Being a well-made scientific fiction in the Tamil film industry, Surya's 7aam Arivu has sparked a controversy regarding the portrayal of Bodhi Dharman, a Pallava prince, who migrated to China and became the Shaolin master. The followers of Buddhism have raised objections over the facts provided about the monk in the movie.
Buddhist Teacher Babu T Raghu has said that the depiction of Bodhi Dharman in 7aam Arivu is inaccurate. For an instance, the monk travelled to China, when he was 150-year-old but in the recently released film, it has been portrayed, as if he left Kanchipuram at his young age with six-pack abs. He further claims that it is an insult to their community and they have objected those scenes.
The Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary professor Bikku Bodhi Bala says that it is believed that Bodhi Dharman is also one of the seven monks, who left to China from Tamil Nadu between 2nd and 13th century. However, he refuses the movie's claims that he died in China. According to him, he was raised from the dead after he was killed in China. In fact, Bodhi Dharman breathed his last in Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, historians claim that Bodhi Dharman was not known for his expertise on medical science but for his skills in martial arts. And also he left Kanchipuram to propagate the Buddhism but 7aam Arivu glorifies that he was a Tamilan and it does not talk about his contribution to their community.
All in all, irrespective of whether Bodhi Dharman's depiction is accurate or false, the audience have loved Surya's performance as the monk in the first twenty minutes of 7aam Arivu.