lalgudi karuppiah gandhi wins the elections
After playing the comedian in several films including naanum rowdythaan, devi, thaanaa sendha koottam, radio jockey turned actor rj balaji has assumed the avatar of a full-fledged hero in the political satire lkg, directed by newcomer Prabu and co-starring Priya Anand, JK Ritheesh and Nanjil politician Sampath. let’s see what lkg has in store.
lalgudi karuppiah gandhi alias lkg (rj balaji) is a district councilor in lalgudi and the son of a failed politician azhagu meiyappan (nanjil sampath). he aspires to become great in politics unlike his father and indulges in all crooked ways to win people’s faith. lkg decides to make the big leap in state politics by taking advantage of a political juncture, and with the help of an election campaign led by sarala (priya anand), draws attention and runs as a by-election candidate, but faces opposition from ramraj pandian (jk ritheesh). what happened to lkg, and if he was able to overpower the powerful and influential pandian ramraj and reached the throne of dreams from him is what lkg is about.
RJ Balaji as LKG, scores in humor and displays variations in several episodes, with his mellowed down act, though his loud dialogue delivery in most sequences could have been avoided. Priya Anand as poll campaign planner Sarala looks every inch a corporate strategist and is perfectly cast, though the role doesn’t have any emotional angle.JK Ritheesh as the confident politician whose base is shaken, though arrives with a heavy buildup, fizzles out sooner. Nanjil Sampath as the failed politician with a concern for his son, Ramkumar as Bojappan and Mayilsamy are adequate. The rest of the cast including Santhana Bharathi and Manobala do not get much scope.
lkg starts with an interesting sequence, goes into flashback mode, and introduces the crooked ways councilor lalgudi karuppiah gandhi, also known as lkg, uses to garner support from the people in his neighborhood in a fun way. When Priya Anand steps in as Sarala, the campaign sequences seem unrealistic and silly, though the interval block sets the tone for an interesting second half as the political challenge for LKG begins. The political references in the first half are sure to be fun, as rj balaji points out.
The second half of LKG proceeds to the plans LKG hatches against Ramraj Pandian. Though the ideas he deploys sound regressive (with some crass sequences on the gender angle), and LKG’s meteoric rise to the ultimate throne is shown without much emphasis on logic, LKG ends on a good note, with a message as well.
Leon James’s background score matches the fun flavor of the film, and of the songs, Ethanai Kaalam Thaan Aemaatruvaar is hum-worthy. Vidhu Ayyana’s cinematography is good, while Antony’s editing could have been strained, as several sequences in the second half go on longer than necessary.
Debutant director Prabhu has opted for a political entertainer, focusing on a protagonist who aspires to make it big in politics, and with RJ Balaji playing the central character focuses well on his strengths. Though RJ Balaji’s limitations with emotions are exposed, he compensates for the same with his humour whenever there’s an opportunity. While the first half of the movie progresses at a brisk pace(barring the Delhi song which could have been chopped off) with the entertaining ways of LKG to make believe him, and his partnering with the campaign team, the second half starts on a slightly dull note, with several plans LKG uses against Pandian being crass. Keeping that and the lack of logic in LKG’s victory aside, the movie culminates well, and the director delivers a much-needed message. With Balaji’s humour, Prabhu’s fun-filled take on current political moments in state and centre, an engaging screenplay and a crisp runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes, LKG is an entertainer that deserves a watch.
verdict: lalgudi karuppiah gandhi wins the election!