A quick review of the movie Ezham Arivu (7th Sense or "7 AM Arrivu" as known to many) is my intention.
Not considering the technical side of the movie and the other stuff behind the scenes. You can find all such information and reviews elsewhere on the net. I am a bit short of time, so getting to the point.
And btw Spoiler Alert. Don't tell you weren't warned.
The story revolving around the historical figure, Bodhidharma who is known in some quarters as the father of Martial Arts in China, had a brilliant and vast set of plots to choose from. But the plot selected for the movie turned out to be half baked against the gigantic plot they could have used.
OK, Bodhidharma was a Tamilian, no Tamils ever heard of him, all Chinese know and worship him. This point is delivered at the very beginning. OK, where is the story?
Now, all that the plot could turn up was English speaking Chinese officials sending a one man army Dong-Lee (sounded like Donkey in many scenes) with hypnotic powers(seriously!) and superhuman strength, to start a bio war in India. Lets not forget the role of genetic engineering students played by the heroine and her pals who change the DNA of Aravind(Surya), who is from Bodhidharma's genealogy, to that of Bodhidharma.
OK, interesting so far leaving the questions regarding the capabilities of such students and the science itself.
But in the movie by the time these scenes unfold you would have been subjected to long sequences of suicides, and zombie attacks powered by Donkey Kong's eye power. You would be wishing to see some story or some real fight. Lets consider for a moment what Bodhidharma's DNA infusion can do to Aravind's. What I expected was that his natural strength, stamina, metabolic capacities and many more features of the body would be enhanced to the level of Bodhidharma. I didn't expect Bodhidharma to be reincarnated into Aravind. This fellow started fighting in sleep as if he were doing it for centuries. I didn't know DNA stores memory also!!!
Another itching point of the story which is quite a political point is the comments regarding Malaysia and Srilanka. Aravind talks about how Tamils have been beaten everywhere and they couldn't hit back. He even praises the LTTE leader Prabhakaran for being a tiger. He encourages Tamil separatism even more. This seemed quite out of context except for maybe the political interests of the investors who are known political supporters. In Tamilnadu there is no differentiation between politics and movies, both are part of one other. Even the heroine lashes out at professors who are supposed to review her research with obscenities which are muted out when one mocks the Tamil traditions. Again, cheap way to promote the already sick idea of separatism.
Overall, the initial part where the story of Bodhidharma is depicted is the only interesting one in the movie. Rest everything is filled with cheesy stunts with thousands of vehicles launching kamikaze attacks on the untrained hero-heroine and both of escape with minor botches of red on their cheeks(heroine) and a torn shirt revealing muscles(hero). Not to mention the Dong Lee fellow getting his ass kicked by the modern Bodhidharma in a matter of seconds when he does his dry-leaf-wind-blow-attack. Disappointed is one word I have for these stuff.
Want to hear my alternative plot which I believed was more interesting? Instead of some silly students holding up a major research to protect against Chinese attack, the actual stuff is done with the full support of the central intelligence and secret labs. They let this girl collect samples, and get Aravind to agree for undergoing the transformation. After the DNA is transplanted, he is given extensive training on martial arts, medicines etc based on the Book of Pallavas. He slowly learns to use the qualities of Bodhidharma's DNA to invoke the superhuman strength and abilities of his body.
After Dong Lee attacks with a hopefully more sensible mode of attack, the training is hastened, which leaves the process incomplete by the time he is attacked by Dong Lee. Then by his will power, Aravind awakens the spirits of Bodhidharma within him to fight him a hitherto unknown technique which defeats the master Dong Lee. Throughout the movie, the officials and scientists who hail from all parts of India are awed by the rich knowledge of the Tamils, and greatly respects the people. Doesn't this suit the political needs of the investors, while making sense and putting focus on the hero properly too?. Sigh. I only wish Murugadoss had consulted me with his story before squandering it like he has!