Cast: Raghava Lawrence, Ritika Singh, Shakthi, Vadivelu, Radharavi, Bhanupriya, Urvashi, Madhuvanti Arun, Jayaprakash, Pradeep Rawat and others
Music: S.S. Thaman
Editing: Suresh Urs
Cinematography: Sarvesh Murari
Written & Directed by: P. Vasu
Produced by: R. Ravindran
The long-awaited P. Vasu-Raghava Lawrence combination Shivalinga is out in theatres but release ironically at a time when ghost films are on the wane. Vasu and Lawrence appear to have been caught in the Chandramukhi and Kanchana modes (respectively in that order) as the veteran director has chosen to remake his own Kannada hit film of the same title in Tamil.
Rahim (Shakthi) is found dead under mysterious circumstances in a compartment in a moving train. Rahim’s ladylove Sangeetha meets the police commissioners and lodges complaints of foul-play. CoP entrusts crime branch officer Raghava Lawrence who gets help from an unexpected quarter as a ghost takes a ‘human’ form. Rest of the story is how the cop-ghost combo goes about in nabbing the culprits.
Lawrence has to run from pillar to post as he has to tackle the investigation in the murder case besides dealing with the ‘ghost’ which takes ‘refuge’ in his pretty wife’s body. After apprehending the culprit, Lawrence leaves him at the mercy of the ‘ghost’ as he concludes that letting the law take its own course in deciding the culprit’s punishment is a mere waste of time.
His reasoning might defy logic but that’s how ghost-films are made since time immemorial in Tamil films. Conforming to logic might rob the ‘creative instincts’ of many scriptwriters! The film moves on with not-so-unexpected sequences and with Vadivelu’s comedy section, providing paisa-vasool entertainment.
For some reasons, ‘Tamil Muslims’ in Tamil films are always depicted as if they are not fluent in speaking in Tamil and are more comfortable in speaking in Hindi (in reality, though, most Tamil Muslims speak Hindi with a heavy Urdu accent). Rahim’s character, which has roots in Vellore, has been made so speak as if he is a resident of Kashmir or somewhere in North India.
Raghava Lawrence, who makes a ‘dashing’ entry as a secret cop who recovers huge currencies in latest denomination, sings and dances gamely in his customary introduction song. His character appears to be a continuation of his last film despite the fact that both the films were not directed by the same person. His fan-following keeps pace obediently with the punch dialogues he utters from time to time.
Ritika takes up a very different role for a Tamil heroine as she brings forth the actual performance of a girl possessed by a ‘spirit’. Veterans Radharavi, Bhanupriya, Urvashi and Jayaprakash have all done their respective roles very well. Shakthi, who reprises his role in the Kannada version, has even been given an ‘item song’: being the director’s son helps at times for sure!
Thaman’s background music has been pretty ordinary and he dazzles only in one or two songs. Murari’s cinematography is of top notch especially in sequences which ar shown to be happening in a moving train.
• Lawrence’s screen presence
• Ritika Singh’s acting/dancing
• Vadivelu’s comedy sections
• Background score is below par
• Songs could have been better composed
• Predictable screen-play
Verdict: Despite its flaws, Shivalinga is a time-pass movie which thankfully doesn’t offer any objectionable content/audio clip!
Rating: 2.5 out of 5