‘Lingaa’ is an exciting return for the superstar onto the big screen in live action. And this time, it's most certainly not a lacklustre computer animation. Directed by KS Ravikumar, the movie works well for its making rather than for the script alone which offers nothing new.
The storyline seems familiar enough: important social cause involving the common man requires representation. Who better than Raja Lingeshwaran (Rajinikanth) to take up that mantle? Set in 1940s in a remote village down south, there's a problem: water is becoming scarce, and the villagers are desperately in need of a dam. Raja Lingeshwaran, a former collector with British government is worshipped by the villagers for his combination of nobility, humility, and hard work. He tries persuading the Englishmen to build this dam, but to no avail. Frustrated, he motivates the villagers to build it themselves, and the project eventually gets completed. But there always seems to be some corrupt heads about, and they prevent the functioning of this dam, thus robbing Lingeshwaran and the villagers of their laborious work.
And now to the present moment we’ve got ‘Lingaa’ (Rajinikanth) who travels to the same village and seeks to avenge the wrongs done to Lingeshwaran, as well as the villagers, who are still being treated like cattle by the local scheming MP (Jagapathy Babu). Although putting it this way might seem to make it easy to guess the next move, the story has its own twists and dicey moments to make it fairly engaging. And kudos to the director for converting a simplistic script with an A list cast into a worthwhile watch.
Rajinikanth has done an admirable job in leading the movie from the front. His performance is still top notch after so many years apart from his style and delivering punch lines intact. Anushka who plays Lakshmi, a headstrong journalist is admirable. Sonakshi Sinha, yet another pair of Rajini in the period setup delivers in a limited screen space. And Santhanam quips in as usual with his jokes. There are several veterans in supporting cast including Vijayakumar, Radha Ravi, Ilavarasu, Sundarrajan etc who lend their support. Rajini’s films always have powerful villains with a strong screen presence. Here, it sadly lacks with the main villain being few foreign faces and later it is Jagapathy Babu.
In the music department, we've got AR Rahman. One usually finds his background to be pretty good, and you may find it to be the case here as well and his tunes re catchy. Cinematography by Randy cannot go wrong, especially given the scenic location of these pastoral sites in the south.
Perhaps, the movie could have used with a little bit of cutting edge and full blown vengeance at its core. Also, the long drawn-out climax is a downer. But hey, given all the action packed sequences accorded to the actor known for his kicks and punches, one can't complain much for this piece of masala entertainment, at the least Lingaa will go well with the ardent fans of Rajinikanth.