There are films that are bad and those that are terrible. The first can be tolerated, but the latter, need to be avoided like a disease. Dam 999, that upholds everything from superstition to Brahminical supremacy and racism, is one such film.
A rickety dam threatens millions of life even as a corrupt major ignores it. A young man who returns to his ayurvedic healer father to help cure his son, falls in love with his childhood sweetheart but theirs is a love destined for failure as every expression of their love leads to disaster.
At the face of it Dam 999 looks like a film made to sell India and concept of ayurveda and karma to spirituality-hungry foreigners.
The movie upholds sinister stereotypes. First of all it preaches superstition and intolerance. While the world is moving towards the idea of every man in charge of his destiny, using unintelligible karmic mumbo-jumbo, Dam 999 claims that every man is actually a slave to his fate and it`s hence useless to fight it.
What is the director trying to say here - that an oppressed man stays oppressed, that those struggling should not try to better the lives of their families and communities?
In showing a Brahmin with the ability to see and alter destinies it plays to the racist gallery once again. Further accusation of racism can be levied when it picks a dark coloured man, Ashish Vidyarthi, to play the ruthless mayor, the only villain in the film.
Dam-999 is also an anti-disabled film. It shows a wheel-chair bound person miraculously cured in no time by ayurveda. This does two things, show ayurveda to be a magic pill and secondly inspire parents to reject their disabled kids further, obsessed as they are anyways with finding cure for their children`s `abnormality`.
Yet, the film could have made a statement against man`s insane desire to control nature. Though it tries, it was so muted and blurred that it actually does disservice to the possible cause.
Good direction, actors and attention to detail could have salvaged the film. Sadly it manages to find the worst actors to play their individual parts.
Vimala Raman who plays Meera, a ayurvedic doctor who has never been abroad, has an anglicized English ascent, while Joshua Fredric Smith has such a terribly accented and uncontrolled English diction that it is hard to understand what he is saying most of the time.
The usually brilliant Rajit Kapur is also unconvincing as a South Indian. Ashish Vidyarthi, however, does a good job as a barbaric mayor. The special effects and 3D isn`t comment worthy either.
Director Sohan Roy is a multimillionaire businessman. Perhaps it is his megalomania, where those he hired wouldn`t tell him what was wrong, that ensures that the film receives a quick watery grave.
In the end, the only thing damned in this dam-burst of mediocrity, is the film itself. It is indeed a shame that Warner Bros. couldn`t find anything better to promote than this `damned` film. Other talented directors would suffer due to this.
DAM999 is a tribute to the lost souls of the world`s worst man made dam disasters which claimed a toll of lives. Around 250,000 people died in 1975 Banqiao dam disaster in China. The collapse of this dam did not make it to the world for over 15 years. It was worse than what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. DAM999 spreads the message about the consequences of an unfortunate disaster which is predicted in the near future. Dam999, a fact worth waiting for.
Suspense in the movie titles it as a thriller. DAM999 portrays the realities of life, some shared and some unshared. Navarasa or 9 human emotions are shown by 9 characters in the movie. Just as a Dam holds water, the 9 characters in the movie hold back their emotions, which eventually breaks out during a disaster drawing the audience to a gripping climax.
The foundation of astrology, considered as the pillars of influence on human beings. According to Hindu customs, the Navagraha are typically placed in a single square with the Sun (Surya) in the center and the other deities surrounding Surya. It is a mystical arrangement with lot of facts in it. The secrets of this unknown science will be revealed to the world through DAM999.
Navarasa is the essence of Dam999. It is the idea steering its story and the nine lead characters in it. Dam999 brings into play the long standing concept of Navarasa but in a way that is exceptionally original. The individuality of the characters is the element that each character is the personification of one rasa. Their nature, the intensity of their reactions, their strengths, their failings - all guided by the rasa they represent, which in turn shape the story of Dam999. This very factor makes the movie the only one of its kind ever made.
Life in the sea has always created a lot of inquisitiveness for a layman to know more about a mariners life and the marine world. `DAM999` is an answer to all the questions which entices an individual who has never been to the sea. Vast Oceans conceal within them endless tales, some told and few untold. There are various moments of amazement, adventure and agony which are solely shared by a mariner who confronts the sea. `DAM999` is an initiative to replicate these reflections on screen and portray it to the world.
Music has always been considered as the rhythm of life. DAM999 will give the audience a feel of the 9 character with 9 assorted tunes. The concept of a musical movie will be redefined by DAM999.
A culture rich country like India requires more than words, the reels of the movie will speak for the forgotten shades of India. The script of DAM999 makes sure that the rich heritage of the country doesn`t go unnoticed.
Nine Forms of Lost Love
Love refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly care for another person. Many have written about the types of love but not many have explored the concept of lost love. DAM999 depicts the 9 forms of lost love through various sequences- Unexpressed Love,Sacrificed Love, Mistaken Love, love that was not returned, love Separated by fate, love unable to return, love that was expressed late, withdrawn Love, loving and realizing it cannot be fulfilled.
The movie sheds light on the magical healing power of Ayurveda - A lifestyle unknown to many. This method of treatment has proved its worth and cured many conceding them with health and a promising future. The movie sheds light on ayurvedic treatments of many diseases like Psoriasis , juvenile diabetes , paralysis and many more.