Ezham Arivu (The Seventh Sense) stars Surya and Shruti Haasan as the leading hero and heroine. This is by far AR Murugadoss’ most ambitious film. It’s a good movie overall, but unfortunately not his best. He’s probably bitten off more than he can chew by trying to tie the modern day with the past with a somewhat silly plot.
Surya plays two roles, one as Bodhi Dharma, the Pallava Prince from centuries ago and the other as a circus hand named Aravind. The first thirty minutes of the film is gripping as Surya is a delight to watch as the Buddhist monk. He plays the role and the does the martial arts to perfection. Unfortunately, after the initial 30 minutes, the film is never quite as good.
After the initial scenes, Surya as Aravind (the circus hand) tends to be a bit mundane. Shruti Haasan is excellent in a nice, meaty role as a bright young scientist named Subha Srinivasan. She acts well (guess her father’s genes are paying off) and also does her own dubbing when speaking Tamil. What’s refreshing to see is that Shruti is portrayed a very capable young woman, not a helpless heroine waiting for a hero to rescue her. At many times, she even overshadows Surya. What is a bit of a letdown is the scene where Surya finds out about her deception. Not only does she not feel bad about lying to Surya but she also tramples on his heart in the process! That makes her character seem like a bitch, so it’s hard to like her completely. What’s also somewhat unbelievable is that Surya forgives her all too easily.
Johnny Tri Nguyen does well as the cold, ruthless villain who uses hypnosis to kill off his enemies. The way he pursues Shruti is reminiscent of the way Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator relentlessly pursued Sarah Connor. Johnny’s a tough villain, no doubt, but the problem is that he’s the only villain! After a while, his mannerisms and killing methods get boring and repetitive. The final scenes also tend to drag a bit, but the ending was well done.
Overall, this is a decent effort by Muruagdoss and the message it sends about preserving and learning from the past is a good one. The movie also makes an important point about how we should view our Siddhars as scientists, rather than deities. The excecution could have been a little better, but overall a good watch.