Review: 7aum Arivu

Suriya and Shruti Haasan in 7aum Arivu

I’m fine with my six senses

7aum Arivu

Rating: ZERO

It began like a documentary and changed into a docudrama, before becoming a commercial mockumentary. A.R. Murugadoss has it all wrong again. I was appalled after watching Ghajini. He could have at least done justice to the original. But, Murugadoss tried to “Indianize” the concept and killed the film.

His half-baked performance continues in 7aum Arivu, where he doesn’t actually know what he’s trying to do in a film which connects Bodhidharma and his descendant, Aravind. Hence, he uses the plot of Assassin’s Creed and tries to blend Bodhidharma as a backstory. Horror of horrors, a genetic scientist is tracking the historical legend instead of a historian! Despite all this, I was still convinced to see what surprises Murugadoss had in store for me. I was bitter to find out 7aum Arivu had nothing in the second half other than a dry run for help and a lost cause initiated by the Chinese.

I really couldn’t understand that the Chinese decided to spread a virus in India, a virus that could be treated only by medicine made in China, and what was the reason for this? China wanted India to give them anything in return for the antidote. Jeezaloo! You guys are the worst.

Suriya seems to be the guy for performances like these. But, I just have one question: Is a jaw-dropping appearance enough? Don’t these actors see the need to act in accordance to a role? Monk or circus artist, Suriya is the same in terms of acting. When Murugadoss saw that Shruti Haasan couldn’t save the film, he should have planned Johnny Tri Nguyen’s antagonistic character better. But, he limits everyone else with hopes that Suriya’s performance will stand out. Sadly, he has even limited the story. And when did hypnotism shrink to a matter of seconds?

The last scene where Suriya commands everyone on science and religion is quite possibly the director’s message. But, why did he have to put us through all this hassle when he could have done it in a 30-second PSA!

After remaking movies for decades, Tamil Cinema is moving to video games. The day when Mani Ratnam or Gautham Vasudev Menon remake GTA Vice City is not far away I guess.

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Review: Singam

Suriya plays a tough cop in Singam.

Racy Screenplay with horrendous stunts

Singam

Director: Hari

Starring: Surya, Anushka, Prakash Raj, Vivek, Nasser, Vijaykumar and Radha Ravi

Genre: Tough Cop Flick

Rating: ZERO

I cannot possibly recall a Gravity Law by Sir Isaac Newton which states “humans can fly on Earth”. I do remember his famous law of motion: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” But, that doesn’t mean a guy can fly yards away, after being punched. These rules have been bent by commercial cinema in order to keep our protagonist, a larger-than-life guy. And if our protagonist is played by Suriya, just “forget about it” (the Donnie Brasco way). Suriya dons the khaki uniform again, after a career-transitional role of a cop in Kaakha Kaakha. Singam however stays commercial to its core.

Singam has the Punch Dialog of the Year: “Ongi adicha ondra ton weight-u da.” (English Translation: My punch weighs one and a half tons).  And, unlike other heroes, Suriya gives you an example by hitting the thug near him, who spins like a tornado and then hits the ground allowing dust to rise. Welcome to the world of commercial cinema!

Meet Anushka, the heroine. She's yet to make a mark.

Also, we have Anushka trying to get her big break in Tamil Cinema. Good news! Singam is successful at the box office. But, that doesn’t mean Anushka has made it. She still has a long way to go. I felt her acting in Vettaikaaran was mature when compared to those dumb things she has done in Singam. The glamorous Shriya Saran has finally found some worthy competition.

Prakash Raj was on a spree. He won a National Award for his acting performance in Kanjivaram. His performance in Abhiyum Naanum was out of the world. Why, oh why did he choose to act as the same old stereotypic villain here? Talk about stereotypes and I still think Ghilli’s Muthu Paandi was Prakash Raj’s best role as a stereotypic villain. He did win an award for it. Comedian and Padmashree winner, Vivek had me laughing at times. But, he had me groaning most of the time. This man has run out of jokes and must clearly take a sabbatical and return with a fresh mind.

Suriya's impressive dance moves.

There’s no way I could be lenient on a movie, tailor-made for Suriya. The aggression, the emotions and those romantic winks, all constitute an effort for him to speak through the eyes.  And, the scene where he’s asked to remove his shirt and fight serves as an opportunity for him to flex his muscles. This being his 25th movie, he impresses you with those dance moves. Well, the guy is on a blockbuster spree. Like it or not, the cash registers are chiming. CHING!

Tragedy has struck Tamil Cinema. While commercial films (a.k.a no-brainers) like Singam rake moolah at the box office, offbeat and realistic movies continue to run dry. Success is unfortunately a big-budget word.

