Honestly, P Vasu had a humdinger of a plot at hand. He could have turned a simple, plot into a rivetting detective thriller. But then, trust a director’s intution to get the better of box office matrix. Or for that matter having the moneybags on his side that would make sense in providing a neat, nifty film, than one that panders suit turning into a pedestrian play for the legion of fans.
Going by Shivalinga’s song and dance, and stunt fight breaks, as Vasu weaves a watchable fare, you know where the compromises lie and you are left but rue a well intentioned film gone rot. Sensibly snipped to a healthy 90 minutes and much more chutzpah added into the narrative, Vasu could have had even the discerning cinegoers eating out of his hands with no quarrels whatsover over his mundane, murder play.
But than that’s the way crookie crumbles and one is left ruminating on an inspired bit of film-making. Straddling on twin horses — murder and horror, Vasu, is neither here nor there and with dollops of comedy dished in, renders his Shivalinga a futile effort at engaging entertainment.
From direct inspiration from several foreign flicks of the detective genre - Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, specially the last scene, and several red herrings, and similar from several horror flocks - The Exorcist, The Possessed, Vasu, despite all the constraints, does a decent job. But when every fifteen minutes of the 150 plus screen time of Shivalinga spent in digressive song sequences set amidst slyvan settings overseas, and buffonry than comedy, taking away the interest in his story telling, the film turns out an exercise in futility in being an engaging entertainer.
If still the film does manage to keep one’s interest in its vascillating and vacuous enterprise it is thanks to PKH Das’ savvy cinematography and background score of Harikrishna besides a dignified role play by Shivarajkumar and Vedhika, who play CID hubby and demon-possed wifey, melding beautifully. All said and done, Shivalinga, while is bound to have Shivarajkumar’s fans going delirious, it does also has the other movie goers interested in Vasu’s latest outing at the movie turnstiles.