The pre-production works of LINGAA began in March 2014. In April 2014, Ravikumar stated on Facebook that filming would commence soon and that the film was titled LINGAA. Rockline Venkatesh was announced as producer. A. R. Rahman was roped in as the music composer for the film and R. Rathnavelu as the cinematographer. Sabu Cyril was confirmed to handle the art direction for the film. Sonakshi Sinha, Anushka and Jagapathi Babu were signed to play significant roles. The shooting began in May 2014 and was wrapped up in October 2014. With sky-high pre-release expectations, does ‘Lingaa’ satisfy the audience? Read on, to know!
The movie revolves around a small village named Solaiyur and a Dam that acts as its lifeline. The MP of the village, Nagabooshan (Jagapati Babu) has plans to destabilize the Dam for his own selfish motives. The village head (Viswanath) understands that something is wrong from the death of a government official who came to test the dam’s strength; the Village head wants to do something to save the dam. He starts looking for the legal heir of the Dam’s engineer Raja Lingeswaran (Rajnikanth). Lingaa (Rajinikanth), the grandson of Raja Lingeswaran does not have any respect for his grandfather because of his unconditional generosity and for leaving his father only with debts; however, he gains a lot of respect for him after knowing about him and the story of the dam’s construction in detail through the village head. How did Lingaa manage to save the dam constructed by his grandfather from the baddies forms the crux of the story.
First things first! Despite all the pluses and minuses, it is indeed awesome to see ‘Super Star’ Rajinikanth on screen after 4+ years. Years have rolled, but the energy in him and his activeness is just adorable. Yes, he looks older; but he has strained a lot and took a lot of efforts to bring smile on his fans’ faces. Whether it is stunt sequences or dance movements or the spontaneity in dialogue delivery, he proves wrong that his age is 65! Super Star has tried carrying the whole movie on his own; but he cannot do that all alone, right?
Veteran director K.S.Ravikumar has come up with an old yet interesting plot which is tailor-made for ‘Super Star’ very much. The screenplay, the execution and the film’s length has been the biggest problem. The film that runs for 174 minutes, begins actually only after the entry of Raja Lingeshwaran in flashback (almost after an hour); the flashback ends just 20 to 25 minutes before the climax. The 80+ minutes other than the flashback is so uninteresting taking so much of time for the characters’ introduction and the romance portions; whereas, the flashback portion has been well-made (despite its length). Another biggest problem with LINGAA is that everything in the film looks so hurried; may be, that is because the director was only busy with plans for releasing the film on the 12/12 date at any cost.
LINGAA has its bright moments here and there; to enjoy them, you would need a lot of patience and you must be ready to bear a lot of unwanted additions too. The dream songs with both heroines (one when Lingeshwaran thanks Lakshmi and the other when Lakshmi looks at Lingaa’s video) were terrible misplacement and were not needed at all. The song visuals were also underwhelming, except the first two songs. The dialogues by Pon Kumaran were really good; the fresh punchlines will be much liked by Rajini’s fans. Such one was ‘Oru velai saapidalainaa thappilla, Oru velai kooda saapidaama irundhaa dhan thappu’. Unlike other K.S.Ravikumar’s films, there are only a few sentimental scenes that are heart-warming in LINGAA; the scene where Raja Lingeshwaran sells all his properties, the scene where he calls Indians only to work with him and the scene where he moves from Solaiyur are few among them. Also, the fans have got only a few scenes to clap or whistle having goosebumps for their ‘Super Star’ like the scene where Raja Lingeshwaran resigns his collector job, the interval block and so on. Santhanam has been the saviour of so many scenes in the first half and his combination with THALAIVAR has worked out very well. Rathnavelu’s cinematography, Lee whittaker’s stunts and Sabu Cyril’s sets have been a great support all-through! Both Anushka and Sonakshi Sinha have given their best of what was required from them.
The care and attention that K.S.RaviKumar has given to the 1939 flashback episode is evidently seen; the same could have been done to the grandson episode too which looks so lethargically / conveniently written. There is nothing called LOGIC in those scenes; whether it is the diamond theft scene (which was absolutely ridiculous) or the climax bike chase (which will feed a lot for the RAJINIKANTH jokes). K.S.Ravikumar sir, we audience are really bored and irritated of seeing the same bomb sequence in your last 3 films AADHAVAN, JAGGUBHAI and LINGAA; with a decent climax, things would have been different for LINGAA. Did the director see Jagapathi Babu as a good villain for the SUPER STAR really? Nothing more to say about his acting or his characterization! Few significant scenes in the flashback are so poorly executed which are not impacting at all; for example, the scene where a poor farmer family suicides.
Technically, LINGAA can be called as the poorest film of SUPERSTAR in recent time! Out of 5 songs by A.R.Rahman, 2 were average and below average. It is understood that the whole team has worked under a lot of pressure and in an urgency to finish the film on time, but still the background score by A.R.Rahman was highly disappointing; many scenes would have been much more appealing with a better BGM. I believe A.R.Rahman cannot be the only person to blamed, for this! With better editing, Samjith could have done a winning magic to LINGAA; unfortunately, that has not happened. Even though the film had a very good interval block, it looked so abrupt. The length of flashback could also have been reduced to an extent; the 1.5 hours length could actually make few people forget that they are watching a flashback actually when it is over. The make-up and CG works are also major spoilers, which reminds the audience often that it is a ‘hurried’ product!
VERDICT: A ‘Super Hit’ material has been made as a hurried ‘Average’ product, with full of flaws! SUPER STAR’s charismatic presence alone makes LINGAA a bearable watch.
Review by: Rahman
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