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Kamal in ‘Dasavatharam’ impresses Karunanidhi

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RAISING EXPECTATIONS: A poster of the film.
RAISING EXPECTATIONS: A poster of the film.

Meera Srinivasan

The effort earns him a kiss and a hug from CM

CHENNAI: With about five days left for the audio launch of Dasavatharam, the latest dope on what seems like one of the most extravagant pre-release events is Kollywood’s latest interest.

Apart from Jackie Chan and other senior artists from different parts of the country, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will also participate in the mega event to be held at the Nehru Indoor Stadium. It will later be telecast on Kalaignar TV, industry sources said.

The team showed a trailer of the film to the Chief Minister recently. Mr. Karunanidhi is said to have been very impressed with Kamal Haasan’s efforts and congratulated him with a hug and a kiss. He asked the actor, “Are all those people really you?”

Sources said the actor plays 10 different characters and the story is not about one person in different guises.

It is learnt that the story begins with an episode set in the 12th century, and then looks at coincidences. In this, Kamal plays Nambi, a staunch Vaishnavite priest. Lyricist Vaali’s lines - ‘Kallai mattum paarthal kadavul theriyadu, kadavul mattum paarthal kalladi theriyadu…” powerfully describe the character’s devotion in playback singer Hariharan’s voice.

The other characters are an American, a Chinese man, a CBI officer from Andhra Pradesh, an old lady, a leader from Afghanistan, a Scheduled Tribes’ leader, George Bush, a Punjabi and one character, who looks like Kamal normally does.

The film apparently has a very simple screenplay sans usual elements of commercial films such as duets and unwarranted action. The actor has dubbed for all the characters, modulating his voice appropriately. Besides watching a lot of video recordings of George Bush, the actor also put in extra efforts to get his tone and accent right. He also took the help of daughter Shruti while attempting to perfect the accent.

Make-up menace

The make up for the different characters took as long as nine hours. However, it would not stay even for an hour. This meant that the actor started his day at 3 a.m., spent time on make up till noon, started shooting at 1 p.m. and wound up before 2 p.m. He would sit straight and drink fluids using a straw with minimum possible movement of facial muscles to ensure the make up was not disturbed.

The still (used here) is to be blown up to form a backdrop at the audio launch on Friday. It shows Nambi chained and tied to an idol of Vishnu and thrown into the sea.

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