Synopsis: A young man kidnaps the chief minister and sends the state into a tizzy. What is his motive?
Review: In better hands, Ko 2 would have been a crowd-pleasing political thriller and given how topical it is given that the state election is just a couple of days away, it would also have managed to generate a huge buzz for all the right reasons. But for almost an hour into Ko 2, a remake of the Telugu film Pratinidhi, you keep wishing that the filmmakers had had the sense to go for a different title as this one keeps reminding how inferior it feels to KV Anand's Ko, which, despite its faults, managed to be an engaging political film. Here, we get scenes that lack rhythm, flat staging and are tonally way off the mark, and actors who are badly directed.
Just consider the scenario. The chief minister (Prakash Raj, understated for a change) has been kidnapped! His supporters are rioting everywhere! The kidnapper (Bobby Simhaa, agreeable in the dramatic moments, and fish-out-of-water in the romantic and action scenes) is toying with everyone! And yet, the officials who are in-charge of the rescue operation — the home minister (Ilavarasu), the chief secretary, the DGP and the commissioner (John Vijay) who has been handed the mission — act as if it is fairly routine. We also get a dispiriting romantic track (which comes with a song where the hero 'dances' around wearing T-shirts with spelling mistakes — Have respect or loose your teeth!) and the mandatory Ajith reference.
But just when we are about to lose hope, things miraculously start looking better. There is real spark in the conversation between the CM and the kidnapper, and the dialogues, which touch upon every contemporary issue from corruption to Chennai floods, the state of government schools and hospitals, TASMAC, and taxes, have a ring of truth that make us want to cheer. Everything, from the pacing to the performances, feel better. Even the narrative improves. We get to know why the kidnapping has taken place (cue a heart-wrenching flashback with a slightly showy but effective cameo by Karunakaran), who the culprits are, and in a lighter vein, why the initial romantic track felt like a terrible spoof of scenes from Tamil films. And this remarkable recovery feels so much like a minor victory that we willingly forgive the film's earlier lapses and leave with a smile.