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Times of India
: Circus performer Aravind (Suriya) runs into genetic researcher Subha Srinivasan (Shruti Haasan) and is smitten. He finds various ways to get to know her, and they finally become friends. He proposes to her but is rudely turned down. During a visit to the circus, his family members tell him that Subha had met them some months ago as part of a research project into the Bodhidharma, a Pallava prince who had travelled to China around the 6th century AD and taught martial arts and medicine to the people there. Aravind confronts Subha to learn the truth about her work, but then they find out that they are the targets of an assassin, Dong Lee (Johnny Tri Nguyen), sent to India by the Chinese government.
With 'Dheena', 'Ramana', 'Ghajini' and their versions in various languages, A R Murugadoss had a dream run. Whatever he touched turned gold, even when he did not direct them, as proved by the success of 'Engeyum Eppodhum' that he only produced. That Midas touch sadly seems to be missing in '7 Aum Arivu'.
He starts off interestingly, depicting the life of Bodhidharma, but soon the movie becomes so predictable that one loses interest. In the name of science, a lot of mumbo jumbo is portrayed. Sample this: Subha and her friends carry out research on Aravind to find out how to revive his genetic memory as he is one of the descendents of Bodhidharma and has knowledge of ancient medicines that can be used to save thousands from a plague, which is unleashed in India by the Chinese agent. Nothing seems to work till Aravind attends a class in the school of hard knocks, courtesy Dong Lee. After being battered around and taking a couple of hits to the head, the ancient knowledge is unleashed in Aravind as Dong Lee finds out much to his consternation.
If the movie deserves a look, it is only because of the ever-dependable Suriya. He is a treat to watch when he portrays Bodhidharma, and also while performing some breathtaking stunts as circus performer Aravind. Vietnamese-American actor Johnny Tri Nguyen is more known for his work in martial arts movies such as 'The Rebel' and here too he lets his fists do the talking. Yes, Shruti Haasan has the genes and it is obvious that acting is in her DNA, but she still needs to work on her dialogue delivery. Wonder what will unleash the memory stored in her genes.