Santosh Sivan learned a lot while working as cinematographer with popular director Maniratnam. Later he turned a director and his latest Malayalam flick 'Anantabhadram' was dubbed into Telugu by Subrahmanyam B and Rupesh Y on the banner of Lakshmi Ganapathi Films as 'Sivapuram'. The film expertise in cinematography had helped Santosh Sivan in molding the film with good technical values. However, the film had a complete Malayalam nativity.
Sivapuram is a peculiar village. The people there believe that the Naga Devatas are safeguarding their village. However, one sorcerer performs tapassu and earns some evil powers. With the help of those powers, he secures a ring belonged to Naga Devata. The same village has a priest, who believes in God, tries to put an end to the evil designs of that sorcerer. But, according to the Sastras, a girl from the priest's family could help secure the 'Naga Manikyam'. Those who possess the Naga Manikyam could become a super power. The sorcerer attempts to kidnap the girl called Gayatri (Revati) in order to grab that gem, but the priest attacks him and kills him. The sorcerer before breathing his last gives the ring he procured to his grandson Digambar (Manoj K Jayan) and tells him to secure the Naga Manikyam and also take revenge against the priest family.
As per the tradition, the daughter of the priest's family should be made 'Devata' by offering herself to the Naga Devata. Just before the traditional ceremony, Gayatri elopes with her lover and after marrying he leaves for the US. She has a strong ambition to light 1000 lights in the Naga Devata temple, but dies even before fulfilling her wish. Her son Anand (Prithviraj) decides to fulfill her wish and perform the last rites at Sivapuram. Digambar continues the sorcery done by his grandfather and waits for time to grab the Naga Manikyam. However, another girl in the family Bala Tripura Sundari alias Bala's help is needed to grab the Naga Manikyam. However, Anand and Bala fall in love with each other. Digambar decides to eliminate the family of the priest and uses his evil power and enters into the body of Anand through Parakaya Pravesam. However, he could not succeed in his attempt as Padma, sister of an expert in martial arts Samba (Kalabhavan Mani), foils the bid by sacrificing her chastity to keep Digambar off Brahmacharya, and of course gets killed by him. Finally, Digambar dies in the hands of Samba and the film ends on a happy note.
Santosh Sivan tried to make the film with a different screenplay and shot it in the beautiful locales in a remote village of Kerala. This has proved a main draw back, as it lacks the Telugu nativity. Prithviraj tried his best while performing like a split personality. Kavya Madhavan looked glamorous. But it is Manoj K Jayan and Kalabhavan Mani who stole the show with their performance. Comedy by Cochin Haneefa is okay. Revati appears for a brief period at the beginning of the film to narrate the flashback. Dialogues by Sriramakrishna are okay and the background score by MG Radhakrishnan is just average. However, the cinematography, picturisation of scenes was technically brilliant. One had to wait and watch how the Telugu audiences would receive it. But for the technical values, the film has nothing much to talk about.
Cast : Prithviraj, Kavya Madhavan, Manoj K Jain, Kalabhavan Mani, Cochin Haneefa, Revati and others.
Credits: Dialogues - Sriramakrishna, Lyrics - Vanamali, Music - MG Radhakrishnan, Producers: Subrahmanyam B and Rupesh Y, Cinematography, story, screenplay and direction - Santosh Sivan.
Banner : Lakshmi Ganapati Films.