KV Anand's ambitious film Ko was raising eyebrows from the initial days of announcement, thanks to the peculiar title (still in doubt why the film is named as such) and for the casting of Simbhu for the protagonists role who was fresh from the success of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa. Things took a change and Jiiva was roped in to the film. Anand's last, Ayan was a blockbuster and automatically the expectations were sky high and that too with a young and chic cast. Jiiva was in need of a hit to establish his name as one of the top performers in Tamizh cinema and it is a delight to say that he made the absolutely right choice.
Jiiva was at his best in portraying the role of a photo-journalist and also in his looks. His body language and his passion to cover the hot news with stunning pictures was very well brought out by him and no one else could have done justice to his role. His dialogue delivery is impressive and his emotional expressions were in place. Kudos to KV Anand for projecting his hero in such a way and for also utilizing the camera as his 'weapon'. Ajmal was another apt choice for the role of a young aspiring politician and his looks and and dialogue delivery too was very much perfect. Debutant Karthika Nair make a decent entry to Tamizh cinema. She has the looks (beautiful eyes), physique and talents as well . It will be better if she can dub for herself after improving her Tamizh though Chinmayee has once again done a brilliant job for the dubbing. Piaa Bajpai takes the cake for the best performance among the female artists as she was the live-wire in the film. As a bubbly and enthusiastic reporter, she has delivered a natural, spontaneous and chirpy performance and also provided the comic relief for the audience. Veterans Prakash Raj and Kota Srinivasa Rao and Bose Venkat as well had very limited screen presence although both of them did their roles to perfection. All the supporting cast in the film has done justice to their role and helped the film to move forward. It was also good to see people behind the camera to make an appearance in the film such as art director Kiran, writers Suresh-Bala and editor Anthony too.
On technical aspects, Ko boasts some of the best in the industry and all of them delivered their best. Starting off, cinematographer Richard M. Nathan did a wonderful job in capturing intense moments of the film very aptly with the climax fight sequence (close-ups') and the bomb blast scene. His camera movement in the bank robbery scene was first class and the use of Phantom Flex camera for the high resolution capture of action scenes in the climax was a splendid job. Besides that, he has captured the beauty of Norway and Harbin in the song sequences very well and it was an absolute treat to the audience. Art director Kiran's sets especially the bank and the press office was near perfect and looked very authentic. Costumes by Swetha Srinivasan was cool and chic which really gave the lead casts the classy and stylish looks especially Jiiva's apparels and Karthika's saris. Anthony could have trimmed some scenes, although the cuts in the climax was class and the arrangements of photos in the title credits was very creative. Lakshmi Narayanan's sound designing was realistic especially in the climax and bank robbery scenes. Choreography should have been much better by Dinesh, Brindha and Gayathi Raguram. Not to forget, Peter Hein's stunts was no-nonsense especially the climax fight sequences which was pulsating but he could have avoided some cinematic liberties in the initial bike chase scenes.
Coming to the music, Harris Jeyaraj has delivered what KV Anand wanted needless to say most of the songs has been chart-busters especially the 'Ennamo Edho' and 'Venpaniye' being the pick of the lot. His background music was very much in tune with the film and thankfully it was not loud. Lyrics especially by Madharn Karky for 'Ennado Edho' was beautiful with the inclusion of unheard chaste Tamizh words. Although songs were good, the concept behind the picturizations behind few songs didn't really match the mood the songs create. For example, 'Ennamod Edho' was picturized exactly like 'Vizhi Moodi' though this is a even more melodious and haunting number where group dancing and interspersing of normal scenes would not really bring out the feel of the song, though Anthony's editing was good. For 'Amali Thumali' picturizing on exotic locations was not a matching option as it is a peppy song where group dancing would have done added more zing to it but nevertheless, locations were simply breathtaking. 'Venpaniye' and 'Gala Gala' was done aptly but 'Aga Naga' was a total disappointment. When a big celebrities list (Abbas, Adharva, Bharath, Ganesh Venkatraman, Harris Jeyaraj, Jai, Jeyam Ravi, John Vijay, Kannan [director], Karthi, Krish [singer], Madhan Karky [lyricist], Narain, Peter Hein, Sasikumar, Shakthi, Siva, Suriya, Anjali, Anuja Iyer, Reema Kalingal, Sanjana Singh, Sona Heiden & Tamannah) was present, the director blew off the chance of making an awesome video music. Besides that, what was it with the graphic censoring by the Censors'? That was totally unnecessary and was a hindrance in the video. Come on Censor Board members, that was ridiculous. Overall, songs were good to listen but sadly they were the actual speed breakers of the screenplay.
KV Anand must be commended for coming up with a realistic film within the commercial formats. He gives respect to the intelligence of the audiences and came up with a interesting and smart script. Being a photo-journalist himself, his experiences has come in handy. He has portrayed the moments behind the publication of each breaking news in newspapers and how the scenario of a press office will look like especially the portrayals of other characters in such offices. Besides that, KV Anands has strongly portrayed how journalism and politics go hand in hand in Tamil Nadu and how intense situations can change of a single news publication. Writers Suresh-Bala should be applauded for coming up with very contemporary and simple dialogues which are not cinematic but at the same time catchy and quirky.
Overall, Ko delivered the promises it made and engages us throughout the film especially with the unpredictably stunning climax which catches the audiences with surprise. Kudos to the whole team for coming up with an entertaining film and Simbhu blew off a big chance to do a good film. Make wise decisions next time, buddy.
Ratings: 3.5/5 STARS