Director: P Vasu
Cast: Raghava Lawrencce, Ritika Singh, Shakti Vasu and Vadivelu
What makes Sivalinga slightly exciting until you watch it is the fact that it brings together Lawrencce and P Vasu, two of the pioneers of the horror-comedy genre in Tamil cinema. Even before actor-filmmaker Lawrence gained popularity with his highly successful Kanchana franchise, Vasu had struck gold at the box-office with superstar Rajinikanth starrer Chandramukhi, which was even later remade in Hindi as Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Unfortunately, this collaboration doesn’t end in fireworks, instead results in a largely clichéd but fairly entertaining horror flick.
Sivalinga is a murder mystery laced with horror elements and despite a very done-to-death story and horror tricks, it’s surprising that the film works and how. The film’s revolves around the murder of an important character and the subsequent investigation to find out who was behind it. While the attempt to keep the suspense element till the end works to an extent, the reason for the murder isn’t convincing enough to keep us on the edge of our seats. Hence, the climax is underwhelming and even has strong influences of Vasu’s Malabar Police and even Kanchana.
Despite these issues, what makes Sivalinga work is the way it’s commercially packaged. Vadivelu makes a strong comeback and shines at regular intervals throughout the film. His comic sense when coupled with even the most archetypical horror sequences is fun to watch. He saves the film on many occasions with his sheer screen presence. Even though this isn’t his best, given that he has been even hilarious in several films over the years, he still makes us root for him.
Ritika Singh, who impressed audiences and critics alike as a boxing protégé in Saala Khadoos, proves that she’s cut out for commercial roles too. While she has no scope in the scenes where needs to be glamorous, she is terrific in the scenes where she’s possessed. She’s aptly supported by Lawrence who, knowingly or unknowingly, keeps imitating Rajinikanth’s mannerisms.
If not for its commercial packaging, Sivalinga would have fallen flat on its face and joined the long list of unsuccessful horror comedies.
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