7Aum Arivu is a silly bore that bizarrely seeks to meld fictional Tamil history, fictional Tamil pride and fictional biological warfare for the sole purpose of bamboozling Tamil movie fans into parting with their real money.
Silly, Lifeless Film
The movie builds on the myth of a historical martial arts fighter and medicine man called Bodhidharma (Surya), who’s said to have traveled from his home town Kanchipuram to China some 1,600 years back and helped villagers there.
It takes about 23 minutes of screen time for Bodhidharma to traverse thick forests, sandy deserts and snowy mountains to reach the Chinese village of Nangyang, cure their sick children and adults from a deadly virus, save the villagers from marauding horsemen, teach them martial arts and ultimately die of poisoning so that the locals may live happily ever.
Anon, we’re back in present day Chennai to endure the tiresome trifecta of a romance between circus artiste Arvind (Surya) and genetics engineering researcher Subha (Shruti Hassan), a malevolent Chinese effort to launch biological warfare on India via street dogs and the genetics researcher’s efforts to revive hereditary talent through DNA (i.e. bring back Bodhidharma’s legendary prowess into the circus artist who belongs to the same lineage).
* The romance is insipid thanks to the poor script, Shruti Hassan’s abominable performance and absence of any chemistry between the lead pair Surya and Shruti.
* The ‘Operation Red’ Chinese effort to launch a biological attack and their intelligence agent/villain Dong Lee’s hypnotism nonsense are unconvincing and border on the comical. Vietnamese actor Johnny Tri Nguyen plays the villain Dong Lee with all the elan of a clown who had one drink too many.
With his head tilted to one side, eyes staring stupidly and walking like an emaciated Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dong Lee lacks the panache of a scary villain but packs the promise of a good Mongoloid Vadivelu.
* The genetic research aspect is absolute hogwash with not one ounce of credibility in it. Particularly, toward the end it descends into the farcical as Subha and her menagerie revive Bodhidharma’s extraordinary talents into the circus artiste Arvind in 12-days.
By the way, the action scenes including the final clash between Arvind (Surya) and Dong Lee were a big let-down. Hopelessly ordinary.
Even by the crappy Tamil movie standards, they were disappointing.
Surya – Decent Effort
We were not bowled over by Surya’s performance but found him mostly adequate by Tamil movie standards.
At least, Surya brought some passion to his performance and didn’t pee all over himself a la Vikram in that stolen trash Deiva Thirumagal.
However, Surya proved disappointing in the crucial Yamma Yamma song.
What a shame, his dejection and anger after being jilted/duped by Subha failed to come through effectively.
Shruti Hassan – Not Kamal Haasan’s Daughter
Say what you will, we refuse to believe Shruti Hassan is really Kamal Haasan’s daughter.
There must have been a mix-up at the hospital.
Kamal might not be a Brando or De Niro but he at least shows occasional sparks of acting prowess.
But his talentless spawn Shruti Hassan is sheer torture to behold.
Devoid of any expression and hopelessly bereft of acting talent, Shruti Hassan is a disgrace to her father’s name and to Tamil cinema.
Whether in the song sequences, the research parts or the key confrontation with Arvind over her real motives, she brings no life, no passion, no emotion to her role.
When Shruti’s character tells Arvind Poi kuppaele podu un love (shove your love on the garbage heap), we told ourselves this worthless, talentless tramp belongs there.
By God, the robotic Shruti Hassan makes our other Tamil bête noire Trisha Krishnan seem like Meryl Streep. 😉
Music – Devil’s Bellow
All we can say is that Shani (the devil) must have been in a rage and started howling.
At least, that’s how it seemed to us.
None of the songs or their picturization yielded any relief from Satan’s (mis)director Murugadoss’ cruel machinations or music director Harris Jayaraj’s amateur exercise.
7Aum Arivu – Not Worth Watching
At a theater on the East Coast, the audience appeared bored and several members were engaged in chit-chat or seen walking out frequently.
Who can blame them for this movie was so unengaging.
Despair in our heart and tears welling in our eyes, we stepped out into the cold American night cursing the agents of Lucifer – Murugadoss, Shruti Haasan and Harris Jayaraj – who conspired to rob us of 2-hours and 35-minutes of precious time.
If Tamil movie fans have an ounce of arivu (gray matter), they’ll raise their collective middle fingers high above their heads to this silly exercise aka 7Aum Arivu and scream in unison – No.