Dasavathaaram had Kamal Haasan playing 10 different roles, including a 12th-century priest, an old woman, a Japanese martial artist, an American assassin, and former President of the United States, George W Bush.
As Dasavathaaram turned 13 on Sunday, actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan spoke about the efforts that went into making the film. It came out in theatres on June 13, 2008, and emerged as one of the top-grossing films of that year. However, by all accounts, this was not an easy film to make given its limited budget, and a dearth of courage in the industry to take on a project of this scale at the time.
In a series of Instagram posts, Kamal noted that he had a tough time finding a director who believed in Dasavathaaram as much as he did. “Dasavatharam was a script which was declined by many directors who said they didn’t understand it , and quite unexpectedly Mr Ravikumar jumped at it. He immediately claimed it was a winner, and was surprised that it was turned down and asked to make the film while on a telephonic conversation with me at Eldams road. That’s how the movie came into being! (sic),” he wrote on the film’s anniversary.
Kamal said that he wouldn’t have been successful in pulling off 10 different roles so convincingly without the help of Academy Award-winning makeup artist Michael Westmore. “Mr Michael Westmore bent over backwards and did a stupendous job during the trial . Everyday for 21 days was hard work and one time Mr Michael also pushed himself in helping me with wiring me for a photo shoot held me too as I wanted to try a kick a certain way. Sometimes I did two different looks /make ups as we were building the makeup in layers and it was done in a lab,” he said.
Dasavathaaram had Kamal playing 10 different roles, including a 12th-century priest, an old woman, a Japanese martial artist, an American assassin, and former President of the United States, George W Bush. “Mr Westmore was the 11th Avatar of the film , without him the other 10 would not have been possible,” he added.
A post shared by Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan)
A challenging project technically, Kamal said many people quit the project halfway, citing their inability to meet his expectations. “All of my technicians helped me complete the project through all the insults, quarrels, stressful environment etc and I am grateful to them and on the other hand, I would never forget or forgive those technicians who gave up and ran away like rats ditching the project. If you believe in something , it can always be achieved and example from way before is Aboorva Sagotharargal. It was not done by just a number crunching producer, but a visionary too. So also Pushpak , which had two visionaries and a businessman as producers helming it and hence it was done in a small tight budget and yielded great results,” recalled Vishwaroopam star.
Dasavathaaram revolves around the struggles of a bio-scientist, who realizes that his research could be turned into a bio-weapon.
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