Director: AR Murugadoss Cast: Surya, Shruthi Hassan, Johnny Tri Nyungen
This Diwali seems to be raining Superheroes. We have SRK as G.One in Ra.One, Velayudam seems to be a superhero-ish film and 7am Arivu has ‘Bodhidharman’ as our man. A medicinal prodigy, the one who taught Kung Fu to the Chinese, a mind controller. He is a demigod in many countries like China, Japan, Thailand. But the people of his motherland are clueless about ‘Bodhidharman’.
To classify 7am into a genre would be like, a sci-fi, historic, mass entertainer, action, Indian sphagetti (I coined this genre. All tamil movies with Peter Haynes will fall into this), with a pinch of romance and patriotism. Phew! Yes, the movie is all this. And no, its not a masala film.
The movie opens with the introduction of our man, Bhodidharman and his times, elegantly. Surya as Bodhidharman looked like the entire definition of masculinity. The character for so full of life and charismatic. We are shown how he travels to China and how he becomes a demi-god to them. Awesome introduction. The movie cant go wrong at all, I thought.
Present day. Aravind (Surya) is a circus man. *Insert hero introduction song* . Aravind meets Subha(Shruthi Hassan) who is a genetic engineering student and love-at-first-sight kicks in. They becomes friends. *Insert hero bonding with heroine song here*. Now this sequential occurrence is annoying me. Then the movie gets interesting. Finally. And then suddenly all the seriousness is thrown away. There is a heartbreak for Aravind when he realizes Subha is not into him. *Insert a senti song about heartbreak*. Enough with you songs already.
Meanwhile China is planning something sinister in India and they send our charming villain, Dong Lee, who is well versed in Kung Fu and mind control. He turns Chennai into a zombie land under his control.
The movie has an idea for a plot. But it has no substance in it. 7aum doesn’t even try to get into any level of details. Even superman has his kryptonite but our villain doesn’t seem to have any. With his unlimited powers of mind control, it seemed like Dong Lee could have taken the whole Indian Army. When someone with so much martial arts prowess like Johny Tri is casted where is the kung fu and the action I came to watch. Bad decision for an entertainer.
The second half is a lot of genetic sci-fi stuffs very sad to find the makers had to resort to a lot of patch works to conclude the film. The movie that had an enchanting beginning came tumbling down as a disappointment.
As far as acting is concerned, Surya as Bodhidharman was charismatic to watch. As Aravind he just had to flex his muscles. Shruti Hassan was rigid but beautiful and Johny Lee was under utilized. But he was a solid good looking villain.
The movie is good in parts. The historic scene in the beginning was too good. It had good picturisation and focus. But this focus was lost later on in the movie trying to dabble between Sci-Fi, action, romance, thriller. The movie as a whole is a huge let down. It had potential, it had a good plot. But the movie dint have focus nor the imagination to take the film to an all new level.
It had a good message to convey that our generation need to look into our own heritage for solutions and answers. We were once a civilization that taught the world lessons about divinity, science, battle/warfare and what not. And our generation is looking at the West as the standard. But this message was not articulated.
After the film got over, I sensed even the hard core fans dint enjoy the film. It was just another movie, nothing great. Maybe a one time watch. Maybe they should have just made a biopic of Bodhidharman. Sigh.
I dint even enjoy Ghajini (Tamil) to be frank. But when Murugadoss remade it in Hindi, he learned from the mistakes of Ghajini tamil. Hope the same happens to 7aum when it is remade into Hindi (Psst, talks are going on with Amir).
PS: Watch out for the cute Chinese girl scene.