7aum Arivu (Eng: Seventh Sense) is a 2011 Indian science fiction-martial arts film written and directed by AR Murugadoss, featuring Suriya and Shruti Haasan in the lead roles and Johnny Tri Nguyen as the main antagonist. The film, produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin began production in May 2010 and was released on 25 October 2011 in Chennai and a day later, on Diwali, worldwide. The visual effects for the film were done by US based Legacy effects, making this their second Indian film after Enthiran. 7aum Arivu received mixed critical response upon release, and opened strongly at the box office.
Bodhidharma (Suriya), a master of martial arts and medical remedies, is the son of a great Tamil king of the Pallava dynasty. He is sent to China by his guru, who requests him to stop the spread of a pandemic disease existing there from spreading to India. Initially the people in China treat him as an inferior, but later, when he cures a little girl from the deadly disease and fights against some people who ill-treated villagers there, the people of China began to respect and worship him. He begins to teach them how to cure many diseases, the skills of hypnotism, and the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan. However, after several years, when he expresses his desire to return to India, the villagers plot to poison him and bury him near the temple, believing that their place would be disease free if he is buried there. Bodhidharma agrees to die and subsequently becomes a fundamental figure in Chinese history, affectionately being dubbed as “Damo”.
In modern-day China, Dong Lee (Johnny Tri Nguyen) is given the task of starting a government-planned biological war against India, known as Operation Red. Dong Lee arrives in Chennai and starts this operation by injecting a virus into a street dog. This disease was the one which occurred during the time of Bodhidharma in China. Meanwhile, Subha Srinivasan (Shruti Haasan), a genetics student researches that Bodhidharma can be brought back to life if his sample of DNA is matched with another sample of DNA which she finds in Aravind (Suriya), a descendant of Bodhidharma who is working as a circus artist nearby. Dong Lee finds out Subha’s mission to revive Bodhidharma and plans to kill her first so that the disease cannot be stopped.
Subha approaches Aravind but begins to love and spend time with him, thereby forgetting about her mission. One day, Aravind’s family sees Subha and clearly remember that she visited them a year before to find Aravind and know all about him for the Bodhidharma research. Saving herself, she lies by saying that she does not know them. Later that night, Aravind’s uncle (Ilavarasu) explains all what happened one year before when they met Subha. Aravind goes and meets Subha, and is enraged upon realising the truth. However the next day, he reconciles with Subha in a love failure mood and agrees to contribute to the research and hence save the country. The research begins of giving life to Bodhidharma and to end Operation Red. But Dong Lee, who is capable of doing anything, does all impossibly bad things, mastered in “Nokku Varmam” (hypnotism), a martial art which was actually taught to the Chinese by Bodhidharma.
Subha goes to her genetics department and announces that Operation Red can be stopped if they read and make use of the cures in a book written by Bodhidharma. However, the department laughs and refuses to believe her, claiming that an ancient book is of no use in modern times, much to her dismay. After some time, Subha and Aravind learn that Subha’s professor from the genetics department is assisting Dong Lee in Operation Red. They sneak into the professor’s apartment and learn about the operation. The next day, the professor is caught red-handed by Aravind, Subha, and her friends, but surrenders and explains that he received a huge sum of money from the China government if he carried out Operation Red. After the professor gives the gang more details about Operation Red and how to stop it, they leave. However, after a while, Dong Lee arrives and the professor once again teams up with him to save his own life.
Dong Lee causes numerous havoc in the city, which Subha, Aravind, and their gang barely escape. They finally locate a research centre where they can activate Bodhidharma’s DNA in Aravind and decide to hide there for a few days. They all deactivate their phones so nobody can trace them. But Dong Lee somehow traces Subha and the gang with the help of two of Subha’s outside friends. However, he kills both of them afterwards. Dong Lee then locates the place of the research centre. Subha and her friends in the research centre escape in a van, but Dong Lee chases them and the van collapses. An unconscious Aravind gets beaten badly by Dong Lee at first, but then gains Bodhidharma’s skills and kills Dong Lee. Aravind uses an ancient medicine to cure the disease. Subha and Aravind then get married and finally tell the press about the importance of our history.
Directed by A. R. Murugadoss
Produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin
Written by A. R. Murugadoss
Starring Suriya, Shruti Haasan, Johnny Tri Nguyen
Music by Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography Ravi K. Chandran & Ravi Varman
Edited by Anthony
Production Red Giant Movies
Distributed by Red Giant Movies
Release date 25 October 2011
Running time 168 minutes