‘7am Arivu‘, an experimental venture in Tamil cinema has brought about much discussion in online forums with people expressing their take on the film and the pros and cons in it.
Movie lovers, Dewali has passed and so have the biggies released this festive season – 7am Arivu, Velayudham and Ra.One. As I’ve seen the reviews written by movie critics and the comments by movie lovers regarding A.R Murugadoss‘ masterpiece, I was wondering what mistakes were made by the director in the movie. I watched the movie the next day of Dewali and realized that 7am Arivu is one of the gems produced in the Tamil movie industry.
Why do I say so?
Everyone should understand that the Tamil movie industry is growing. There are lots to improve, and everyone in the industry is working hard in order to do so. And so does our beloved director A.R Murugadoss. Some said that the movie had a weak screenplay, portraying a usual love story between a guy and a girl, as being told in many Tamil movies. Some proclaimed that Surya didn’t fit the role of Bodhidharma and Shruti Hassan‘s Tamil language pronunciation was very bad and yet she acted as a Tamil patriot, while some said that the movie was not logical and didn’t make any sense at all. I was VERY much surprised by some viewers who even commented that this movie is a total waste to watch while Velayudham and Ra.One were way better.
It’s pathetic to see how some movie viewers can murder a high quality movie in split seconds by their unreasonable comments. 7am Arivu is a high quality movie. It’s a sci-fi thriller, which has a good blend mix of history, science, medicine, emotions, entertainment and a message. Before anyone watches this movie, let me ask, how many of us know Bodhidarma? Of course, some would have known it earlier. But, majority of us got a very good introduction of the famous historical figure who was forgotten by his own race – Tamilians, only thru 7am Arivu.
Hats off to Mr. A.R Murugadoss and his team for making a very strong subject as the base of this wonderful movie.After 20 minutes of traveling in history, we are brought to the present day, in which a martial arts specialist is sent to India to complete a bio-war on India by China. And how the character Arvind is linked to Subha (Shruti Hassan) that brought them together to stop the bio-war by bringing back a man in the form of Bodhidarma formed the crux of the story. So, let me ask. Which part of the movie had a weak screenplay? It’s a story, and we are viewing it. The movie showed a soft and slow love story between a common man and a girl. Movie viewers should accept the storyline as it is, and if there are any flaws in the story that is shown, then one should criticize it. If one can watch a slow and sweet love story like Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya for two and a half hours, he or she should be able to accept the matured screenplay in 7am Arivu. Of course, one might wonder of why a wonderful movie like 7am Arivu has to have songs. One must understand that 7am Arivu is a movie which explains about science. This movie had the best simplified explanations of each scientific term such as hypnotism, DNA etc. As any movie maker, A.R Murugadoss surely wants his movie to run big in theatres as well. That’s why songs and good blend of entertainment was inserted into this movie to entertain B and C class audiences.
Next, let me ask, why some said Surya did not fit the role of Bodhidarma? Now, after watching this movie, try mentioning the name of Bodhidharman and Surya‘s image will appear automatically in your mind. Why is that so? Its not just because Surya is a famous actor, it is also because he had brought the character of Bodhidarma alive through his hard work, effort and look in this movie. It is true that many talented actors such as Vikram, Kamal Hassan can bring out the character as well and Surya is one of the talented actors who can do that too. We should really appreciate the hard work done by him.
And, why does one have to say that Shruti Hassan did not speak proper Tamil in this movie? One should really watch and listen to her pronunciation. It was apt. And of course, she might have a bit of English accent in her speaking, that’s because she is a genetic engineering student in this movie, not a Tamil literature student, and we are very sure that the syllabus for engineering students is in English. Even we nowadays have the influence of English in our speaking, but one can’t say that we don’t love Tamil and not Tamil patriots. It’s just a humble request; those who look down upon Tamil language should start speaking in Tamil instead of criticizing Shruti Hassan‘s Tamil.
The next question that I would like to raise is why do some say that the movie is not logical? Why did some say that the movie doesn’t make any sense at all? It’s purely logical if you ask me. Why does one believe that when a spider bites a man, and the spider’s genes could combine with man’s and form him as Spiderman, but couldn’t accept that a man who has 80% of DNA match with his ancestor could transform into his ancestor by DNA transfusion? I think the disease of looking at Hollywood movies in awe still exists among us which sometimes fails us to appreciate the hard work by Kollywood. Velayudham might be entertaining, and Ra.One could be magnificent in graphics, but why does one compare movies of different genres and makes a good movie to flop? If we were to compare these movies, I would say that Ra.One and Velayudham are not comparable to 7am Arivu, because 7am Arivu is a milestone in Tamil movie industry.
Velayudham is an entertaining movie, but Kollywood would not grow if the same styles of movies are being made. Audiences want something new. Ra.One is milestone in the history of graphics and visual effects in India, but as a common mistake, importance has been given only to graphics and promotions whereas the story lacked depth and had many loopholes.
