KUMKI (2012)

Director: Prabhu Solomon
Casts: Vikram Prabhu, Laksmi Menon, Thambi Ramaiah
Music: D. Imman
Language: Tamil
Genre: Romantic Thriller

After achieving a humongous success with the emotionally spellbinding Myna, Prabhu Solomon strikes back with a huge idea. With Vikram Prabhu (the grandson of legendary actor, Sivaji Ganesan) on board together with his National award gem, Thambi Ramaiah, Prabhu Solomon has invited all the eyes on his film. D.Imman’s soundtrack proving to be phenomenal hit, Kumki has raised its expectation bar to its highest. So will Kumki be able to repeat the success of its predecessor? 

Kumki is a term used to describe specially trained elephants that safeguard the crops and chase away stray, violent elephants that lurk around the village, back to their forest. When Aadhi Kaadu village is terrorized by such rogue elephant, they request for a Kumki elephant to safeguard their village. However, when the respective Kumki trainer gets held up, Boman a carefree mahout agrees to help his friend by disguising his elephant, Maanickam and brings it to the village to cover for two days. However, when he sees Alli, the daughter of the Aadhi Kaadu’s leader, he falls in love instantly and decides to extend his stay. But little did Boman know about the danger he have invited.      

Story Screenplay
Prabhu Solomon is an expert when it comes to portraying a love story in the backdrop of a village. He makes no mistake in bringing out the feel good factor be it with the dialogues or the cinematography.  He constantly explores about the self-centred society much like in Myna, Lee and Kokki. His sharp dialogues such as ‘Madham pudichathu unnaku illeda Maanikam, ennakuthan’ emotionally define what he wants to bring across to the audience.

However, he also injects a unique friendship between a mahout and his elephant. The way he have handled the elephant is magnificent and it feels as if the elephant have been directed like a human. The friendship is captured very poetically; especially the casual scenes involving them such as Boman’s pull ups on the tusk looks fresh. These set ups eventually gives the right impact at the climax.

He also captures the nativity of the village custom perfectly with apt costumes and excellent choices of set designs.  His taste of location is visually remarkable, transporting the audience into a new world.

On the downside, it is very hard for anyone not to compare Myna and Kumki at some point of time when watching and if that happens, it gives way to some disappointment. Firstly, Kumki lacks the edginess it deserves, especially as a romantic thriller; it does not get gripping until the pre-interval scene.

Minus the draggy plot, Kumki has lots to offer substantially.   

Casting & Performance
 Vikram Prabhu does not shows any sign of a newcomer, carrying his tortuous character in a compelling manner. His physique and dialogue delivery are apt as a villager. With right choices of movies, this chap is sure to crave his name in the top lists of upcoming actors. Lakshmi Menon brings the softness needed which is the opposite to the wild side of Bomman. With her expressive eyes, she conveys her emotions effectively. Thambi Ramaiah continues from where he left at Myna with his amusing one liners and excellent comic timing. Even though his comments on the dangers of the forests become repetitive after a while, his exceptional chemistry with Prabhu Solomon is appreciable.

Ashwin Raja who gave a decent entry through Boss Engira Baskaran, compliments Thambi Ramaiah instantly with his puzzled persona. After a while we tend to enjoy their duo much like ‘Goundamani and Senthil’.

Kumki also has a huge line up of debutants who have uplifted the film’s emotional value with subtle yet gripping performances.

Once again, Prabhu Solomon proves his strength in gripping the performance department.

Kumki is no doubt a visual extravaganza with the deep forests area being captured so soothingly by the cinematographer Sukumar. His soft lens makes the film not only visually poetic but also emotionally connecting. The interesting angles he shoots the vicious Komban, will surely infringe a deep fear into the audiences.

Kumki can be safely described as a musical with D.Imman’s music moving most part of the story. The wild trumpet sounds elevates the existing giganticness of the elephants. The BGM gels well with the film giving a natural sound for the entire film. Even though, the film’s flow does get hindered by too many songs, Imman’s graceful tunes make us forgive the tiring placements.

Art designer Vairabalan needs a special mention for bringing the nativity so beautifully on the screen. Anyone who sees Kumki, will yearn to stay in the village houses.

In overall, the technical department have given a tremendous boost to Kumki with their passionate work.

With dream like visuals, spellbinding music and top notch performances, Myna fame Prabhu Solomon have yet again touched the emotional core of the audiences in this next fare.

Kumki is definitely a daring attempt which is no doubt another feather in the director's hat.

Verdict: Visually enchanting, emotionally connecting.

Rating:  4/5


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