Lingaa enjoyed highest expectation for any Tamil cinema before its release in spite of being bombarded with many legal issues. The film, over the last few months not only, increased the anticipation level among Indian movie goers but had also managed to induce excitement amid foreigners. So what does the most anticipated movie has to offer?
Well, to begin with there couldn't have been a better treat for all Rajinikanth fans on his birthday for the movie focuses entirely on the Superstar. Though the movie carries a predictable plot, KS Ravikumar's story telling skills induces a fresh dimension to the movie.
Raja Lingeshwaran(Rajinikanth) is the rightful heir to a famous dynasty that once ruled most parts of Southern India. Though he belongs to the royal family, Raja Lingeshwaran graduates as a civil engineer who also goes on to become Madurai's collector as per his father's wish. When Britishers takeover after abolishing the traditional Indian ruling system, drought wrecks havoc in a small village to which Raja Lingeshwaran is transferred as its new collector.
Raja Lingeshwaran takes up the initiative and requests the Britishers to build a much-needed dam that would serve well for the people. But his idea is opposed citing a political reason and hence he leads from the front and inspires each and every villager to take up the responsibility to build a dam for themselves without seeking help from the foreigners. He also takes care of the monetary issue by taking up the expenses to build the dam.
In spite of facing many deadly hurdles from people with evil intentions, the dam is built successfully. However, after many years(present day) the hard work of an entire village is put under danger by a corrupt MP played by Jagapati Babu, the main antagonist.
An old man from the village, played by legendary director-actor K Vishwanath gets to know that the only way to save the village is by opening lord Shiva's temple situated near the dam after almost 75 years which was also built by Raja Lingeshwaran. But since the villagers believe only an heir of Raja Lingeshwaran should open the temple, Rajinikanth(Lingaa), who is the grandson of Raja Lingeshwaran, comes back to the village to open the temple. Why the temple has to be opened? What danger has befallen on the village forms the rest of the story.
Rajinikanth shines throughout the movie and carries the entire film on his shoulders. His performance as a responsible king as well as a civil engineer is appreciable. Anushka has done a decent job in her role as TV reporter and the other leading lady Sonakshi impresses the audience with her expressions. Santhanam is good as always with his witty one-liners and his combination with Rajinikanth has worked wonders. Supporting actors' performances including Jagapati Babu is average.
Randy's camerawork is brilliant. Apart from showcasing Rajinikanth no more than a 40-year-old, his collaboration with the colorist has worked well as there is seemingly significant difference in visuals between two different time periods.
Sabu Cyril, as a production designer has done a fantastic job in presenting visually appealing sets. Though the set designed for 'En Mannava' song reminds us of Sivaji's 'Vaaji Vaaji', he manages to score lots of points in other aspects like designing the vehicles of pre-independence era to perfection.
AR Rahman's background score is good. The work of make-up artists and designer Nikhaar Dhawan who has tailored Rajinikanth's costumes in a simple yet stylish manner is appreciable.
Special mention goes to Samjith Mohd who's editing skills turns an average plot into an interesting watch. Screenplay is average but at the same time doesn't irritate, despite the movie's run time which is 2 hours and 55 minutes. KS Ravikumar as a director could've paid extra attention to logical loopholes the movie carries which would've drawn appreciation from critics as well. Dialogues are good and are delivered powerfully by Superstar.
VFX and graphic team has failed to impress, especially in the climax portion, but one shouldn't forget that the movie was completed in just six months.
Watch Lingaa for its sheer entertainment value and KS Ravikumar's intriguing narration. If you are a Rajinikanth's fan and do not mind Thalaivar disrespecting the power of gravity then watch it again solitarily for the Indian Film Personality of the year.