Thursday, November 03, 2011

Movie Review: 7aam Arivu

Hiya Folks!

This time am back much quicker - thanks to 7aam Arivu.

The movie was such a profound effort at utter stupidity that it's one of those things that wake you up in the middle of the night squealing in self pity, months after the experience.
Ok, am exaggerating.
Maybe just weeks.

After purchasing tickets for "Seven-A.M. Arivu" (else the Scottish guy at the counter wouldn't have understood), we went in all eager to drink in the magnum opus it was billed to be. And the first few scenes quite lived up to that hype. They added to the sense of magnificence that surrounded the movie before its launch.

But the moment Circus-wala Surya appeared on screen, looking like a Liverpool Chav, my heart sank. If they could do this to a guy who is among the better-lookers in Kollywood, woe-be-me!!

The plot:
Bodhi Dharma is a Tamilian who went to China 1600 years back and started the Shaolin Temple, and is still regarded a 'God' there - for his medical, martial & hypnotism abilities. Shruthi Hassan is a present-day PYT in India doing some DNA-level maha-research, which is meant to reintroduce lost traits in your DNA/genes/whatever. And if that succeeds, she would be able to recreate Bodhi Dharma from one of his descendants. Just like that. So she goes around looking for the descendants and finds them quite easily (next target - Maddie McCann?). As you rightly guessed now - modern-day Surya is one of them. And she immediately decides that he would be the guinea pig for her research. But she does it all on the sly, so the poor lad doesn't know all this background info. He duly falls for her and sings a couple of duets, taking breaks from his circus routines. Later when he gets to know that she had befriended him not to get into his jeans, but rather his genes, all hell breaks loose.
Where you would expect him to exhibit vertebral capacity and stand up to his own dignity, he continues to be Junior Hassan's Beeyaatch, virtually peeing at her bidding, after a brief display of salt-induced-sensitivity.
Meanwhile, the bleddy Chinese government (verbally censored, but the subtitles spelt the word out! DUH!) makes secret plans to do something that will get India to dance to its tunes very shortly: that is to release a very deadly virus in India, get the epidemic to spread, and later come and get Indians to lick the medicine off their palms. Their extremely well-informed intelligence has warned them about this girl in India whose research will be the only stumbling block for their grand designs - as she is trying to recreate the legendary medical expert Bodhi Dharma with the aid of genetic engineering. So that's how the dots connect.
To make this happen, the Chinese Govt selects the best student from Shaolin and sends him across to India with some money that permits him to buy a Hummer, and lots to buy the fuel. His motive - to spread the deadly-disease, and to 'find them, kill them' both. While he does have the appearance to shiver-you-timbers, all he does is to walk around with a stern look on his face - the kind I have when I try to choose between noodles and spaghetti for dinner. Vetthu Vaettu Singaaram.
(Him. Not me)
He does succeed in spreading the virus. As all hell breaks loose in Tamil Nadu, a half-baked gang of 5 take it upon themselves to save the nation. By recreating Bodhi Dharma from Surya. It's a process that will take days and they need to get it completed before they get caught by the China Man. So they put a brilliant getthu plan, use a hitech lab at IIT for a hideout, and make one of their friends stay in the 'outside world' to support their external needs. And they change SIM cards. But still, the China-wala starts finding and killing them all one by one. He eventually reaches the last remaining warriors, only to find Surya being pickled in a large glass jar in the name of DNA-revival - the result of a long and extensive research by Shruti Hassan that lasted threeeeeee fullllll years. Then comes the climax - the man generally known for his short-term-memory-loss, wakes up with very-long-term-memory-retention suddenly "remembering" Bodhi Dharma's powers. He annihilates the villain and the disease, and then you are given a sermon on Tamil / Tamilan / Ilangai / etc.
And Murugadoss appears for a brief while on the screen (with the same noodle-spaghetti look), which serves well to remind you of the numerous vows you took during the movie around this very fellow.

If you think this was a spoiler, you should see what Murugadoss has done to the movie. Not many people can succeed in messing up an interesting story-base as this. But this fellow has done that in an unparalleled fashion. If at least this had been a Gaptun-Baagistaan-Tamil movie, most of us would have escaped watching it until the scenes get on youtube. But whattodo!

  • What truly irked me was the fact that soooooo mannnnnny trivial things were beefed up in the movie to appear like significant stuff. I could find it all through the movie. Remember the scene from Singam where Vivek says "Tea kudikka polama?", and the constables reply, "YESSSIR!" in all earnestness? Much of 7-am arivu felt like that. Sappa matterukku over soundu.
    • He says "Lift vara late aagudhu.. Lets take the steps" - and everyone responds like it's a decision of utmost brilliance requiring immense analysis
    • "SIM cards change panniralaam.. Appo avanukku namma enga irukkom nu theriyadhu".. And they proceed to show every step in the supply chain of sim card delivery that makes you wonder if it were truly a tough thing to do
    • And many many more that I couldn't care to note down
  • What also irked me equally was the complete lack-of-sense in so many things:
    • "IIT la lab irukku.. Adha use pannikalaam.. 18 days leave, yaarum irukka maattaanga" - WTF!!! WWTTFF!! WWWTTTFFF!!! Next thing you know, they will be showing IIT-guys throwing ink on each others' uniform shirts on the last day before Annual Holidays
    • He and she are sitting in an auto - virtually visible from all directions. Suddenly spotting the villain in the vicinity, he tells her "avan varraan.. keezha paaru" ?!?!?!?!?! As if they were playing peekaboo..
    • Why the hell would the fantastic-few want to leave one person "outside" to support them? If the allakkai fellow anyway had to get out of IIT to receive all the stuff, can he not go to the shops directly? Unnecessary red-tape I say..
    • After a night-ful of knowing that they had to meet the fraud-Prof in the morning, the Hero and the Heroini discuss strategies at 9 o clock on the way to the meeting "seri.. ippo Prof-a paakka porome.. Enna seyya porom?"..
    • One particular stunt scene around containers was the ultimate insult to the movie-going crowd. They have used 'hypnotism' as if you could transfer knowledge wirelessly. One look from the villain, and old men and young women start performing anthar balti and back-flips..
    • Really.. 3 yrs of PG-research to make DNA-level tweaks? Really?! I mean.. Ok, forget it..
  • Shruthi Hassan is quite photogenic, but not video-genic/audio-genic if you get what I mean. Acting and her - 7aam poruttham only. You almost immediately start feeling sorry for Kamal Hassan. 
  • And looks like she wasn't paid enough - I could only find half of her in the movie.
  • I didn't know iPhone is so common in India! Everyone has one. And surprisingly, Blackberry has THE iPhone ringtone
  • To be brutally honest, I did enjoy some parts of the movie.. 
    • Surya as Bodhi Dharma has good screen presence.. He commands attention.. Unfortunately those scenes dont last too long..
    • Dialogues sparkle in a couple of places: Uyiroda post mortem panni vechurukke...... Foreign pona first doctor aa?... Etc
But these were so few and far between, that throughout the movie you find bitterness spreading through the length and breadth of your being.

Final Verdict:
7-am Arivu: Moolai Ketta Mundam