The high profile visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Chennai and Mamallapuram, during which he would hold informal talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the talk of the town. As far as Tamil cinema is concerned, films like superstar Rajinikanth’s ‘2.0’, Vijay’s ‘Mersal’, S S Rajamouli’s Prabhas-starrer ‘Baahubali’ have recently made waves among Chinese audience.
Besides, there are some Tamil movies which have interesting Chinese connections. This week, as part of its Friday special article series and coinciding with the Chennai visit of Jinping, is happy to track those films.
‘7aum Arivu’ is a 2011 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 was produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin.
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’.
Cut to the present, 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. However, agent Dong Lee (Johnny Tri Nguyen) finds out Subha’s mission to revive Bodhidharma and plans to kill them so that the disease cannot be stopped.
‘Jeans’ is a 1998 romantic comedy film written and directed by Shankar; and produced by Ashok Amritraj and Murali Manohar. The film stars Prashanth, Aishwarya Rai and Nassar in the lead roles, while Raju Sundaram, Raadhika and Lakshmi play supporting role characters. The film features a soundtrack by A R Rahman,
To shoot the ‘Adhisayam’ song, te team made a thirty-day trip around the world stopping to can scenes at the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Empire State Building, the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian pyramids, the Roman Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower.
The song became a super hit and the stunning visuals of the Great Wall of China wowed the audience. The audio launch took place in March 1998. To make the audio cassettes more ‘elegant and memorable’, cassette store owners were told to wrap the cassettes in jeans clothing before giving them to customers.
‘China’ is an upcoming Tamil drama film written and directed by Harshavardhana and produced by Arjun Sablok. The film stars Kalaiyarasan and Ritu Varma in the leading roles and features music composed by Ved Shankar.
It was announced that AR Murugadoss’s assistant Harshvardhan would make his directorial debut with a film titled China featuring Kalaiyarasan in the lead role. ‘China’ was shot across Chennai, with the team finishing the shoot of the film too a few years ago. Kalaiyarasan revealed that he would portray a middle class man, who has a shop in Burma Bazaar.
‘China Visiri’ is a short film that takes us through the routine of two appalam (papad) selling boys. The boys might be beating up each other one minute but in the next, they are seen talking about something else altogether. There’s also a couple that puts a spin to the divide between the rich and the struggling.
‘China Visiri’ by Prabhuram Vyas is a heart-warming tale of two little brothers who live in poverty enjoying the little joys of everyday life.