Kumki is the latest offering from Prabhu Solomon, the director of critically and commercially successful Myna. Kumki had quite a pre-release hype surrounding it for it acts as the launch pad for Vikram Prabhu, grandson of legendary Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan. Let’s see if the movie has lived up to its hype.
Aadhi kaadu, a small village near Tamil Nadu-Kerala border is inhabited by a clan, who abide by their own customs and traditions. The village suffers loss of human lives due to Komban, an untamed elephant. Frustrated by the concerned authorities' negligence, the clan leader and villager's decide to bring in a Kumki elephant to confront Komban. Circumstances induce Bomman, (Vikram Prabhu) his uncle Kothalli (Thambi Ramaiyah) and sidekick Undiyal (Ashwin) to arrive at Aadhi Kaadu masquerading Manickkam, an elephant used for festive occasions, as a Kumki elephant. Though they decide to pack up from the village after two days, they are forced to continue their stay, thanks to Bomman's love for the clan leader's daughter Alli (Lakshmi Menon). Does Bomman win his love? Was Manickkam able to defeat Komban? Experience Kumki on silver screen to get the answers.
Vikram Prabhu, as the mahout Bomman has lived his role. Almost all his scenes with the elephant Manickkam are a treat to watch. Especially the scenes where he kisses Manickkam and takes pull-ups on its tusks are splendid. His acting skills also sparkle in the scenes where he's spellbound by Alli's beauty. Definitely a performer to watch out for. Lakshmi Menon (Sundarapandian fame) as the clan leader's daughter is absolutely natural and emotes well. It's not a run-of-the-mill heroine role and she's done complete justice to it with her fine performance. The biggest surprise of all is Thambi Ramaiyah, as Bomman's uncle. He's there throughout the movie, almost like a second hero. His comic timing in his combination scenes with Undiyal (Ashwin of BEB fame) is impeccable and he brings the roof down with his witty one liners. 'Unakku first night bodhu pakkavadham varum'...'Etthana dhadava unakku kalyanam aanalum, divorce la dhan mudiyum'.. are a few examples. You'll surely love this National Award Winner's performance. Apart from them, all other characters like the temple elephant Manickkam, the wild elephant Komban, clan leader and the police inspector have lived their roles.
Imman's music is undoubtedly the major highlight of the movie. Though Kumki's songs are already on top of the charts, they are exuberant on silver screen. His background score is spine-tingling. Sukumar's cinematography is absolutely fascinating and acts as the movie's backbone. It makes us wonder if our own country is filled with such picturesque locations. Especially some of the shots in 'Solittale' song are breathtaking and would definitely serve as a benchmark for movies in future. And finally, Captain of the ship, Prabhu Solomon. First of all, hats off to him for choosing to entertain us with such an offbeat yet engaging film. He pulls us into his world right from the beginning of the movie and it's difficult for us to let go off it, even after we leave the theater. That's the impact he's created with Kumki. Experience this unadulterated visual extravaganza in theaters!