In the impasse between the producers and the multiplex distributors, Kamal Hassan's latest offering DASHAVATARAM has released in the cinema halls today and there is a lots of anticipation that the film would be able to make money as there is no competition.
DASHAVATARAM was originally made in Tamil, and then translated into Telugu, the Hindi version has taken quite a long time to come and the point to ponder in the case of the film is whether the audience would be inclined to watch ten different avatars of Kamal Hassan. One redeeming feature this film is that it has sought to diffuse the divide between the North and South India, so one of the characters that Kamal Hassan is playing in the film is that of a Sikh Pop Star. It is a significant shift as, as in the normal circumstances in the Tamil films the baddies are generally those who speak Hindi or hail from the Hindi heartland. DASHAVATARAM is also the film in which Daler Mehndi has sung a song in Tamil, his first in his musical oeuvre.
Kamal Hassan has been experimenting with the genre of enacting multiple roles in his films, and this trend is perceptible for quite a long time. It all probably started with HINDUSTANI where he played an old man as also a young man. In the role of the older man he had brought the character of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose alive after a long time. CHACHI 420 followed it where he had played the role of a lover and a female servant, getting inspired from MRS. DOUBT FIRE. He followed it up with APPU RAJA, where again the different characters that he enacted were an illustration of his zeal to portray as diversified characters as can be possible through a film.
DASHVATARAM seems to be an acme of his sojourn for portraying as diversified characters as possible. But the moot point is that the Hindi cinema aficionados have still not developed a liking for seeing an actor portraying such multiple roles. It may provide the creative satisfaction to the actor, but the audience does not bite into it. Would Kamal Hassan be able to buck the trend this time around, the time would only tell, and if it does, then Kamal Hassan can get a new lease of live among the audience of Hindi cinema. In the video circuits, the dubbed versions of the films made in Tamil and Telugu are popular, rather hurtled down the throat of audiences where they do not have choice, as while traveling, but dubbed films releasing in Hindi, but for a ROZA have to make a mark. Would DASHAVATARAM be able to do it?