Raghava Lawrence and P Vasu are brand ambassadors for horror comedies in South cinema are now joined by a strong performer Rithika Singh of Guru fame. Let us see, what the film is all about in Shivalinga Review because this is a proven crime horror in Kannada.
Raheem (Shakti) is a humanitarian, simple living and honest human being murdered throwing off from a running train. Shivalingeshwar (Lawrence) from CB-CID is given the task to crack this case because of Raheem’s girl friend. Meanwhile, Shivalingeshwar gets married to Sathya Bhama (Rithika Singh) and moves to Warangal for solving the case. However, Sathya Bhama begins to behave abnormally following all the investigation updates from Shivalingeshwar. Then comes the twist, dead Raheem’s soul enters into Sathya Bhama’s body to know the reasons behind his murder. Who killed Raheem? Why Raheem chose Sathya Bhama’s body is rest of the film.
Shivalinga Artists, Technicians Review: Unlike the regular horror comedies, what made Shivalinga special is the crime based thrill element kept hidden till the last hour. Vasu’s story and script are woven in formulaic manner. It’s the two crucial artists Shakti and Rithika Singh made major difference in ripening the thrill while presentation of horror episodes is clichéd. Shades of Chandramukhi and Muni series are though sensed in the narrative yet when the film is targeted at clear mass audience P Vasu did not go wrong adding dances, fights and commercial elements at even intervals. Shashank Vennelakanti dialogues are ok. Sarvesh Murari’s cinematography is tacitly bright, colorful. It’s the visual grandness keeps us hooked. Suresh Urs editing is pretty neat. SS Thaman’s background musical score stood out while songs did not make any impact. CG is also acceptable. Production standards from Ramesh P Pillai and Abhishek Films are worth appreciative.
Onto artists, Rithika Singh and Shakti have stolen the show from Lawrence. While Lawrence struck to his trademark stylish mannerisms in dances, fights; his intelligence as CB CID officer isn’t elevated much. Overall, he did a fine job. On the other side, Rithika Singh’s spooky side has something new. Being a fresh face, all the expressions emoted well. Other artist whom we sympathize immediately with is Shakti as Raheem. His slantingly good attitude is presented touchingly. Vadivelu’s comedy failed to click. Among others, Bhanu Priya, Jayaprakash, Radha Ravi, Pradeep Rawat, Urvasi have done well.
Despite we are tired watching these overtly tried horror scripts revolving around a dead soul dying for revenge, this time P Vasu added a humanistic touch generating pitiness towards the dead Shakti character and a pigeon to help out in murder mystery investigation. Nevertheless, the mass hero appeal in Lawrence is also put to best usage though classes may detract easily. Opening central conflict before the titles by killing Raheem, director P Vasu played on edge with later portions only by hiding the murder mystery because rest all is investigation and horror to run in parallel.
From very beginning, rich train visuals murdering Shakti captures our attention. Then Lawrence has a formulaic action and dance centered entry as CB CID. Taking up Shakti case and marriage with Rithika Singh are a bit slow. While we wait for actual investigation to start, lot of time wasted on Vadivelu, Urvasi, Bhanu Priya and rest. Nothing much happens in first half except the spine chilling interval episode of Lawrence tracing out Rithika Singh being possessed by Shakti’s soul.
Into second half, consulting Psychiatrist reminds us of ‘Chandramukhi’ but twists unveil one after other as Shakti gives momentum every time we feel lethargic. Pradeep Rawat, Rithika Singh scene is also dealt well. Last 20+ minutes when entire plot shifts to one place, Lawrence takes the key lead. Releasing locks one after other, P Vasu takes us to the deadly action climax and rest is ritual.
Overall, Shivalinga is a neatly packaged commercial horror-thriller which fell short on comedy. P Vasu experience in dealing this genre kept things tight to large extent. Barring Vadivelu unbearable comedy, clichéd horror and slowed down investigation; Lawrence’s energy and Shakti, Rithika Singh’s brilliant performances make Shivalinga worth a watch once. Shivalinga rating is 2.5 stars from Cinejosh and the prospects of film faring good commercially in B, C centers is high.