Tag Archives: chaos

chaos in dasavathaaram

Maybe this is the first time a movie is based on a famous theory. And since I anticipated this even before watching the movie, it was even more interesting as each scene convinced me that the functioning of the whole world is based on chaos theory. Clearly, the movie Dasavathaaram has made people turn pages in various books and study chaos. I did that too.

a timepass example:
Think of this.
Someone sometime in the distance past planted a sapling. The sapling grows and becomes a huge tree after many years. There is a dry twig in the tree. It falls down. A few miles apart, there is a bird. It wants to build a nest. The bird picks up the twig and takes it to a suitable place and builds a nest. The bird then lays eggs. There is a naughty boy who tries to get those eggs. He throws a stone. The stone misses and hits a small water pipe in a nearby house. The house owner sees the water leak and spends some time mending it. As a result, he starts late to office. He misses the last bus which he generally takes. And then he comes to know that the bus he missed met with an accident……. I’ll stop here.

my attempt on explaining chaos:
What exactly is chaos?
The definition goes thus: “Chaos theory attempts to explain the fact that complex and unpredictable results can and will occur in systems that are sensitive to their initial conditions”

This definition can be decrypted by telling that every event occurring around us has got some significance. What significance? No one would know until the event becomes noticeable and significant by itself. Every single event that happens in this world has a significance.

Suppose a series of events result in a final state. If even one of the events does not happen, there MIGHT have been a completely different final state. The word, “might” is important because we just cannot predict what would happen. Consider the example above. Even if one of the events had not occurred, it would have cost that person his life.

Nature is the best example for chaos theory. Everything that happens in nature might be seemingly unrelated, but they do have some relation. And nature is unpredictable. How many would have believed that the spray bottles ( deodorants, etc. ) that were being manufactured a few years before would actually contribute to the hole in ozone layer ???

The most important point in chaos theory is that the events occurring are NOT random. They just dont happen without any cause or reason. Everything follows a pattern. It is just that no one can know what the pattern is. You cannot predict the future.


How can chaos theory be related to the events in dasavathaaram ? .

Let us start from the longest possible chain of events: Had there not been the cholas, there would not have been that temple in that area. The place would not have been a heritage place, as Vincent pointed out while arguing against the sand mafia. Vincent “might” not have come to the place at all. Govind and Andal might not have had the chance to escape from them. They would not have stolen the lorry. The collision with the van would not have happened. The Muslim lady would not have been injured. They might not have gone to the hospital. And then they might not have got the freezer box…. Now you can understand the chain which continues further. This is just a single example among many.

To clearly show that there is a connection between the 12th century and the 21st century, the huge stone idol that was thrown into the waters in the past, washes ashore. The tsunami which killed many people also helped in saving millions from the mass destruction due to the bio weapon which would have caused devastation on a far greater scale. And the tsunami is due to the movements of the tectonic plates that were formed millions of years ago.

Moreover, the stone idol is rempved from the temple in the 12th century….The idol of perumal lands on a mound of sand at the same place in the 21st century ( exactly before intermission ) and both the stone idol of 12th century and the idol of 21st century are close by at the end of the movie. Now, is this coincidence ???

No one who watches the movie would fail to notice the butterfly. Of what significance is a butterfly to this kamal movie ??? It is just that the movie tries to explain “the butterfly effect”. Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist studied various patterns in weather. Using a few mathematical equations, he saw a particular sequence in the weather pattern and forecast. Another day, he tried to analyse the weather using the same set of equation but a slightly ( very very slightly ) different value. Though he did not expect the same pattern, he expected a somewhat similar pattern. But what he found was a completely different pattern. He concluded that the weather is unpredictable. These observations were the foundations for chaos theory. Lorenz published a paper in which he says that, “the flutter of a butterfly’s wings in China could, in fact, actually effect weather patterns in New York City, thousands of miles away”. Thus it came to be called as “the butterfly effect”. And hence you see a butterfly in the movie. We see the butterfly in the beginning of the movie and at the end, which just suggests that all the patterns however unpredictable they were, really connected themselves from the beginning of the story to the end.

The story begins with the stone idol and ends with the same. Kamal and Asin get separated at the beginning and they join together at the end. They hold hands on the same idol.

The movie has no confusion in it. Everything is simple. The storytelling could not have been any simpler. And the story keeps the audience guessing the next event, the next scene, the climax and more. This itself is a testimony that the makers of Dasavathaaram have succeeded in explaining the theory of chaos.

