‘Kumki’ is the story of ‘Bomman’ (Vikram Prabhu) and his pet elephant ‘Manikkam’. Bomman spends most of his time with his pet and earns his livelihood by hiring out his elephant for festivals in temples and wedding celebrations. He lives with his uncle (Thambi Ramaiah).
Life goes on rather smoothly until he is forced to go to Aadhikudi village located in western ghat to tame a wild elephant using his own elephant as Kumki (an elephant which is trained to tackle a wild elephant).
Well aware that his pet animal is not trained enough for the assignment, Bomman undertakes the assignment for just two days, just to help his friend who had to send a Kumki but failed to do so for some reason.
Bomman moves to the adjacent village along with his elephant where he meets ‘Alli’ (Lakshmi Menon), the daughter of the village leader and falls head-over-heels in love with her.
The village has severe restrictions in place and follows old traditions which bar outsiders from marrying girls from their village. Despite knowing that they are on a sticky wicket, Bomman and Alli let their love affair flourish, hoping for a miracle to bail them out of their predicament.
Bomman falls into trouble when the wild elephant returns to the village. How he escapes the wrath of the wild elephant and does he manage to save his love forms the climax.
Vikram Prabhu, Lakshmi Menon and Thambi Ramaiah
Solomon's reputation as a script-writer of note precedes him. The director, who had made films of varying nature in Lee and Mynaa, has taken up a hitherto untold theme in a new backdrop in Tamil films. To his credit, he has done reasonably well in depicting the culture and the predicaments of the people who live in the forest.
But he has failed to present a gripping story and an engaging script. The story on Kumki elephant has the potential to be a different one but the director concentrates more on the love affair. The sequences are quite predictable and the turning points are not exciting.
The film ends with a question mark, probably leaving the door open for a sequel to be made in future!
One of the most awaited debutant heroes in recent times has finally come alive on-screen. Vikram Prabhu, son of veteran actor Prabhu and grandson of the legendary Sivaji Ganesah, is making his debut as hero in the film. Vikram is blessed with good looks and manages to make a mark in his first venture though the character is not that strong.
For Lakshmi Menon, this was to be her debut film but it got delayed resulting in Sasikumar's Sundarapandian becoming her launch-pad in Tamil films. Lakshmi looks natural in the backdrop of the forest. She emotes well.
Thambi Ramaiyah, the national award-winning actor, cakewalks through his role with the ease of a veteran. His presence gives the much needed entertainment element to the film.
Watch the movie for:
· Lakshmi Menon's performance.
· Stunning cinematography by Sugumar.
· Thambi Ramaiyah's ever-so-casual act
· The locations where the film has been shot
· Background score by D Imman
Skip it for:
· Predictable story and screenplay
· Lack of pace
The movie is surely worth a watch for its cinematography and different backdrop. It would have been a much better had Prabhu concentrated more on the story.