Cinematographer-turned-director K.V. Anand was once the associate photographer for the ‘Illustrated Weekly of India’, one of the widely circulated weeklies and the now-defunct English magazine. The rich stint in journalism and the experience thus gained has sure helped him make the film in an extremely careful manner as expectations were high after his successful films in ‘Kanaa Kandein’ and ‘Ayan’.
‘Ko’ has all the essential ingredients of a racy entertainer - a juicy premise, a good star cast, foot-tapping music by Harris and interesting, and eye-catching foreign locales. He has established himself as a director who loves to make stylish and flamboyant films on the lines of Maniratnam, Shankar and Gautham Menon.
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Let’s take a sneak peep into the script, which has Ashwin (Jiiva) as a hard-working photographer working for ‘Dina Anjal’, a popular Tamil daily. It’s his passion for shooting pictures (taking huge risks in the process) that speak and tell the truth makes him a ‘star’ in his office and among his peers. Journalist Renuka (newcomer Karthika) and an investigative reporter Saro (Piaa) who covers the entertainment section happen to be Ashwin’s colleagues and both of them somehow develop a soft-corner for him in their hearts (thank God for the love triangle!).
The State assembly elections are underway and the fight is basically between the incumbent chief minister Yogeswaran (Prakash Raj) and opposition leader Kota (Kota Sreenivasa Rao). Both are adept at leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they come to power: the tactics include bribing the electorate and making them surrender ‘by force’. Thanks to Renuka’s incisive writing and Ashwin’s scoop photos, a third force led by a youth Vasanthan (Ajmal) emerges out of the blue who too believes in clean, corrupt-free politics.
While Vasanthan addresses a huge youth rally just prior to the elections, a bomb goes off at the venue, killing Saro instantly. Ashwin and others are convinced that it wasn’t an accident but the handiwork of the politicians and pump in their support to Vasanthan besides mustering the public’s support which results in Vasanthan becoming the youngest chief minister of the State.
Just when you though the story is over, a sudden twist takes place which leads to many interesting incidents and a stunning climax. At the end of it all, one can’t help applaud the efforts K.V. Anand and other actors who have combined successfully to make an entertainer involving media and politics, the two pillars of democracy.
Jiiva blends into the role with effortless ease as he always does. In fact, he does a lot more than capturing pictures even when he comes across something bad. Newcomer Karthika emotes well and has a good screen presence. Piaa Bajpai, who looks prettier than ever, is a treat to watch and makes a strong statement with her bubbly presence.
Ajmal, as an young and educated Indian who wants to cleanse the political system in the State, has essayed easily the best role in his short career so far. He carries this tough assignment on his shoulders in a relatively easy manner and has delivered a stunning performance.
Anand impresses us with his eye for minutest of the details in one sequence but soon manages to irritate viewers by resorting to archaic screenplay. Sample: the first ten minutes of the film which features a bank robbery: it’s full of gravity-defying stunts and is as cinematic as it gets.
The way Naxalite movement is portrayed only betrays the director’s poor knowledge about them. Some of the heroic elements are quite unwarranted and clichéd. Those in the field will vouch for the fact that no journalist in today’s world gets the kind of freedom as the protagonist in our film gets. The political chess game too has been poorly portrayed and lacks imagination. The climax is ridiculous and too long.
Songs are good put the place they appear in the film looks like sheer poor-timing on the part of the director. The background score blends seamlessly with the narration. Anthony’s editing is crisp and the songs by themselves are quite melodious and shot extremely well.
Verdict: Don't Miss It!