Review LineMan: Going back to basics

'LineMan', produced by Purple Rock Entertainers, was released in theatres today in Telugu and Kannada simultaneously. Let's find out what the drama is about.


The story is set in a village in Telangana where Nataraj aka Nattu (Thirgun) works as a junior powerman in the Southern Power Distribution Company Limited. As he says, "Unless I switch on the power supply at the local power station, the entire village will be in the dark".

The local midwife Devudamma (B Jayashree) is turning 100 soon. For the big day, though, Nattu decides not to turn on the power supply. It appears that a duo of sparrows had made their nest directly beneath a transformer box, containing four delicate eggs. Unfortunately, switching on the power supply would lead to the destruction of these eggs due to the intense heat and radiation. Nattu's decision, which results in verbal turbulence and a tussle of egos, results in something good.

Performances & Technical Departments:

Thrigun, previously known as Adith Arun, has believed in versatile genres. His 'Chikati Gadilo Chithakotudu' was an adult comedy, while '24 Kisses' and 'WWW' were a romance and a crime thriller, respectively. 'LineMan', which marks his Kannada debut, is perhaps his most notable village-based drama.

Kaajal Kunder and B Jayashree are two of the most consequential female artists in the film. Niviksha Naidu, Harini Srikanth, Sujay Shastry, Apporva Shree and others were chosen to cater to both the Telugu and Kannada audiences.

Cinematographer Shanthi Sagar HG shows the quaint village in all its modesty. Raghunatha L's editing is in keeping with the understated tone of the film. Kadri Manikanth's music and background score are apt. Surya Gowda's art direction is adequate.


As a character says, everyone in the village is a specimen. 'LineMan' follows in the footsteps of those rural comedies that explore the quirks and character traits of villagers. While our villages have long been held up by certain mores and norms, they are also undergoing civilization-level changes. Electricity is one of the most important catalysts transforming the standard of living in villages. And the film under review tries to build an emotional story based on the intersection between power supply and Nature.

While 'LineMan' was touted to be an emotional roller-coaster, it takes its sweet time to come to the point. At first, the sleepy nature of the village is portrayed through the many characters, some of whom talk less and others overcompensate by indulging in overtalking.

The birthday of Devudamma turns out to be an unhappy one in an unconventional sense. The pomp and show that Indians instinctively abide by while celebrating weddings and birthdays brings in its wake certain ethical dilemmas. Themes such as modernity vs pre-modern amenities, and balancing development with sustainability have been involved in writing the story of 'LineMan'. The sacrifices we need to make at times, the sense of community that is inevitable in achieving some goals... The film is clear about what it wants to convey. What happens when life goes back to basics? Can we, who take so many things for granted, step out of our comfort zone for greater good?

While the film's message is clear, it doesn't suffer from a messiah complex. The dialogues may be old-school and the humour uneven, but the film has its heart at the right place.

Vox Verdict:

'LineMan' is a whiff of fresh air although its slow pace does become a demerit. Its central message is warm and its well-meaning intent makes it worth a watch.

Rating: 2.75/5

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