When you heard RJ Balaji was going to act as hero, many would have wrote it off as another comedian who is trying hard to become a mainstream hero. But the background of this film is different. RJ Balaji was in limelight during the Jallikattu protest and also gave some serious talks on the burning political issues. He was very active in social media and infact, gathered a huge fan following during those days.
At the same time, he was also acting in small roles in various films. However, he realized that he needs to do something better and started writing the script for this film. LKG is directed by a debutant KR Prabhu but the Story, dialogue and screenplay is by RJ Balaji himself (along with his friends). The films is a satire on the current day politics (TN) and largely focuses on social media influence.
LKG (Lalgudi Karuppiah Gandhi) is a hard-working party man and also one of the youngest Councillor. He is smart, clever and cunning. At the same time, understands how politics work inside out. His father (played by real-life politician Nanjil Sampath) was a failure in politics and he does not want his career to end the same way. However, he also knows that growing from a Councillor to MLA and then to become the CM is not going to be easy and needs some push. He approaches a corporate (named Analytica ;) who can market him better and increase his acceptance among the public and senior politicians. The campaign is run by Sara (Priya Anand). How they plan the campaign and beat the existing MLA Ramarajan Pandian (JK Rithesh) is told in a very interesting and sarcastic way.
The very scene we are introduced to the lead character, we see him praying to Sathyaraj from “Amaithipadai”, Raghuvaran from “Mudhalvan” and also Vijay Mallya. This very easily sets the satirical genre of the film and its intent. The film belongs to RJ Balaji. He eases through the role and performs superbly. The good part is that the character is not over-hyped or laced with heroism. He also excels in the writing by keeping it balanced with his strengths.
JK Rithesh has a good role and fits the bill perfectly, especially the troll on erstwhile actor Ramaraj was nice. Ramkumar as the power hungry politician may not be the right choice but manages his role well. Nanjil Sampath evoke some laughter. Priya Anand has an interesting role and she gives the required attitude, glamour and confidence to make it look authentic. Thankfully, the romance portions are very minimal and does not stall the proceedings. The background score is pulsating and peps up some sequences.
On the negatives, the film does not fit the logic template and is exaggerated actually. But then the taut screenplay and a running time of less than 2 hours does not allow you to think about these loopholes. The cinematography could have been better, infact I found some shots were not even focused properly. Lip sync was bad especially for Priya Anand.
The USP of the film is the sarcastic take on the current day politics and mockery of several politicians, actors, political incidents, media and even online movie reviewers which the audience can relate too. Even the heavy climax which makes you think, ends up ironically. This is the strength of LKG.
It may be too early to say if RJ Balaji positioned himself as a hero material, but this debut is worth all its effort and your time.
Rating – 3.5/5