|Jiiva, Karthika, Ajmal, Piaa, Prakash Raj|
First and foremost, Anand being a former press photographer has portrayed the true life of a news cameraman. Ko is a triumph of honest writing. Full marks to writer Suba and Anand for their dialogues which echoes the happenings in Tamil Nadu politics, laced with humour and soft romance.
The highlight is the superb smashingly original climax twist, giving the film its gravitas. Commercial ingredients are mixed well to make it a racy entertainer, with peppy music and eye catching song picturisation. Anand also extracts spellbinding performance from his lead artists- Jiiva, Ajmal, Piaa and Karthika, which makes the film work big time.
Ashwin (Jiiva) is a hardworking committed photographer working for a Tamil daily Dina Anjali. His passion for coming out with pictures that speak and tell the truth, makes him a star in his office. Two lady journalists working in the same paper Renuka (Karthika), the investigative reporter and Saro (Piaa), who covers the entertainment section, develop a soft corner for him.
Meanwhile Tamil Nadu assembly elections are underway and the fight is basically between two slime balls- Chief Minister Yogeswaran (Prakash Raj) and opposition leader Kota (Kota Sreenivasa Rao). They will do anything to come to power including bribing the electorate and goondagiri . Suddenly, due to Renuka’s writing and Ashwin’s scoop photos, a third force led by youth Vasanthan (Ajmal) who believes in clean politics emerges.
Just before elections while addressing a huge youth rally a bomb goes off at the election campaign meeting of Vasanthan, killing Saro. Ashwin and others are convinced that it is the handiwork of the traditional politicians and goes all out to support Vasanthan, who wins the elections and becomes the youngest Chief Minister. But things take sudden twist which leads to a stunning climax.
Jiiva lives his role as Ashwin the photographer. Shorn of any artificiality, his nervous energy and anguish is tangible. You need not do ridiculous, overblown action scenes, mouth punch-line dialogues; do crude comedy or loud romance to be heroic. The heroism is there in the character he portrays, which has been well etched. It is a heroic role which has the audiences rooting for him and Jiiva with this performance is going to be a force to reckon with in Tamil cinema.
Piaa is outstanding in a supporting role and her natural flair in comedy brings the house down. New girl Karthika makes a confident first impression as Renuka, with Chinmayi's dubbing being a major plus. Ajmal had done a difficult role so convincingly. Sona as ‘sex-bomb’ and Kollywood glam girl Sunita Kothari who campaigns for a political party is a scream. Prakash Raj and Kota Sreenivasa Rao as “dirty politicians” play to the gallery. The unknown supporting actors mainly the editorial department at the newspaper office are fantastic.
The tangy music of Harris Jayaraj especially his background score is in sync with the theme of the film. All songs are superbly picturised by cameraman Richard M Nathan. Ennamo Aedho.. and Venpanniye are the pick of the songs. If you want to nit- pick, Editor Antony has tried to speed up things but it slacks in the second half. The film is a little too long at 2 hours 47 minutes, and too many cinematic liberties are taken in the final half an hour.
For an audience numbed by predictable Kollywood potboilers week after week, here is an original offering from KV Anand, a fearless filmmaker who doesn't insult your intelligence. He is able to cater to the needs of both the elite as well as mass audiences, which should be applauded.
Verdict- Very Good