|Vikram Prabhu, Lakshmi, Thambi Ramaiah|
|Subhash Chandra Bose|
The director has also been successful in telling a story about man and wild elephantís conflict in a village surrounding a forest area. The subject is topical and Solomon has woven it beautifully with all essential commercial ingredients like good songs and terrific comedy.
Bomman (Vikram Prabhu) a mahout and his pet elephant Manickam make a living out of performing in temples and film shootings. He is assisted by his uncle (Thambi Ramaiah) a drunkard and wastrel. Due to certain circumstances, they find themselves in a remote village protecting the villagers from a wild heard of elephants.
Bomman knows that Manickam is not a trained Kumki elephant who can take on or stop the attack of the wild elephants. However he does not care as by then he has fallen madly in love with the village chieftainís daughter Alli (Lakshmi Menon). Meanwhile the villagers treat him like their saviour, as the wait begins for the wild elephant on rampage!
Hatís off to Prabhu Solomon for taking a very difficult subject of man-animal conflict and shooting it in a rough terrain. The film works big time as it has very good music by D Imman and spellbinding camera work by M Sukumar. The lush green forest scenes have been well etched especially the majestic waterfall with the elephant in the background.
Among the most breath-taking scenes in Kumki are the aerial shots from top of a waterfall and the wild elephant attacking the villagers in the opening scene, which sends a chill down your spine.
Much like his last film, Mynaa, Solomon chooses a terrain that is familiar to him with a simple plot though there are no major surprises or twists. Solomon also deserves applause for putting his faith in new actors and he elicits commendable performances from his cast.
Vikram Prabhu does not instantly set the screen on fire but he grows on you slowly. The director puts a heavy burden on the debutant actor and he has done his best. With his height and physique, he is perfect choice as a mahout and his dialogue delivery in the climax is heart-breaking. Lakshmi Menon without any make-up is adequate as a tribal girl. However, the backbone of this film is Thambi Ramaiah without whom Kumki would have been incomplete. He steals the show with his comedy one liners and his scenes with Ashwin Raja makes you laugh.
The film sails through due to Immanís music and background score. The melodious Ayayayo Ananthame... sung by Haricharan and beautifully picturised on the hero who is struck by love thunderbolt. It has its weak points as film takes too much time to unfold and pace slackens in the second half with a contrived climax. The CG work is not up to the mark.
At the end of the day, Kumki is a neat entertainer, but not in the same class as the directorís earlier Mynaa. You may argue that you've seen better films than Kumki, but try remembering the last time you enjoyed the movie-going experience so much.
Verdict - Good