If you are looking for a racy, straight forward action entertainer from the trio, 7 aum Arivu is a let-down as you have to suspend disbelief, logic and common sense. Terms such as DNA transplant, hypnotism, bio-war are bandied about making it confusing.
The film opens in 6th century with a documentary on the great Tamil Pallava prince Bodhidharman who goes to China and becomes a sort of saint and messiah for his teachings and his vast knowledge of martial arts, hypnotism and medicine. But he dies and is cremated there.
Now 1600 years later, Aravind (Suriya) a happy-go-lucky circus artist falls hook-line-sinker for Shuba Srinivasan (Shruti Haasan) a genetic engineering student and scientist who is doing research on Bodhidharman. But soon Aravind realises that he was just a guinea-pig of Shuba who wants to bring back Bodhidharman by inducing his DNA into Aravind.
Now on a parallel line there is Dong Lee ( Johnny Tri Nguyen) who is sent by Chinese government to India to implement ‘Operation Red’ a mission to bring about a bio-war. His target is to spread a virus in India and eliminate Shuba whose mission is to bring back Bhodhidharman. Will Shuba achieve her goal and how?
A film like this should keep you completely hooked till the end but sadly it does not provide you a single sequence which will make you sit up and take notice. Take scenes like the one in which Shuba submits her thesis to a team of renowned scientists and starts talking about Tamil language when she herself is talking in broken Tamil. The hypnotism angle of Dong Lee becomes tedious after a point. The romantic track between Aravind and Shuba looks so forced, and songs jumps at you out of nowhere.
The first half of the movie except for the Bodhidharman episode moves at snail pace. Too many songs without any storyboard or relevance are thrust in to the narration at regular intervals in the 160 minutes long film. There is no twist in the tale, towards the climax it becomes too preachy and the plot line is as predictable as rains during Diwali in Chennai.
The star of this film - no questions asked - is the abundantly gifted Suriya who invests such sincerity in both the contrast characters of Bodhidharman and Aravind, that you can't take your eyes off him. But a weak script lets him down and why are film-makers exploiting his six-pack in all films?
Shruthi Haasan looks a million bucks and is very impressive in her first appearance in Tamil cinema. We appreciate that she was bold enough to dub in her own voice but why did she sound as if she was struggling to speak Tamil? Johnny Tri Nguyen as the deadly villain is fantastic and sends a chill down your spine. The climax fight between Suriya and Johnny is terrific and is superbly choreographed by Peter Hayne.
The music of Harris Jayaraj is bit of a dampener, other than the slightly hummable Mun Andhi.., the rest of songs are pedestrian and you get the feel, you have heard it somewhere. After all, the effort of Murugadoss to make a special kind of film is laudable but seems to lack the imagination required to pull off what he set out to achieve.