In conclusion, we should appreciate and welcome good movies such as 7am Arivu for its magnum opus effort and brilliance. There are 2 minor flaws, one is the illogical accident and fight scenes during Dong Lee chasing Surya and Shruti Hassan, and another one is weak BGM at places, but these minor ones did not fail the movie which nailed a very strong message in our hearts and minds. Just a humble request, please do not spread false rumors about this movie. (In a social networking site, it came out that 7th Sense (Telugu version) showed that Bodhidarma is from a different place, not Kanchivaram, and the Hindi version said that Bodhidarma is from Dhravti. Later, Surya expressed it in his press meet saying that it was a false rumor and the Hindi version of the movie is not even released.)
Please support good movies and continue supporting Kollywood.
7am Arivu – What went wrong?
7am Arivu will be one of the best example of what mistakes you should not do when you are attempting to make a classic!
The script of 7am Arivu is a class apart and had all the potentials to take Tamil cinema and present itself to the world and create a swashbuckling character and execute a franchise. The intention of Mr. A.R Murugadoss has to be specially applauded and his execution is also top notch matching international standards with top notch performances from the all involved, however, he compromised or misjudged 2 important aspects while making 7am Arivu and it clearly shows the difference.
I was analyzing then what went wrong?
All critics unanimously wrote off the movie within the first 3 hours of its release and world over fans of Surya and A.R Murugadoss were updating statuses that the movie is good and not as bad as it has been reviewed…and trying to save the movie with all their love and support….again I was wondering what went wrong ?
Finally I managed to watch the movie at Devi Paradise, Chennai and I must admit that I did enjoy the movie but in parts and was left with some kind of an incompleteness. It was like smelling very tasty food and while eating not feeling the same. Twenty minutes into the movie and I started sensing that the director had lost his chance of crafting a masterpiece. I was mesmerized by the introduction of the character “Bhodi Dharma” and completely fascinated by the informative proceedings, however, I just could not relate to that powerful character “Bhodi Dharma“. Why, the musical score simply failed to strike the right chord and take this character to an all new level nor find a place in my mind to sculpture this character as a cult one. The music - BG score just let down the character “Bhodi Dharma” and A.R Murugadoss from making a classic.
Background music is the heart of any film and it decides how much it can strike a chord with the audience and this was the biggest stake and deciding factor, from making a movie a normal one or a classic. There are scenes where Ilayaraja simply talks with your mind with his BG Score (Watch Mouna Raagam to Pithamagan or the latest Paa and you will understand what I am saying here). A.R Rahman taking your visual experience to an all new level with his BG score in films like Lagaan, Guru, Vinnathandi Varuvaaya, Slumdog Millionaire and Jodha Akhbar is another example. Harris Jayaraj did the same with Kaakha Kaakha and Vaaranam Aayiram, where his BG score simply added more color to the proceedings. Spiderman, Superman, James Bond, Dhoom, Krishh, Don, Sarkar, our own Billa in Tamil can be taken forward to a franchise because of a phenomenal musical connect with the audience. The BG score of these movies start playing in our minds just when you look at a paper poster of these films.
Coming to the second big let down from the movie which I am sure will find many dislikes for their biased views. As the penultimate reels of the movie started to play and just before the final showdown, I for the first time realized the importance of casting and screen presence of the lead actor to pull off a character and take it to an all new level. If “Bodhi Dharma” had to achieve half the silver screen success of Chulbul Pandey then A.R Murugadoss should have looked beyond his emotions and comfort zone and chosen a person like Vikram or the legendary Kamal Hassan to make 7am Arivu a classic. Surya, for sure is one of the good and upcoming actors in Tamil cinema and you can surely pull off a Vel or Singam where wit supersedes charisma and make Kaakha Kaakha, Vaaranam Aayiram where music and Gautham’s execution supersedes charisma. These movies require a director’s actor and a person who connects with the audience as a normal person and does not require to set the screen ablaze and take the character to another level for the audience to enjoy and be entertained. Surya‘s strength lies in his hard work, dedication and fitting into the director’s vision of a character and I am sure anyone in his place would have accepted the challenge to portray ‘Bodhidarma‘ and he still did a good job, however, it is just that certain characters need raw charisma and he should understand that he does not possess one and play to his strengths in future.
Akhbar, Gadar, Chulbul Pandey, Don, Nayakan, Thalapathy, Iron Man, James Bond, Baasha, Virumaandi, Billa, Bheema, Dhool are movies where the hero sets the silver screen ablaze with his raw charisma superseding all other aspects of a film as a package and maybe, Bodhidarma would have featured here if it was pulled off by a Kamal Hassan or Vikram, unfortunately, A.R Murugadoss‘s casting compromise or misjudgment let us all miss a masterpiece. Aamir Khan can never pull off a Dabangg and similarly, Surya can never pull off a Bodhidarma, and this does not mean they are inferior to any, they should play to their strengths and keep moving forward and deliver good movies and entertain in their own way.
Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara co-exist in the same format where there are blockbuster entertainers like Sanath Jayasurya, Virendar Shewag and Shahid Afridi who give you more entertainment for your time on a particular given day but fewer times than the former list.
My intention of this article is not to criticize Mr. A.R Murugadoss, Mr. Surya and Mr. Harris Jayaraj and their fans but to make them all understand that we expect them to entertain us with world class films and do not want to see them falter in future.