Creating one of the biggest buzz of the year, 'Lingaa' was eagerly expected by each and every die-hard fans of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth, because it has been 4 long years, since his last live action film, 'Endhiran'. Besides that, he is making a comeback under the baton of K.S Ravikumar, who gave two of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's biggest blockbusters, 'Muthu' and 'Padayappa'. This combo has tried to resuscitate their pairing with 'Lingaa' after the 'Jaggubhai' and 'Rana' got dropped for various reasons. The name 'Superstar' Rajinikanth itself is enough to generate enormous buzz and expectations. Can 'Lingaa' satiate the hunger of his millions of fans ?

'Superstar' Rajinikanth is an eternal style icon and the man proves that age is no barrier for his dashing presence and energetic performance. He holds your entire attention when he is on the screen and the matinee idol looks great in his stylish costumes, although the make-up was a little tacky. The period portion featuring the star as Prince cum Collector cum civil engineer Raja Lingeshwaran is an absolute treat for the audience, because this is the 'Superstar' Rajinikanth everyone wishes to see. You get all the machismo factor and the occasional philosophical lines, which, catches your attention instantaneously, especially when he mouths it nonchalantly. Anushka Shetty's role has some bearing on the script, and nothing much more. She definitely has to take care of her weight, though ! Bollywood A-lister, Sonakshi Sinha makes her Tamizh debut and her pan-Indian looks, makes her fit for her role as a common woman of the 1930's era. Chinmayi's dubbing for her works out in her favor but her character has minimal weightage on the script. Santhanam, brings in his usual fantastic comic-timing and his dialogues are a scream in certain places. Jagapati Babu as the antagonist, was unfortunately wasted and his characterization was poorly written. The rest of the star cast includes veteran director K.Viswanath, Karunakaran, Balaji, Dev Gill, Brahmanandam, Radha Ravi, Vijayakumar, 'Nizhalgal' Ravi, R.Sundarrajan, Manobala, 'Crane' Manohar, Anu Mohan, Falk Columbo, William Orendorff and etc.

'Lingaa' is technically rich with superior production design and grandeur attached to it. Nikhaar Dhawan's costume designing was simple, yet stylish and colorful. 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's lightweight costumes, enabled him to showcase his usual speed, yet at the same very colorful and stylish. Sonakshi Sinha's looks were well maintained for the talkie portions and she looks graceful in the song, as well. Action choreography is handled by T.Ramesh and Lee Whittaker. The action scene involving 'Superstar' Rajinikanth as Raja Lingeshwaran, on top of the train was brilliantly choreographed and superbly staged. But what happened in the climax hot-air balloon scene is a complete shocker, and 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's larger-than-life quotient was simply overblown ! Production design by Sabu Cyril and the art direction by his assistant A.Amaran deserves great round of applause for their arduous task of creating a huge, dam-like set, which must look like in an  under-construction stage, in a record-breaking short time ! Its nearly equivalent to a Shankar-type set work, and the 1930's period looks was very aptly captured. The various set work for the songs, too deserves mention, although most of them reminds of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's 'Sivaji - The Boss'. Samjith MHD's editing could have been much better, especially with the continuity and flow of the screenplay in the second half. The excessive duration of the film, is also a minus point from the editing perspective. VFX, supervised by P.C Sanath, is a big disappointment, especially in the climax portion, and it looks very tacky. To blame it on the production cost or on less availability of time, can only be decided by the makers !  The film wouldn't have looked this good on screen, if not for R.Rathnavelu's cinematography. His top-angle shots for the Linganamakki Dam, situated in the Shimoga district of Karnatae, were real treat to the eyes. The color correction for the period look, shot in Mysore and other districts of Karnataka, was top-notch. The usage of Red Dragon 6K camera and the Phantom Flex 4K for the train action sequence, deserves a round of applause. The lighting for the train-fight scene, is a must see !

Musical score by A.R Rahman, is hugely disappointing because none of his songs, stands out impressively and all of them are just temporary listens. The imperative S.P Balasubrahmanyam opening song, "Oh Nanba" was shot in dazzling urban locations of Macau and also in the luxurious Ferrari World, located in Abu Dhabi. 'Superstar' Rajinikanth was given space to dance, backed up by hundreds of foreign dancers. "Mona Gasolina" brings us the energetic Mano as the voice of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and the energy was equally matched by our 'Superstar' Rajinikanth. The song shot on 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and Anushka had various dreamy sequences such as the pirates theme, cowboy theme and futuristic space-ship theme as backdrop and each sets were well designed by Sabu Cyril and A.Amaran. "En Mannavane" is the duet shot on 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and Sonakshi Sinha and it has the typical Bollywood color and flavor to it, be it the costumes of the lead artistes or even the colorful and beautiful set, put up for the song. The lighting for the song looks amazing, and brings out the richness and splendor of the set. "Indiane Vaa" is a situational song featuring 'Superstar' Rajinikanth and most of the cast, depicting the construction of the dam, shot near the Jog Falls and the Linganamakki Dam, looks majestic and involves most of the star cast. The follow-up pathos song, "Unmai Orunaal" has montages of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth facing a crisis and appears immediately after the previous song. A.R Rahman's background score is impressive only in a few places and it proves that the ace musician needs ample of time, to deliver quality music.

The story of 'Lingaa' was written by Ponkumaran and is loosely based on Colonel John Pennycuick CSI, a British Army engineer and civil servant, who undertook the construction of Mullaiperiyar Dam. K.S Ravikumar takes charge of the screenplay, dialogues and direction. Apart from the philosophical dialogues uttered by the senior 'Superstar' Rajinikanth, K.S Ravikumar fails in the other two components. The screenplay has poor flow and continuity and has no spunk or zing in it. 'Muthu' and 'Padayappa' worked tremendously well, due to the right placing of comedy, action and emotional scenes, but more importantly it had strong emotional thread and a powerful antagonist, respectively. But none of them is present in 'Lingaa' and the film fails to rise above its flaws, even with the presence of 'Superstar' Rajinikanth. The writing looks very much 1980's material and is no-way in tune with current trend. The whole script lacked proper writing and its astonishing to note that K.S Ravikumar had a team of screenplay & script-writers to fine tune this script ! What were the makers thinking when they came out with that ridiculous action scene in the climax, can only be explained by the makers themselves. Its perplexing to note that K.S Ravikumar can take the audience for granted, especially when the film involves 'Superstar' Rajinikanth, who can easily get the best of artistes and technicians for his films. Why not come out with a decent script and a racy screenplay, and execute it properly ? 

'Lingaa' - 'Superstar' Rajinikanth to the rescue !

Ratings: 2.75/5 STARS


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