Review - Dashavatar: Oh, really?

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quick review:

A quick overview of Hindu mythology for kids. Doesn't look like it is completely researched or devoid of biases, though!

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Note: The names mentioned in the cast above have given their voices to various characters. Visit the official site for details.


Not to be confused with Tamil film Dasavtharam, Dashavtar is a Hindi animated film. It is literally about the 10 avtars of Lord Vishnu according to Hindu mythology. Good if the aim is to educate kids about our mythology without reading books or presenting our own interpretation of the religion to them.

This description of God and his greatness is pretty skewed according to me. I'm a Hindu too, but I doubt my God is so ego-centric that he won't grant me my wishes if I don't pray to him. Closing my eyes and regurgitating lines in Sanskrit that I don't understand has never gone down well with me. So, when Ajay and his little sister who are sort-of anchors that link the 10 avatars are told to say a "mantra" to get to another place, I cringe. And wonder, do I really want my kids to have faith without understanding?

That besides though, if the aim is just to get kids acquainted with the subject, Dashatar might be a good start. Of course, 10 stories are told in about 110 minutes, so expectations of details should be minimal. Especially in the longer tales of Rama and Krishna.

However, not everything is accurate from whatever tales I've heard since childhood. Not that I have researched the topic in depth, but I have always seen Ravana with ten heads, never with seven. Also, I always thought Ravana was a competitor for Sita's swayamwar (the practice in which a girl chooses a husband from a list of suitors). Then why is he surprised to see that Sita is actually beautiful. And why was Buddha avatar completely omitted? Blunders for a movie aimed at educating the young, if you ask me.

But, then again, they have tried to keep it light by including songs. And don't miss the bollywoodification of the Gods and the demons in the Kurma (Turtle) avatar. It is hilarious! Might even offend some people.

There's nothing much I can say about the low budget animation other than the fact that it is obviously low budget. And it is low on creativity too. I don't understand why all, Narada, Vishnu, Brahma look the same. Similarly, Sita and Laxmi look the same too. Yet, you see glimpses of good use of colors in a couple of songs, "Ram Ram Sri Ram" and "Tim tim tim tim tare".

So, I would much rather read a Tinkle on the subject to my kids. But, that would be mainly because of the ideological differences with the way God is portrayed. Otherwise, barring a few glaring flaws pointed like the ones above, this movie might be a good way to introduce mythology to the little ones.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Wars and killings are all over the place. Nothing gory, but every time a demon gains power, Lord Vishnu takes on an avatar as per the need of the situation to kill him.
  • Sexual content: An angel seduces the demons. Nothing very sensuous about it, but nevertheless, its odd to see Gods and Demons behaving like humans.
  • Concept: As explained in review above.
  • General Look and Feel: An attempt has been made to maintain humor throughout. Other than that it is like any other mythological animated movie that has come out in recent times.

Dashavatar - Movie Details

Dashavatar - Trailer

Comments (3)

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Dashavatar - Review...

A quick overview of Hindu mythology for kids. Doesn't look like it is completely researched or devoid of biases, though!...

Pritam:

Hi Meetu,

Follow your blog. Quite like it. :-)

We have started a site on Indian movies recently. Would like to link your blog, soon to our site. Will really appreciate, if you could check out the site and send across feedback on mail.

Thanks,

Pritam

meetu:

Thanks, Mayur! That's a shame though. It would have been nice to see the Buddha avatar too. Oh, well...

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