Well the trend continues - I got to watch the movie a day before the actual release inspite of being in Mumbai. Expected a full capacity in the theatre today atleast but it dint happen. Luckily there were some “namma pasanga” who where whistling and shouting which gave some content but still missed watching it in a Chennai screen.
Now, coming to the movie - 7am Arivu is not a remake of any English movie….as it was told earlier. Atleast not the ones I have seen or heard off. The movie is based on the story of a Buddhist monk named Bhodhidharman (Surya) who was supposedly from the Pallava dynasty and lived in Kanchipuram in 6th Century. Ok, now all of you might think how this can be true. I did come back and search it out in Google, it looks like it’s true. And this monk travels to China to stop a disease from spreading to other countries. He succeeds and also helps the people in China to learn self defense and other forms of martial arts. Later they consider him as even God and still worship him in many places in China. Cut. The story then travels to the current China…where the Chinese government plans to initiate a bio-war against India and they send a person (Johnny) to spread a deadly virus. Cut. The story goes to Chennai where Shruthi Hassan who does some research in DNA tries to obtain details about Arvind (Surya) who is in Circus. She finds out that Surya’s and Bodhidharman’s DNA match and he is none other than one of the descendant from Bodhidharman’s family. How, Surya and Shruthi trap and kill Johny and stops the spread of the deadly virus forms the rest of the story.
When it comes to the storyline, Murugadoss has got a dynamite but it’s the screenplay which falters in many places. But there are some exceptional scenes and sequences which keep you wanting for more. But sadly the film ends before that. The scenes of Bodhidharman in the beginning is excellent and should not be missed. Surya carries of the role with ease. The fight sequence between the monk and some Chinese men is first rated and very easily Bodhidharman will pass off as another Superhero (forget Ra-one or even Chitti). There is not much of a romance between the lead pair (not anywhere near Ghajini) but there are some interesting scenes like the one where Surya rides an elephant under Adyar bridge, the scenes in Queensland (was it queensland?) which makes it interesting.
There are lots of “no logic” sequences and also one might wonder why will the Chinese government bank on just one person to launch a bio-war against India and then they are not even bothered about what’s happening. Also, considering it’s a bio-war….where are the Indian representatives, politicians, scientists, advisors, atleast police ? ?. The director has left all that to our thoughts and only focused on Surya, Shruthi and Johnny who fight it out and as usual the hero (and heroine) save India. Cool !! This is where the film draws back big time. What could have been made into as an exceptional scientific and historical film falters in between and becomes a normal film of reincarnation and individual fights between the Hero and Villain.
The role of Arvind (Surya) as a circus man is not utilized fully. Infact you wonder where is Surya in the second half? Most of the dialogues are given to Shruti and she has definitely done a good job reading out the dialogues. Yes, it was funny in some places and could have been better. Johnny is looking good but sadly he does not have any dialogue (he is Chinese, hence) and has to show only expressions. (All of you know how Chinese show their expression….you can watch some dubbed Chinese tamil films in Vijay for examples). He though excels in the fight sequences including the Climax one. The scene where he kills the friend of Shruti will create shivers in you.
The fight sequences are shot nicely. There is a chase in the second half on a heavy traffic road which leads to several accidents and chaos in the traffic…that scene will definitely awe you and is a revelation.
Camera by Ravi K Chandran is superb especially the shots taken in China, the first song shot in and around Chennai (Oh Ringa) and the one shot in the railway track(Yamma Yamma). The later one is choreographed excellently and will be remembered like the “Anjala” song in Varanam Ayiram. “Mun Andhi” was not satisfying especially because it was shot in a location which we would have seen in more than 100 songs. You might get a sense of dejavu when you see the song Yellae lama. It’s high time Surya think about changing the way his songs are choreographed.
Once the movie is over, you actually feel discontented of not seeing more of Bodhidharman. But if you come back and search Google about his story (history) or if your kids get more interested in history and want to visit the museums, I think that will be a great success for Murugadoss than what the movie will earn him.
My Rating – 3 (for letting us know about Bodhidharman)