Movie critics across a spectrum of publications have found Kamal Haasan’s freak show Dasavatharam less than satisfying.
Here are excerpts from a sample of Dasavatharam Reviews:
Dasavathaaram, unfortunately, remains just a film with its USP of 10 Kamals. This Kamal does not blossom the way he did in Indian or Nayakan, Appu Raja, Mahanadi, Avvai Shanmughi or in Thevar Magan.
As a Kamal admirer, I left the hall disappointed. Amid all the grandeur of a massive canvas, I missed the soul.
One of the best in the business falters with the film’s story and screenplay.
Dasavatharam will fall short of the huge expectation and hype it had generated.
So what went wrong? It had absolutely no story to speak of, and the twists and turns were predictable. In the end, it turned out to be a routine film rendered more aggravating by its incessant near-miss plot structure. You desperately want to like the film for its maddeningly zany characters played out by Kamal Hassan. Alas! There’s only so much life an actor can pump into a moribund script. It once again proves the old theory that, without a proper story and script, no film, however big the actors are, can succeed.
Rediff (Shobha Warrier):
In fact, it is very easy to dislike the film and get dissatisfied with the much hyped ten performances….
But first, let me talk about the 11th role that Kamal Haasan has performed; that of the script writer, which he has failed miserably…
The biggest failure of Dasavathaaram is the lack of a proper story, a tight screenplay and well connected characters. One gets the feeling that because Kamal Haasan wanted to make history by portraying ten different characters, he created them. Otherwise, one cannot think of any justification in him appearing all sorts of get-ups.
The usual filmi gimmicks such as grandma-Kamal walking on the shoulders of people, and Bush-Kamal trying to act hip could have been avoided.
In short, with unexpected twists and turns missing in the film, Dasavatharam is a make-up magic show that disappoints as drama and satisfies as a technical showpiece.
After watching Dasavatharam- the so called magnum opus of the year- an ardent fan of Kamal Hassan will ask why indeed it is called a magnum opus in the first place. Why was all the hype, tension, cases, expectations and unnecessary expenses wasted on this average film. Once again, Kamal fails to attract Tamil audiences with his own script.
Times of India:
EXPERIMENTS aren’t always successful. Like Dasavatharam, Kamal Haasan’s ambitious venture which sees him playing ten roles which include a take on George Bush too. Daring, we’d like to insist; only the make-up and the fake appearance borders more on the comic.
A total mess of a story is compounded by a mostly so-so performance by Kamal Haasan (except in some roles like the Indian intelligence officer Balram Naidu, Patti and Rangaraja Nambi) and below par music.
Since Kamal Haasan also takes credit for the story, screenplay and dialogs in Dasavatharam, it’s only right that the major discredit for the movie should also accrue to this manga madaya (stupid fellow)….
Some of the roles that Kamal plays in Dasavatharam like the activist Vincent Poovaraghan, George W.Bush, the singer Avtar Singh, the 7-ft tall Kalifulla Khan and the Japanese martial arts expert Shingen Narahashi were very poorly fleshed out. It was as if these characters were included just to hit the magic number of ten and justify the title of the movie. An example once again of the sloppy work by Kamal in the story department.
Makeup work for the many roles Kamal Haasan plays in Dasavatharam is a mixed bag. While the makeup was decent for the Indian RAW officer Balram Naidu, Rangaraja Nambi and Patti (grandma), it was sub-mediocre for some of the others, particularly Christian Fletcher and George Bush.