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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

LKG movie review: An unapologetic crowd-pleaser that literally spares no one

LKG movie review: Unfortunately, the story doesn’t rise above spoofing the cliched political characters and situations.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Written by S Subhakeerthana | Chennai | Updated: February 22, 2019 8:31:29 pm
LKG review LKG movie review: RJ Balaji starrer LKG plays out like a spoof film.

LKG movie cast: RJ Balaji, JK Ritheesh, Priya Anand, Nanjil Sampath
LKG movie director: Prabhu
LKG movie rating: 2.5 stars

That’s the thing with films that try to take a funny dig at serious political happenings. It appears entertaining. It makes you laugh. But as a film, it doesn’t offer anything fresh or exciting. The director or writer doesn’t have any choice but simply build the story with limited scope for drama and imagination.

LKG is similar to Tamizh Padam in many ways. While the Shiva-starrer was designed more like a spoof, this one takes potshots at everything and everyone. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fitness challenge isn’t spared.

The film opens with people raising slogans against the government, “Oozhal aatchi ozhiga. Benami aatchi ozhiga.”

RJ Balaji plays Lalgudi Karuppiah Gandhi (LKG). He wears a black shirt and saffron dhoti. Why? He tries to “balance Dravidianism and Hindutva”. He idolises Sathyaraj’s character from Amaithipadai and Raghuvaran’s character from Mudhalvan.

LKG is about Karuppiah’s journey from a ward councillor to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, but also how he competes against another politician, Ramraj Pandian (Ritheesh) with the help of a political strategist Sarala (Priya Anand).

LKG, in fact, essentially mirrors the major political events that happened in Tamil Nadu over the past few years.

We get a scene where a group of doctors address the press over an ailing Chief Minister of the State. You see one of them say, “He’s hale and healthy. He just had a plate of rava upma.” Of course, you can’t miss the obvious reference of whose life it is based on.

There is a spoof scene with Arnab Goswami-like figure anchoring a debate show. There are references to NEET, Vijay Mallya, Bigg Boss Tamil, Kamal Haasan-Rajinikanth politics, jallikattu, the infamous thermocol-floating episode, a man claiming to be Dhanush’s father, meme-creators, IPL, Vijay-Ajith-fan fights on social media, besides many.

LKG reminded me of a few scenes from NOTA and Sarkar. But that doesn’t mean it is a better film than those two.

LKG is fairly entertaining—yes. But not impressive. It has insensitive ‘homophobic jokes’. Ritheesh’s character is simply reduced to a caricature, and it is awful. Nanjil Sampath’s character is also underwritten.

Apart from playing the lead, Balaji has co-written the film. That has played to his advantage, I am sure. He is visibly comfortable with the genre ‘satire’, and it shows in most of the scenes.

LKG plays out like a spoof film and unfortunately, the story doesn’t rise above spoofing the cliched political characters and situations. There is no proper storyline which is supposed to be in place for films. A collection of potshots can’t be a film in itself, right?

In the climax, RJ Balaji speaks like Kamal Haasan’s Indian thaatha character questioning corruption. He asks, “Kasu kudukkara naan kettavanaa nee enna?” Sigh.

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