operation and would have never been able to sing for the rest of his life. Similarly Khalifulla khan and the other 200 people wouldnt have been alive if they were not asked to stay in the mosque for investigation regarding govind’s case). All this has been beautifully captured in the movie.So there is no question of unwanted extra roles or anything of that sort.All the 10 characters are well etched and very important!!

Next, Dasa also talks about the physics of Karma.

Dasavatharam deals with this brilliantly.

Assuming Govind is the rebirth of Nambi, they are totally the opposites. Nambi dies having faith in god,but Govind is an atheist. So it balances the so called Karma equation. This also applies to asin(though the other way round) 12th century asin is ready to give up her belief in Lord Vishnu for the sake of her husband. But andal is a stonch believer in god who always tries to safeguard the statue.

 The Tsunami can be thought of as the butterfly effect of the statue that was drowned in the 12th century or a natural occurence that resulted in a miracle by saving millions of lives or whatever. But it also imples that it made govind and andal reunite in front of the same statue where they were seperated 800 years back!!

Finally, Dasavatharam says life is nothing but a cycle.You are bound to experience the effects of your actions either now, or in the future,or in your next birth. You are provided with the free will to do what you want with your current life. But your actions will not only affect you but also the peolpe around you resulting in a buttefly effect which might lead to unbelievable consequences in some part of the world. You have to experience the effects for what you have caused. Until then life keeps repeating like a cycle.

The movie clearly states about Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect [Kamal says it in his Speech in the Movie]. 

The concept of “CHAOS THEORY” and “BUTTERFLY EFFECT”, by itself is a complex concept, which mainly highlights the happening of huge unimaginable things because of least probable things…!!!!

In essence,Dasa talks about 10 characters who are inconsequential as such,but are integrated in a larger picture.Without Bush,the plane would have been called back.Without Shinghen, Govind would be dead.Without the tsunami,the world would have been destroyed.Even Krishnaveni Patti plays a very important role.If she had not put the vial in the idol,maybe Govind would have recovered it then and there and a powerful weapon would have been unleashed.The very fact that it went into the idol meant that it was being accelerated to its destiny.Without Kaifulla Khan, Govind would have never escaped;the list simply goes on.

Check this link for a clear and complete explanation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

 In the above links u can see that butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. So in dasavatharam that idol thrown into sea in 12th century is the cause for tsunami…. so everything is interlinked .The wiki entry also says that chaos could play an important role in plate techtonics. Which means even the 12th century incident is connected.

 The 1st scene is perfectly connected to the climax, remember what Kamal says in the 1st scene, that he will not say “Om Nama Shivaya” , but Asin tells him to chant it , but still Kamal refuses , ( in this kamal in his story tries to tell that ) Nambi believes in his god more than anything, but Asin feels “Its ok if we change the god or chant other god’s name, its life thats most important.” Now if u see the climax its JUST OPPOSITE…. Kamal doesn’t believe in god much and values lives of people the most…. but Asin deeply believes in god and that too this dialogue comes when both Asin and Kamal’s hand is on the god which came from the sea , and it also means that they are getting united from the place they departed hundreds of years back ( Kamal and Asin).The connection between the 1st scene and the climax in the movie shows the generation circle combined with supernatural powers of GOD and destiny…..!!!

If you watch it closely u can also find another actor who has done double action other than Asin and Kamal. Asin’s father Sahasranamam [12th Century], in the beginning he says to Nambi “Panchatchira manthirathai sollitu vaango mappillai” and at the End [After tsunami] he says “Avar enna jathiyo inga vaanga paati “.

Nambi explanation

 

Okay, this is slightly outside the chaotic system driving the film as a whole.From what I could gather he says that this story is about ideologies like God,the madness surrounding such ideologies and decides to tell the story of the Shaivite-Vaishnavite conflict to show how people go crazy in the name of God as an example.

 

As a loose end,it gets tied up in the end,when the Ranganathar idol is thrown out of the sea due to the tsunami which highlights the cyclic nature of life.Actually the Nambi character highlights both Chaos and Karma which I explained.That is the brilliance of this film,there is so much to see and understand.

 

Another explanation(and this is slightly far fetched— as explained earlier) is that Govind is in fact the reincarnation of Nambi. As Nambi he couldn’t protect God and died in the name of God.In order to fulfill his Karma,he is reincarnated as Govind Ramasamy who ultimately saves the world from destruction.The idol in the end somewhat hints to this theory; his story began with the idol and it ends with the idol.

As far as the connection with Nambi character and events in 12th Century goes…

The connection is based on the “Butterfly effect “.

