Movie Name: Sivalinga
Cast: Raghava Lawrence, Ritika Singh, Shakthi, Vadivelu, Radharavi, Bhanupriya, Urvashi and Jayaprakash
Direction: P Vasu
Producer: R Ravindran
Music Director: SS Thaman
Listen to the Music from Zee Music
Release Date: April 14
Genre: Horror Thriller
Raghava Lawrence’s previous outing Motta Shiva Ketta Shiva turned out to be a dud at the box office following a string of successful horror films. Now, he is back to the horror genre again in Sivalinga or Shivalinga directed by P Vasu, who had helmed succesful movies like Chandramukhi and Aptharakshaka (Kannada).
The latest film is a remake of the director’s hit Kannada film of same name. In Sandalwood, Shivaraj Kumar and Vedhika had played the leads, while Raghava Lawrence and Ritika Singh are filling their shoes in the Tamil version. The first choice for the male lead was P Vasu’s favourite actor, Rajinikanth, but the superstar could not commit as he was tied up with other projects. Vasu’s son Shakthi will be seen in an important role and Vadivelu’s presence will add to the overall effect of the movie.
Sivalinga Synopsis: Raghava Lawrence plays a CID officer named Sivalinga. A suicide case is reopened by him as he suspects it to be a planned murder. The case takes a turn when his wife Sathya played by Ritika Singh is possessed by a spirit. His work-life balance gets messed up even as he tries to solve the case. What follows next is the best part of the story.
Sivalinga Movie Review: Sivalinga follows the same format that most of the succesful horror-comedy films follow. The story is on the lines of Chandramukhi and Kanchana, but the audience will not complain as it keep them engaged. Raghava Lawrence fits the template well, while Ritika gets an image makeover. Vadivelu’s comedy has been welcomed by the viewers and many feel that his performance is better than his previous outing Kaththi Sandai.
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.