KO – The real king of 2011

Directed by K. V. Anand
Produced by Kumar
Jayaraman
Written by K. V. Anand
Subha
Starring Jeeva
Ajmal Ameer
Karthika Nair
Piaa Bajpai
Music by Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography Richard M. Nathan
Editing by Anthony
Studio R. S. Infotainment
Distributed by Red Giant Movies
Release date(s) April 22, 2011
Running time 166 minutes
Country India
Language Tamil

Ko is a 2011 Indian Tamil political thriller film directed by K. V. Anand starring Jeeva, Ajmal Ameer, newcomer Karthika Nair and Piaa Bajpai in lead roles.The film released on 22 April 2011 to mostly positive reviews,and will be dubbed into Telugu as Rangam as well.

Plot

Ashwin (Jeeva), a young, energetic photojournalist working for the private newspaper “Dina Anjal”, witnesses how Naxalites rob a local bank. He chases them and manages to click photos of the robbers. But he is chased by them and his vehicle gets smashed up. When he tries to escape, he is stopped by a young woman (Karthika Nair) who assumes he is the culprit and helps the robbers to take his camera. However, he is able to secure the Memory Card of the camera and to verify that he is a press photographer. He shows the photos to the police, who identify everyone except the gang leader (whose face is covered by a mask). At his office, he meets Renuka, the woman who earlier mistook him, who is newly joined as Article Editor. Saraswathi (Piaa Bajpai) also works in his office.
Vasanth (Ajmal Ameer), a fresh-young graduate, strives hard to enter the political field. Strongly he is in contests with his rivals who capture the people at the time of elections by giving freebies and money circulation processes. No one cares about Vasanth and his team of graduates, who promise a healthy government to people. Their group name happens to be ‘Siragugal’.
Meanwhile, Renuka involves herself in writing a cover story about a politician Aalavandhan, stating that he is forcing illegal minor marriage for him. Flamed by this, Aalavandhan urges into the newspaper office and shouts badly at Renuka who is then fired from her job for bringing down the name of the newspaper. Jeeva now risks his life to capture the pics of Aalavandhan who actually engages in a child marriage. Later the story with the pics is printed in their newspaper and this makes Renuka to fall in love with him. Saraswathi continues to have a crush on him, who later knows that he’s in love with her. She unites them both happily.
Vasanthan organizes a political campaign meeting. Ashwin receives a text message from Saraswathi that states there is a bomb underneath the stage. Ashwin manages to save Vasanth, while he finds a seriously injured Saraswathi fighting for her life amidst the riot, but eventually succumbing to her injuries.
Ashwin, through a video clip recorded by another photographer, finds out that Saraswathi is being intentionally killed by someone. He later notices a resemblance between the leader of the bank robbery and this unknown killer, concluding that it is the same person. Renuka, meanwhile, comes to know that Ashwin and Vasanth are college mates. While she asks about this to Ashwin, he says that he’s helping wise and efficient men to take up the governance of the state and he has helped Vasanth.
Vasanth wins in the elections taking majority and his party raises to the secretariat. He gives order to the police to release 20 naxals on Republic Day in an Humane Way. Hearing this, Ashwin rushes to meet Vasanth. He finds Vasanth talking to a person. He sees the scar on his forehead and says that this was the person whom he saw in the bank robbery. Vasanth declines his point saying that he has got some offical meeting. After Ashwin rushes to follow the naxals, Vasanth gives command to police officials to clear the naxals down.
Ashwin goes to the hideout of Naxals and manages to get the information that Vasanth is the culprit behind the bomb-blast. The naxal group head, who is injured says to Ashwin that Vasanth played double-game. He angrily confesses the truth that, Vasanth asked him to kill Saraswathi, who found out that Vasanth can do anything for becoming a politician. He transmits the live confession of the leader over his 3G phone with a videocall to Renuka who prepares the final proof of paper with headlines that Vasanth is a culprit.
In the climax is a fight between Special Task Force-Vasanth-Naxals-Ashwin, where Vasanth is killed by a mineblast. Ashwin calls up Renuka and asks her not to publish in the newspaper that Vasanth is the culprit because, if she does then all the members of Siragugal who promises to bring a neat government would be stepping down from power. She deletes the article.

