wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
A quick overview of Hindu mythology for kids. Doesn't look like it is completely researched or devoid of biases, though!Read more
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
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Since, this a well-known mythological story and is way too long too, I'll just point to the wikipedia link for those of you who want details.
I always liked the way the chronological order of the avatars resembles Darwin's theory of evolution.
Also, I always liked how close to human some of the aspects of the Gods and demons were in Hindu mythology. They also got angry, lusted for women, had fears, were jealous, etc.
I just don't like the idea of "Pray with a true heart and you will get what you ask for." One has to work hard towards getting what we want. All you can ask for is moral support and goodwill, which no God is going to refuse anyway - whether you pray or not.