SHIVALINGA (2017)



Critic - No.101

Director: P.Vasu
Casts: Raghava Lawrence, Shakthi, Ritika Singh, Vadivelu, Urvasi
Music: S.Thaman
Language: Tamil
Genre: Horror

Plot: CBI officer, Shivalinga reopens a case of a mysterious death of a Muslim cook, Rahim. Meanwhile he starts to suspect that his newly wedded wife, is possessed by the spirit of Rahim.  Will Shivalinga save his wife and solve the mystery behind Rahims death?

Review:
It’s interesting to see how a veteran director like P.Vasu has crafted a name for himself in Kannada market as a thriller expert who churns out back-to-back blockbusters. After about 12 years, P.Vasu is back with a similar horror flick after his mega-hit film Chandramukhi (2005). So will he recreate his magic?

Shivalinga start off with a promising knot with the scene of Rahim’s mysterious death. However, it transits into a gradually exhilarating commercial space with Lawrence’s intro fight scene. The core plot starts off when Rahim’s case is reopened but the reason for doing so is so unconvincing till you start to lose the interest in that angle.

There are many scenes that reminds us of Chandramukhi like residing into a haunted house, Vadivelu’s jokes and family oriented characters. However without a strong knot or dis-oriented screenplay we tend to get restless at parts, especially when songs are thrown in unnecessarily. 

The main problem with Shivalinga are the laughable ‘serious’ investigation scenes that seriously underestimate the intellectuality of the audience. In addition the horror portions could have been more subtly and tastefully done. The climax promises intensity but again the revelation and the reason of the killer is far from convincing.

On the brighter side, Shivalinga does keep you entertained from the start despite not involving us in the intended mysterious track. The comedy portions are nice and serve as a welcoming come back of actor Vadivelu. The scenes are quite fast paced with P.Vasu's screenplay constantly racing towards the finish line of the plot's mystery. It's quite interesting and unique to see revengeful spirit itself not knowing the reason for it's own tragedy. It's really unfortunate that P.Vasu succumbs to his commercial temptations despite having a strong story.

On performance side, Sakthi as Rahim outshines everyone with his intensity. Rithika looks fresh and different from her debut film, Iruthi Sutru (2016), but looks a little exaggerated in the supernatural scenes. Raghava Lawrence is good but needs to get his original stand instead of imitating his dear idol Rajinikanth. Despite the star-studded cast ensemble, all the characters are unfortunately underwritten.

On the technical front, Thaman’s songs are conventional and forced but are peppy whereas the visual effects look tacky and eye irking.




VERDICT: 
Despite its interesting core plot and star-studded cast ensemble, Shivalinga ends up as a pretentiously loud horror flick thanks to P.Vasu's over the top commercial treatment. 




CELLULOID METER- 2.5/5 : 







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