Also read my article on dasavathaaram demystified

dasavathaaram demystified

I have never seen Sathyam crowded at 8 in the morning, eager to watch a movie. Moreover, the whole crowd had tickets that were booked in advance, yet they come more than one hour before the screening. I have never seen the whole crowd wait and watch the movie till the last frame ends. All this and more in Dasavathaaram.

the genius:

Take ten different prime numbers. I claim that the ten roles of kamal in the movie are like these ten prime numbers. Each role of kamal is unique in its own way, much similar to the ten primes. Similar to the primes having one common factor (1), the ten roles have one common feature, the genius of kamal.

chaos theory:

The movie is based on a very famous theory called “chaos theory”. The simplest description would be “the butterfly effect”, which states that the fluttering wings of a butterfly in China can cause great changes in weather conditions in New York, which is thousands of miles away. And you can also see a butterfly in the movie when kamal explains the chaos theory in a scene. Basically, an event might seem trivial, but it might cause great effects elsewhere. Life can never be absolutely systematic, life cannot be described by a pattern. But life is not random either. Occurrence of every event has a reason, with nearly impossible predictability.

The clash between saivites and vaishnavites in the 12th century and the sunken statue need not be the direct cause for the tsunami in 21st century. But, that incident might have triggered a series of effects which ultimately led to the tsunami. Dasavathaaram tries to explain the subtle concept of chaos theory using ten delicate strands of sub-stories perfectly handled and woven together to form a perfect masterpiece. We can also notice that Andal in 21st century trips over the same stone on which Kodhai bangs her head in the 12th century. The thaali that Kodhai flings at Kulothunga Chozhan also falls on this stone statue.

the connection:

The important feature in the movie is that every part of the movie is linked with each other. It was Kulothunga Chozhan in 12th century and it was the sand mafia in the 21st century. And the place is the same.

In the 12th century, Rangaraja Nambi is devoted to God but Kodhai pleads to kamal telling that it is not wrong to chant a different mantra, for the benefit of oneself and one’s family. In the 21st century, it is the opposite. Andal is devoted to God but Govindraj is not.

In the 12th century, Rangaraja Nambi tries to save the idol from being removed. He also is tied to the idol. In the 21st century, Andal tries to save the idol from being taken away or mishandled.


If a film can be called “perfect” in all aspects, the pick would be Dasavathaaram. The perfectionist in Kamal is evident in every scene. One very intricate detail, the microphone held by Avatar Singh while performing, proves this fact. The birds flying away just before tsunami also must be noted.


The technology in Indian cinema might be similar to that of Hollywood cinema ten years before, but Dasavathaaram has proved this notion wrong. The whole first half and most of the second half had some great shots and camera work. Especially the fight scenes, the car chase, with sparks from the flat tyres and so on.


Dialogues in the movie are powerful at places where they ought to be powerful and humorous where they ought to be so. One dialogue really caught my attention: “You are the south side of the north side facing horse…”. Dialogues like “Remember Hiroshima … Remember Pearl Harbor” really sends a message ringing in our minds. Wordplay is used in many places, as evident in “Terrific Scientist or Scientific Terrorist…”.


We find that in the movie, kamal appears as a Hindu, Muslim, Christian and a Sikh. Probably to spread the message that the purpose of all religions is to show the people the path to divinity, which is single. One very touching scene is where Krishnaveni paati considers Vincent as her own son who died years before, and gives vent to all her feelings. Caste or color does not distinguish a person. It is one’s character that does.


More efforts could have been made towards the graphics part, which stood as an odd man out amidst some excellent shots and technology. Especially, the piercing of hooks on Nambi seemed too artificial. Same is the case with certain parts in the tsunami scene. The graphics is too good when compared to the graphics in other tamil movies, but for Dasavathaaram, they were not as expected. And all the science that I have studied never taught me that one can see virus through binoculars.

For those who come to watch this movie expecting commercial elements and not the story, this might look like an unsolved puzzle. The key to understanding this movie and its intricate details, one must understand oneself. Those who cannot understand the movie must not claim that the movie is a stupid one. Those who say that the movie has no story must realize that no other movie made till date has packed so much story and details in three hours. A lot of research and thinking has gone into the movie, apart from the devoted effort for two years. This is a movie to be remembered.

Also read my article on chaos in dasavathaaram