7aum Arivu is a science fiction martial arts film written and directed by AR Murugadoss, featuring Suriya, Shruti Haasan, and Johnny Tri Nguyen. In the film, a medical student enlists the help of a circus artist, who is a descendant of Bodhidharma, to revive the legend's skills and knowledge, while a Chinese man with hypnotic powers starts a government-planned biological war against India. 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. It was also dubbed into Telugu as 7th Sense which was released simultaneously along with the Tamil original. The film was also dubbed in Hindi as Chennai v/s China in 2014 as well as in Malayalam with the original title. The film was also one out of several films selected by the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce for being the Indian submission for Oscar under the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Bodhidharma, a master of martial arts and medical remedies, is the son of a great Indian king of the Pallava dynasty. He is sent to China by his guru, who requests him to stop the spread of an epidemic existing there from spreading to India. Initially, the Chinese treat him as an inferior. However, when he cures a little girl infected by the disease and defeats people who ill-treated the villagers, the Chinese then 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. 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 village would be free of diseases 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 is given the task of starting a government-planned biological war against India, known as Operation Red. He arrives in Chennai and commences by injecting a virus into a pariah dog, being the same as the one from Bodhidharma's period. Meanwhile, Subha Srinivasan, a genetics student, discovers that Bodhidharma can be brought back to life if his sample of DNA is matched with another sample of DNA. Coincidentally, she finds a matching sample in Aravind, a descendant of Bodhidharma who is working as a circus artist. Dong Lee finds out about 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 fall in love and spend time with him, forgetting about her mission. One day, Aravind's family sees Subha and clearly remembers 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 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 to resurrect Bodhidharma and to end Operation Red. Dong Lee continues to wreak havoc on the city.
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 Ashwin, Imran, Malathi and Nisha 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, Dong Lee eventually arrives, and the professor once again teams up with him to save his own life.
Subha, Aravind, and their gang barely escape fromnan attempt on their lives by Dong Lee. 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 that nobody can trace them. However, Dong Lee somehow traces Aravind, Subha and rear of her friends by using Malathi and Imran. 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 eventually absorbs Bodhidharma's powers, using them to prevail and kill Dong Lee in battle. Aravind uses an ancient medicine to cure the disease, gets married and finally tells the press about the importance of Indian history.
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