Review: AADHAVAN

Aadhavan
Aadhavan

Experience Hell Before Death

AADHAVAN

Director: K.S. Ravikumar

Cast: Suriya, Nayantara, Saroja Devi, Bharath Murali, Vadivelu, Sayaji Shinde, Anand Babu and Rahul Dev

Genre: Jason Bourne turns into Mr. & Mrs. Smith and later as Varanam Aayiram and finally into Main Hoon Na. In short, it’s an action/romance/family/spoof drama.

Rating: Tough to rate even though the presence of stars in the film is abundant.

AADHAVAN IS A LANDMARK FILM. It is the 100th film I’ve seen in Inox. Also, it is the eighth film where I’ve sat patiently till the end when I wished to have walked out halfway through. I exited the cinema hall when Ayan was halfway through as it had too much of fantasy because I couldn’t think of an Indian Suriya kicking the butts of several African gangsters. K.S. Ravikumar returns to what he does the best after changing tracks in his last film, Dasavatharam. Harris Jayaraj finally delivers an album with only one chartbuster – Guess what?

An actor is one who dons different roles in different films. But, Suriya doesn’t oblige to the rules. His action stint from Ayan is copied and so is his ‘daddy’ sentiment from Varanam Aayiram. Hence, you don’t get to see the character, Aadhavan at any point.

In the film, Suriya plays a hitman. He is also the son of Sayaji Shinde who occurs in probably his worst ever appearance. He is the brother to Anand Babu who returns to Tamil cinema in a badly knit characterization. How can a man attract a woman like Nayantara by performing different yoga aasanas?  Well, Suriya as Aadhavan attracts Nayantara in this way. He also attracts the kids with his crazy Power Rangers gimmicks. Filmmakers have been copying District B-13’s famous stunt scene where the protagonist jumps through the glass pane on top of the door and slides through it. Mahesh Babu did it in Pokiri. Jayam Ravi did it in Dhaam Dhoom. Suriya had already done it in Ayan. He does it again in Aadhavan.

Had I walked out of the cinema hall, I wouldn’t have discovered that a seven-bullet carrying revolver can shoot as many twenty bullets without reloading. What I discovered in the first assassination was that James Bond filmmakers were wrong. In Moonraker, Roger Moore wasn’t able to shoot Drake’s hitmen as he was underwater. Here, Suriya shoots a foreigner from underwater with a silenced 9mm. I also learnt that Bazooka bombs were not instant hits, they were equipped with a timer of two minutes. That’s a good technique as it provides Suriya, ample time to regain consciousness and swing up to the bomb to save his family.

The girl in the 90 second GRT wedding & celebration advertisement stole my heart while the girl in the 160 minute long movie stole my happiness and well-being. I still prefer Marilyn Monroe’s infamous dance from Bus Stop. Why can’t we try something new?

When Vadivelu says ‘bore adichu pochu’, he was hinting. We get bored on seeing Suriya’s failed attempts to assassinate the judge.  Returning to the screen is Saroja Devi who should have chosen a better movie and not Aadhavan. It is the current trend to speak dialogues at the speed of a lightning and not emphasize on vowels like ‘thamizh’. Over the course of the film, Vadivelu keeps hinting that she is wearing too much makeup. Still, she appears over-glorified and doesn’t change her makeup artist. The MGR stint redone in the film is certainly avoidable. We’re talking of Aadhavan, the merciless killer and not Aadhavan, some bloke who loves MGR films. Our man from KANDHASWAMY, Mexican Pichumani returns as the Paal Paniyaaram loving paternal uncle to Nayantara.  Well, I was praying that he would say “Kolkatta-la Pichumaniya theriyaadha aalae illa.”

When I heard about Suriya’s ten year avatar, I was expecting Apoorva Sagodaragal, not Forrest Gump. Well, I was in laughter whenever I saw that ‘enlightened’ face and darkened body. Why are we so preachy?

Harris Jayaraj shouldn’t have chosen Aadhavan. His beautiful music has been ruined by bland costumes and pale landscapes. Vaarayo is beautifully sung but badly visualized. But, he delivers with Hasile Fisile. When the song rolls on, the 299-seater Inox Screen 1 jumped in joy.

If India had a Golden Raspberry Award, Aadhavan would surely be in contest. But, will it beat Kandhaswamy and Villu? We’ll have to wait and see.

A film which can be clearly spotted for its faulty screenplay is Aadhavan. Saroja Devi’s comeback has nothing to offer. Vadivelu’s jokes may be the only form of entertainment. Hasile Fisile is available on Youtube. If you’re going to watch it, please book a funeral with the following words on your tombstone – Braved Everything and Watched Aadhavan.