Superstar Rajnikanth‘s birthday treat Lingaa, directed by KS Ravikumar hits the screens today. The film is expected to surpass the duo’s earlier outings – Muthu and Padaiyappa. With a huge ensemble of support stars and Rajnikanth in dual roles, does Lingaa live up to the immense expectations? Let’s find out.
Lingaa follows the tried and tested K.S.Ravikumar template with comedy driving the proceedings forward in a pretty enjoyable manner, for the majority of the first half. The younger Rajnikanth is seen as a petty thief who is out to make a quick buck in the company of his sidekicks, played by Santhanam and Karunakaran. After some plot points, the flashback portion begins towards the end of the first half and lifts the movie noticeably.
The senior Rajnikanth as Raja Lingeswaran plays it in his trademark extravagant style with a tinge of arrogance. This role is sure to totally win over his ardent fans. As always, the dialogues bordering on philosophy gain more meaning when Rajnikanth delivers them nonchalantly. Watch out for the train stunt sequence.
KSR is generally known for his impactful flashback sequences, where he presents a gamut of emotions and other human traits. Lingaa’s flashback episode also stands out and the element of patriotism works to the film’s advantage. The grandeur of the dam and the way the scenes are woven around it, point to the director’s experience.
A round of applause for DoP Rathnavelu too, for the way he has captured the scenic landscape and offered a treat to the eyes with the high top angle shots. Senior Rajnikanth’s little romance track with Sonakshi Sinha is another highlight and the Bollywood beauty fits the bill perfectly with her native looks, cute expressions and remarks. Chinmayee’s dubbing for her makes us invest in her role even more.
Rajnikanth’s energy levels and evergreen screen presence are admirable and he is the cynosure of all eyes whenever he is on screen. His costumes and other accessories in both the periods make him dazzle. Make-up could have been slightly better.
Santhanam gets a few lines to showcase his comic timing while Karuna has not much scope. Anushka’s role has some bearing on the film’s outcome in a few key scenes. Otherwise, she gets the hit Mona Gasolina number along with a romance track with the younger Rajnikanth. We have many many more actors, including a few British ones and experienced Tamil faces, playing out little roles in the overall scheme of things.
Talking about the songs, both the duet songs with the two lead ladies respectively, have been positioned as a mere formality, while Indiane Vaa is the best of the lot thanks to its relevance to the script and the message it conveys. It does seem that the film’s tight deadlines took a toll on the background score.
Just when you thought that the film was resolving in a pretty decent manner and when all the knots were being untied competently, comes a shocker of a stunt sequence in the climax where the action happens in a bike and a hot air balloon. The length of the movie is a downer too.
To sum up, Lingaa is a mainstream entertainer with some substance, playing to Rajnikanth’s strengths. Low expectations and high patience levels would enable you to enjoy Rajnikanth’s screen persona.