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Lineman movie review - Thrigun’s film has its heart in the right place, but doesn’t entertain much

Lineman movie review: Telugu actor Thrigun debuts in Kannada with the Raghu Shastry film about an electricity lineman who refuses to provide power to a village for a certain reason

2.5/5rating
Lineman movie review - Thrigun’s film has its heart in the right place, but doesn’t entertain much
Thrigun is Natesha, the lineman at a power station in the film Lineman

Last Updated: 08.21 PM, Mar 21, 2024

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Lineman movie story: A quaint village, Chandakavadi, is prepping to celebrate the local midwife, Sharadamma’s (B Jayashree) 100thbirthday, when Natesha (Thrigun), the electricity board lineman for the area, decides to not turn on the power supply. Turns out, a pair of sparrows had set up home right under a transformer box, with four eggs, all of which would be destroyed with the heat and radiation if Natesha turns on the power supply.

Obviously, the villagers do not immediately fall in line with Natesha’s plan to stay without electricity for days together, but do so begrudgingly eventually. Will Natesha’s plan work out?

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Lineman movie review: Power supply disruption for a lengthy period is unthinkable for most of us; and, we make sure that such outages do not affect our day-to-day lives. If a few minutes of no electricity between a power cut and the switch-over to a generator/UPS has you reaching out to whoever is in charge to make sure back-up is on, can you imagine life without such a luxury for days together?

Well, the villagers of Chandakavadi do just that for the sake of four sparrow eggs in a nest at the local power station. The eggs will literally be fried if the lineman turns on the power supply, so they decide to give the little birds a fighting chance by forgoing some of their luxuries. This, of course, does not come without a fair share of complaints, but then this a village is full of good-hearted people, who put the needs of the birds ahead of their own. It is not the most plausible plot, but that’s what director Raghu Shastry presents in Lineman.

The film, which marks Telugu actor Thrigun’s debut in Kannada cinema, is as much about wildlife conservation as it is about turning the spotlight on what modern-day luxuries and technology have done to people. Can people really manage without essential kitchen appliances, washing machines, entertainment on television and mobile phones, or, for that matter, lights and a ceiling fan? Well, not long ago, this was a reality for most people and maybe still is in some remote villages of the country.

B Jayashree in a still from Lineman
B Jayashree in a still from Lineman

Those were the days, when the women would head to the nearest water body in groups to wash clothes, bathe, gossip and have fun. Even pounding or grinding flour would be a community affair sometime. Essentially, a lot of their daily life revolved around the community and people, something that is woefully missing today.

Raghu’s story, for the most part, has its heart in the right place, but does not have enough meat in it to sustain a run-time of 2 hours, so he peppers it with some ‘comedy’ about a childless couple and another hormonal young duo, whose clandestine relationship in the dark has consequences. All these issues are ‘settled’ with messages for society, but in the overall scheme of things, they are accessories that do not really add value to the film.

The film does not revolve entirely on the leading man, which works for Thrigun, who is a known name in Telugu cinema, but appears to be struggling with his lip synch for the Kannada version of the film. The voice used for the actor also doesn’t fit in well; in fact, I checked out a few interviews of Thrigun just to hear what he actually sounds like. I’m guessing, he will sound better in the Telugu version. The actor doesn’t have much to do in the film to warrant comment about his work, so I shall refrain.

Lineman movie verdict: Lineman falls in the genre of film that Malayalam and Tamil cinema has perfected – a simple story that revolves around one event. Here, it’s Natesha’s refusal to turn on the power supply, but the problem is that the story as a whole is not entertaining enough.

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