Cast

  • Jeeva as Ashwin Jayaraman
  • Ajmal Ameer as Vasanthan Perumal
  • Karthika Nair as Renuka Narayanan
  • Piaa Bajpai as Saraswathi (Saro)
  • Prakash Raj as Yogeswaran
  • Kota Srinivasa Rao as Alavandhan
  • Sona Heiden as Smitha Kothari
  • D. Suresh as Suresh
  • Pattimandram Raja as Jayaraman
  • Jegan
  • Anthony

Special appearances (in alphabetical order) by:

  • Abbas
  • Adharvaa
  • Anuja Iyer
  • Bharath
  • Ganesh Venkatraman
  • Harris Jayaraj
  • Jai
  • Jayam Ravi
  • John Vijay
  • Karthi
  • Krish
  • Madhan Karky
  • Rima Kallingal
  • Sanjana Singh
  • Sakthi Vasu
  • M. Sasikumar
  • Shiva
  • Suriya
  • Tamannaah Bhatia

Development and filming

Initially the film was rumored to have Karthi in the lead role. However, it was later officially announced that Silambarasan Rajendar would play the lead in the film,but was later replaced by Jeeva . The lead female role was initially supposed to be enacted by Tamannaah Bhatia, who was replaced by actress Radha’s daughter, Karthika Nair.The trailer of this film was played during Manmadan Ambu and got a favourable response.The film was shot on location in Chennai, Harbijn in China as well as in Western Norway at Trolltunga, Stalheim, Bergen and Prekestolen,becoming the first Tamil film to be shot in Norway.

Release

Ko released in nearly 230 theatres in Tamil Nadu, making it Jeeva’s biggest wide release. It is also releasing in multiplexes in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Vadodara with English subtitles to attract the non-Tamil audience.

Reception

This film opened up to mostly positive reviews. Behindwoods.com gave 3 out of 5 and the verdict “A stylish commercial entertainer!”Times Chennai gave 65/100 and stated that “You feel empathy, rage, helplessness, and triumph at every step of the way”.Sify.com also gave a positive review, citing that “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.”Rediff.com also gave 3 out of 5 saying that “With its basic plot of politics, it has enough twists and turns to keep you occupied. Best of all are the light touches of sarcasm and humour that make it work. Go for it.”
Nevertheless, the film also fetched scattered mixed to negative response. Rohit Ramachandran of nowrunning.com rated the film 1.5 out of 5 stating that “Ko staggers throughout, pretending to take risks and after the first misstep; it’s nothing but a free fall, all the way. The funny thing is the free fall isn’t a smooth ride either. It hits every protruding rock.”National Film Award-winning critic, Baradwaj Rangan wrote that “If someone wants to make a case for the abolishment of song and dance from our cinema, Ko would be Exhibit A.” He also went on to state that “Ko is a series of big scenes with no transitions, no segues, no scenes that just stop to smell the scenery.” Indiaglitz said that “Racy all through, it is a movie that is worth a watch, if you are really not bothered about logic at certain places.”

[Soundtrack

Ko
Soundtrack album by Harris Jayaraj
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Sony Music
Professional reviews
  • 2.5/5 stars Behindwoods
  • 2/5 stars Rediff
Harris Jayaraj chronology
Engeyum Kaadhal
(2010)
Ko
(2011)
7aam Arivu
(2011)

The soundtrack is scored by Harris Jayaraj, who had previously worked with Anand on Ayan.The composition of the songs took place in Macau. During Diwali 2010 a short teaser was released which featured the song “Ennamo Yeadho” which received a high response. Another song, “Aga Naga”, featured special appearances by several Tamil film personalities, including composer Jayaraj (see under cast). The album was launched on January 19 2011 in Chennai

No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. “Aga Naga”   Pa. Vijay Vijay Prakash, Tippu, Ranina Reddy, Priya Subramaniam, Solar Sai 05:22
2. “Enamo Aedho”   Madhan Karky, Sricharan, Emcee Jesz Aalap Raju, Prashanthini, Sricharan, Emcee Jesz 05:36
3. “Gala Gala”   Kapilan Tippu, Krish, Haricharan, Sayanora Philip 04:55
4. “Venpaniyae”   Pa. Vijay Sriram Parthasarathy, Bombay Jayashree 05:25
5. “Netri Pottil”   Madhan Karky Naresh Iyer 02:43
6. “Amali Thumali”   Viveka Hariharan, Swetha Mohan & Chinmayi 05:50

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