Director: A.R Murugadoss
Producer: Udhayanidhi Stalin
Star Cast: Surya, Shruti Hassan, Johnny Tri Nguyen
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography: Ravi K. Chandran
Studio Red Giant Movies
Release date: 26 October 2011
7am Arivu is Tamil science fiction thriller film written and directed by A.R Murugadoss. Starring Surya, in double roles, and Shruti Hassan, the film began production in May 2010. The story is said to revolve around a “super machine”, which is brought to India. The film, produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin on a budget of 84 crore (US$18.73 million), will release on 26 October 2011. It will also be dubbed and released in Telugu and Hindi.
The teasers and vigorous promotions by the makers would have kicked up your expectations upon the film. The invigorations became irresistible and nothing could stop the masses from craving for the film. ‘This will make every Tamilian prouder’, ‘This is gonna be an important milestone in Tamil film industry’ and ‘How much ever you may expect, the film will exceed the limits’. Wow! These lines of promotions were more than enough to keep us hooked for this big day to arrive.
Producer Udhayanidhi Stalin has burned candles at both end spending big sum for promotional campaigns itself. What makes the film special now? Yes, the very fact that A.R Murugadoss has picked an unusual concept of a hidden history of ‘Boddhidharman’. But the basic conflict that revolves around the recombinant DNA technology to evoke the genetic traits of ancestors is something well known to the population… However clichéd a story might be, the substantiality is showcased by the crisp and engrossing screenplay. On this front, A.R. Murugadoss has failed to deliver the right soul essential for the film.
On the dot, ‘7am Arivu‘ belongs completely to Surya and Surya alone. His charismatic appeal, mind-boggling performance becomes the spotlighting key for the film.
Centuries ago, a Buddhist monk Boddhidharman (Surya) belonging to Pallavan dynasty travels to China for a reason. The people dwelling there are prone to inevitable problems – ailments and attacks from neighboring dominions are solaced by his presence. Boddhidharman authors a book that includes the treatments for various ailments that will keep the globe free from illnesses. But the prognosticators feel that his departure from China will be a bad omen and so poison him and the Buddhist monk succumbs to his culmination wholeheartedly.
Cut to – Present Day
Group of scientists lead by Subha (Shruti Hassan) are vigorously working on an experiment to bring back the individualistic characters of Boddhidharman by using the source person from the same lineage, who is none other than Aravind (Surya) working as a clown in circus. Meanwhile the Chinese Government appoints an agent Dong Lee (Johny Tri Nguyen) to kick-open ‘Operation Red’, which will turn the entire India into a graveyard costing the lives of innocents.
What unfolds next is an inevitable combat between Aravind-Subha and Dong Lee with a climax that is so predictable.
Surya‘s performance deserves the pick of best synonyms of superlative adjectives. He is patently over the top with his acting adeptness in each frame. Be his charismatic appeal as Boddhidharman and as a young peppy lover boy Aravind, he makes it happen with his body language and expressions. Not to miss his surpassing action sequences, where he manages to stand powerfully equal as Johnny Tri Nguyen. But there is nothing special to mark upon the performances of other actors. Shruti Hassan lacks confidence during most of the portions. She has tried giving her best approach in dubbing, but her facial expressions doesn’t synch well. Johnny could have been portrayed yet more powerfully. There are less action sequences for the actor as most of them are dominated by hypnotism and artists locking horns for hand-on-hand combat are so weak and fragile.
The onscreen chemistry between Surya and Shruti Hassan is little missing while on the positive front, there are some sequences that will urge us for a wide applause. Don’t miss the scene where Johnny tries hypnotizing Surya and fails followed by a graveyard ambience where we have dialogues regarding Tamil Liberation Leader. Finally, the power-packed action sequence in climax becomes the major highlight.
Songs were splendidly mesmerizing the listeners before the release, but not all songs are apt for the situation. They’re purposely forced into the screenplay. Imagine the context at which song appears in ‘Ghajini’ as almost all the tracks gained popularity after the release. But things aren’t same here… Background score doesn’t enhance the situations, but Ravi K Chandran trivializes such errs with his prodigious cinematography. The opening sequences in China are very well filmed and so are the songs.
On the whole, ‘7am Arivu‘ has some interesting moments, but doesn’t keep the audiences engrossed throughout the show. An engaging screenplay throughout the film as narrated during last 25mins would have made it a perfect thriller with a message to boast about the quality of being ‘Tamilian’.
What works: Throwing light on hidden history of ‘Boddhidharman’, Surya, cinematography, last 20mins
What doesn’t work: The basic premise, Screenplay, Over-dosage of ‘Hypnotism’ in action sequences that becomes ridiculous after an extent, First half…
Verdict: Surya‘s powerful show with missing traces of A.R Murugadoss.
7am arivu shooting video