Director P. Vasu of Chandramukhi fame is back after a hiatus with Sivalinga, a horror comedy. Lawrence who has done many horror comedies in the past has once again tried his hand at his favorite genre.
What is it about?
Sivalinga (Lawrence) is a CB CID officer who takes up the case of a mysterious death of a muslim cook Rahim (Shakti). While Sivalinga is clueless motive behind the murder, Rahim’s soul comes to help him. Sivalinga’s wife Satya (Rithika) is possessed in Rahim’s soul and the officer has to hurry up the proceedings as Rahim is desperate to avenge his death.
Lawrence does the usual stuff by putting on his fear of ghost show that isn’t funny anymore. Apart from a couple of dance numbers where he excels, his performance is strictly average. Rithika is good in the scenes where she is possessed. She is a terrific dancer too. Vadivelu is back after a long gap and his comedy is okay in parts. Urvashi overacts and Bhanupriya hams. Most of the supporting cast irritates with over the top performances.
P. Vasu directed the Kannada original of the same title. He didn’t make many changes to the script as it was a hit in Kannada. The screenplay is engaging with the mystery being maintained until the penultimate scene. However, the direction is old school with so many clichÃ©-ridden sequences and over the top comedy that get onto your nerves. Thaman’s background score is impressive, but the songs are pretty mediocre. Cinematography is decent and so are the visual effects.
Over the top comedy
Sivalinga is just another horror comedy from Lawrence who has mastered the art of selling ghost stories with a dash of humor. It has its moments that will strike a chord with the target audience, but it is also very much a routine affair for people who have seen most of the recent horror comedies.
At the beginning, the film gives us a feeling that it is yet another installment of Lawrence’s successful horror comedy franchise Kanchana. The protagonist is a CID officer but he fears ghosts and he has a mother character reminiscent of Kovai Sarala from Kanchana series. Things start to get interesting once the location shifts to an old bungalow.
Rithika encounters spirits in the house and soon after gets possessed. Interval episode is too good and lifts hopes on the second hour. However there isn’t much horror as the film runs like a suspense thriller with super natural elements. Even comedy is not good enough to bring the house down.
Kanchana series was so successful for its rib tickling comedy and genuine horror. P. Vasu couldn’t repeat his Chandramukhi magic here as the film is not so scary in spite of a scary looking ghost. And finally the motive for killing Raheem sounds too cheesy which is a bit of a dampener. All in all, Sivalinga is a passable horror comedy that offers humor in bits and pieces. Fast moving screenplay and well maintained suspense are its plus. On the box office front, it may do well in B and C centers.
Verdict: Old school Ghost Tale.