Directed by : K. S. Ravikumar
Produced by : Rockline Venkatesh
Starring : Rajinikanth, Anushka, Sonakshi Sinha, Santhanam, Karunakaran, Vijaya Kumar, Radha Ravi
Music : A. R. Rahman
Cinematography : R. Rathnavelu
Editing : Samjith Mhd
If you’re happy at heart, you’re happy anywhere in the world. If you’re sad, you’ll feel the same even in luxurious palace. When Raja Lingeshwaran utters these dialogues with his bearded looks, somewhere in the backdrops of an unknown village, it’s not just the characters that are bound emotionally, but we the audiences as well. Lingaa comes from a filmmaker who is known for his family entertainers with perfect package of commercial elements. Over here, he has handled a script that is too complicated for any filmmaker to accomplish in a span of just 6 months.
Set in backdrops of a prosperous village, a temple remains abandoned and unopened for decades. When a PWD officer (Ponvannan) is murdered by the local MP (Jagapathi Babu), he gives his final word of request before breathing last to village head (Veteran filmmaker-actor K Viswanath) to open the abandoned temple that has been closed for decades. Situations urge the villagers to find the grandson of Lingeshwaran (Rajnikanth), who is worshipped like almost a God for his construction of dam. Why do they really need the grandson, a local thief Lingaa (again played by Rajnikanth) somewhere in Chennai with his pals to open this temple and what was the reference made by PWD officer? As the story unwinds, we are commuted to the past with a drama of emotions and how it connects with the present situation.
Splitting up these three hours of commercial entertainer into two halves as present and period portions, the latter one dominates a major quotient in this flick. Rajnikanth as the Maharaja Lingeshwaran steals the show with his classic approach to the characterisation. Especially, his performance, where British collector and few chiselers earn him dishonor in front of villagers is remarkable. The dialogues blend with philosophical lines during these situations is at its best. Getting on with the other role of Rajnikanth as the grandson of Lingeshwaran, his role and portions are completely affixed to commercial elements. The first 30 minutes of this film has everything with a rich introduction song followed by his hilarious encounters with sidekicks – Santhanam, Karunakaran, Dhaadi Balaji and others are perfect. Anushka plays her role befitting the usual commercial heroines. The sequence involving robbery at Lalitha Jewelry is fun-filled. Sonakshi Sinha plays her portions very well with accordance to her characterisation as a native girl. Jagapathi Babu appears as stylish baddie. Pon Vannan, Vijayakumar and Radharavi have their share of contribution to the emotional drama. Rajnikanth shares a good chemistry with Santhanam and Karunakaran when it comes to humorous spell. Dev Singh Gill’s role could have been made more effective.
Cinematography by Rathinavelu stands out as the brilliant flash points of Lingaa. Maybe, the songs are not as appealing as what Rahman has scored for Rajnikanth’s previous films. Both the songs, Mannava and Indiane Vaa are the gem of this album.
On the flip side, Rajnikanth fans might not find the best larger than life role image throughout the film, which might not impress the fans who earnestly look up for such acts. The running duration seems to be off more length and it could have been trimmed. The mass elements might not be found in plenty, but Rajnikanth establishes his new dimension.
1. Unique story and treatment
2. Rajnikanth’s distinguished performance in dual roles
3. Sonakshi Sinha
4. Santhanam Comedy
What doesn’t work
1. Lengthy duration
2. Background score
3. CG works in few Green Matte sequences
On the whole, Lingaa doesn’t appeal as a mass film for Rajnikanth fans, but is something experimental from Superstar at this age. KS Ravikumar deserves pat for handling such a project with huge production value and something far away from his usual paradigms of filmmaking style.
Verdict: Might not impress as Massive, but stands out Classic
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