When Govind and Andal goes to the bury the idol in the sands, Andal will stumble on a particular stone couple of times…This is the same stone as the one from 12th Century hen Kothai rips her Thaali and flings it at Kulothunga Chozan…it will end up hanging on the stone. So, the implied message here is Andal is Kothai reborn in the 21s century.

During the encounter with Santhana Bharathi in the sand quarry, it is repeat of the incident from 12th century. Instead of Kulothunga Chozhan, it is the Sand Mafia which tries to inflict damage on the land.

This movie is a brilliant juxtaposition of independent characters whose paths cross, if only briefly, which is stunning example of Chaos Theory.

The idol that is drowned in the sea along with Rangarajan in 12th century by Chozha king results in a fault being developed at the bottom of the ocean and creates tremors more than 800 years later. These tremors result in the Tsunami. This again is a classic case of Butterfly Effect wherein a seemingly inconsequential event (the drowning of the idol) saves Tamil Nadu from being wiped out off the face of the earth.

But actually Kamal has not left anything for our imagination… Explanation struck the right chord, Kamal does tell to Asin in a dialogue that idol which gets sunken back then gets struck between the tectonic plates under the sea and causes tsunami…

Many people missed this dialogue i guess. Kamal’s accent was so very perfect Tamil, that many people missed it…. Being perfect Is a Problem by Itself !!! 🙂

Although the explanation is a least possible theory, that is what “Chaos Theory” And “Butterfly Effect” are all about.

Its not just the statue that caused the tsunami, but it just started a large chain of effects which kept multiplying exponentially and finally lead to it after 800 years….!!

Why just say this concept is perfectly illogical… it is possible… thats what i have been explaining all the while !!!

The story line is that things going wrong are made to be right which involves many people and countries knowingly or unknowingly.

Knowingly:

Bush, Manmohan Singh, Govindh, Fletcher, Balaram Naidu, Mallika Sherawath.

 Unknowingly: 

  • Nambi’s drowning to death with the heavy statue causes simple changes to the seabed that causes a devastating tsunami 800 years later [Acc. to Chaos theor it is possible…. although it is least probable… It is possible.. so nothing TOTALLY WRONG About it ]
  • Poovaragan(actually saved kamal unknowingly—when poovaragan enters kamal and asin were caught by those manal kollayargal.There poovaragan distracts the gang helping kamal to escape),
  • Avatar Singh(gave way to Fletcher to escape in the airport unknowingly),
  • Japanese(saved govind from fletcher,he knows he is saving but he doesnt know about the play and was there only for revenge),
  • Kallifulla and family(saved govind unknowingly)……..
  • Vincent is a dalit leader of a lower caste( the so called ) but saved an Iyengar Girl ……and at the end becomes the con of the Iyengar Paati !!
  • If Shingen Narahashi’s sister was not killed, Fletcher could have killed govind and used the virus for wrong purpose..

It is marvellous that Kamal has used such a device in Abhoorva Saghodhararghal, way back in 1989. To kill Delhi Ganesh, for those of you who do not remember… yet another Eg. of Chaos Theory And butterfly Effect !

 The plot concept of Dasavadhaaram is logically explained by a machine used by Him in His own screenplay back then too, before 20 Years!! Be it a coincidence, or He possibly had that in mind as an inspiration, it amazes me!!

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Analysis of Dasavatharam Movie – Part I

Dasavatharam in a Tamil film (dubbed in various languages) and has Kamal Hassan in 10 different roles (first of its kind in the world of cinema). He is paired with Asin and has Nagesh, K.R. Vijaya (veterans) playing supportive roles. The story and screenplay is by Kamal Hassan, while the music has been handled by Himesh Reshammiya. Ace director K.S.Ravikumar is at the helm of things. This is the 4th film that K.S.Ravikumar and Kamal Hassan have done together. Avvai Shanmughi, Tenali & Panchathanthiram being the other 3.

 The movie was a success in Tamilnadu. The main reason attributed to that could be the fact that people thronged to see Kamal Hassan in 10 different roles. But if one could also appreciate the script and the various scientific & philosophical theories that are used subtly and loudly across the movie, it becomes an interesting film to watch.

 I have put together here some of the articles and analysis from various sources as well as my own analysis. This write-up shall be spread over 2-3 blogs due to the size of the article.

 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:

Krishna avatar – Vincent Poovaraghavan

 Vincent PoovaraghanLord 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

Balarama avatar – Balarama naidu  Balaram Naidu

This is an easy given. as the name suggests and the role personifies you can easily get it.

 Mathsya avatar – Ragaraja nambi

  

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?

 Varaha avatar – Krishnaveni paatti KrishnaveniDuring 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.

This post shall be continued….

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