7am Arivu – A good concept screwed up!

I watched 7am Arivu last night. My evening started off on a rather annoying note with the massive queue at Fame Cinemas. I think it sort of set the tone for things to come. Before I talk of the movie, let me declare that this is the very last time I am watching a movie at a theatre other than Sathyam in Chennai.

Fame has a crazy, and incredibly inefficient system. Like Sathyam, they let you book tickets online, which to their credit is a relatively hassle-free process. When you make a credit card purchase online, they allow you to print a booking confirmation with a booking id. You then need to take it to the theatre and collect your real ticket at the counter. At Fame National in Chennai, there is only one counter dedicated to Internet bookings. Yesterday, there were approximately 50 people in the queue for the movie when we arrived there at 9.40, a good 10 minutes before the show time. It took roughly 15 minutes for me to get my ticket, and I effectively missed a good 10 minutes of the film by the time I was in my seat. Why they cannot allow us to print our tickets as well is beyond my comprehension.This would just allow people who get e-tickets to go ahead without waiting, and make life a lot easier for everyone.

Ok…now that my rant about the stupid booking system is done with, on to the movie itself. 7am Arivu has a great concept, a decent story and an actor who can deliver. Yet, it fails on many counts. Let me take it on one by one.

Concept and storyboard

The concept is great. The idea of our own skills being used against us, of control through hypnotism, of genetic memory and genetic engineering…it’s all very nice. The storyboard is quite decent and sticks to its basic premise that the DNA holds the key to everything that we are, and what we are capable of doing. So far, so good.

Screenplay and direction

Terribly inconsistent screenplay, careless editing, and sometimes illogical happenings spoil it for us at the very first instance. Shruti Hasan is a PhD student in Genetic Engineering. Her best friend from school is a 3rd year Civil Engineering student? Why? Did she fail several times before she passed 10th std? Or does the director want us to believe that a 20-year old undergraduate student is capable of such advanced research? And what’s wrong with the heroine nearing 30 anyway? Another instance is when Surya and Shruti break into the professor’s house and Shruti starts up the professor’s computer. The director makes it look ridiculously easy to steal data from someone’s computer. A scientist doing DNA research and using an iMac doesn’t know how to password-protect his system? And is stupid enough to allow Chrome to same his passwords and not set a master password, especially when he has just received a confirmation of an account transfer of 300 crores rupees to his Swiss bank account? Give me a break!

And, why is the first part of the movie so incredibly boring and long? Why bring in Shruti Hasan as a love interest-cum-researcher, when the love story is not developed anyway? And why do have to insert songs at random intervals just for the sake of it? I wished I could hit the fast forward button sometimes. Just get on with the story guys!

Acting

Surya is his usual good-looking self. He delivers to the best of his abilities. Much as I like Surya, I must admit his histrionic abilities have their limitations. And this limit is good enough for 7am Arivu. On the whole, he is as good as he can be. But Shruti Hasan is a whole different matter. So much for genetic memory! Shruti doesn’t seem to have inherited even 1% of her father’s ability to either act or speak Tamil. At times, her American-accented Tamil gets too much to take. Her lecture on Tamil and it’s greatness, in that godawful accent of hers in the project presentation scene might have been laugh-worthy had the accent not been so jarring!

And finally!

The whole movie gets too preachy about the merits of traditional Indian knowledge at times. Reminding people of our past greatness is all ok, as long as we don’t forget where we are today, and what we need to do for a better future. Sometimes, we feel like the whole movie rides on past greatness, and not on anything present.

On the whole, amidst the lectures on the merits of vaasal theichufying and kolam pottufying, the director seems to forget his more fundamental task: making a film that is worth watching. My final verdict: it’s good enough to watch once, and bad enough to not want to see it ever again, even on TV.

And am back!

I have been missing for over a month now, and in my opinion, with good reason! This is probably the first real unforced blogging break I have taken in my 5-year old blogging career. That’s right. Five years is a long time, isn’t it? Since my break coincided with my bloggy birthday, I didn’t even blog on that day. October 16, five years ago, I was bitten by the blogging bug! I have a special relationship with my blog. I blog when I am happy, when I am sad, when I am frustrated, when I am angry. But very rarely do I blog when I really have nothing to complain about, brag about, crib about or rant about. Today, I am doing exactly that, perhaps for the first time in five years.

This month has gone by in a flash. I don’t even remember what exactly happened in this time, what with the wedding, the honeymoon, the house visits, and the second reception. Just when I was getting used to the idea of being married, I was back at work and drowning in an ocean of work! Sigh! A girl can’t even take a decent break and enjoy the first month of marriage! Such is life! The only thing I do remember of the last month is that there were rains, rains and more rains.

You see, I share a rather special relationship with the rains. The rain gods seem to want to participate in every event in my life. It rained when I was born. Oh, sorry! It poured buckets and the entire city was flooded the day I was born. Twenty nine years later, my mother still recounts the horror story to all and sundry. It rained on my first birthday as well apparently. Actually, it rains practically every birthday. A bit difficult to escape that seeing as I was born in October! More recently, the rains decided to grace the earth with their presence the day I left home for the first time to go to France. Again, it rained the day I joined my first (and current) job. I don’t remember a single landmark event in my life where rain was absent.

Being such a beloved child of the God of rain, any wonder then that it rained on my wedding day? The day dawned bright. Actually, my wedding happened when the day was just dawning. But, it seemed a bright and sunny day like any other. The wedding ceremony ended around 6 and we were spared some time to rest. The next thing we know is that the skies are darkening, 7 AM resembles night and that the skies have opened up and it’s pouring! Whatever happened suddenly? A lot of people called in to say they were stuck at home (or on the road in one case) because of the sudden and heavy downpour. Divine benediction maybe?

Anyway, after a self-imposed blogging break of over a month, I am back. As I have frequently promised in the past, I hope to be slightly more regular at blogging that in the past few months. Anyway, until then….ciao!