It is not often that we see a fledgling filmmaker leave his directorial mark radically different from his previous outing with his very second film. Anish Kuravilla (he has added Yohan as the middle name) shows a flair for intelligent treatment of his otherwise already-heard storyline with panache. The stars of the movie, Sharwanand and Sri Hari, add freshness, and the rest of the cast (mostly consisting of unfamiliar faces, barring Priya Anand) lend a Bollywoodish feel to Ko Ante Koti.
Maya Master (Sri Hari) has undergone umpteen jail terms for his crimes over the years. He now eyes a big time loot and seeks to enlist another crook (Sharwanand) named Vamsi. Maya and Vamsi work in cahoots with PC and Chitti, two seemingly no-nonsense faces but who are conspirators.
Together, they elaborately plan a midnight heist of tones of black money stashed in a secret location at Diamond House. As they work in connivance, Vamsi, who has been looking for a way out of the dirty life and live peacefully doing a 9-5 job, develops a special bond with PC and Chitti, who are a guilt-stricken son and a Cupid-smitten lover boy respectively.
There comes a defining moment in KAK when Vamsi accidentally sees Sathya (Priya Anand plays his love interest) in a crowded station, as a married woman. Already frustrated with life ('Thoo na bathuku..' is his oft-repeated line), he says that he is ready to commit any crime one more time, even if it destines him to a long jail term. "I have lost faith in everyone", a pained Vamsi says.
As the one who has invested his Rs. 5 lakhs as the capital for their crime, Vamsi demands an equal share in the heist money. In the event, we realize that the team leader, the very cunning and menacing Maya Master, has other plans.
Least do they know that the coming out of jail of a violent security chief of Diamond House can prove to be life-threatening. Also, Inspector Rajesh, a corrupt and murderous police officer is there to spoil the party any moment. Death looms large for each of them and for three of them, it is not due to the enemy from outside.
How do they execute their plan successfully? What consequences do Vamsi, PC and Chitti come to face because of their association with Maya, who is not what he seems? Will Vamsi and Sathya be able to live together happily ever after?
KAK is an intensely told story. The gyrating BG score is loud, the dialogues are minimal, the performances are understated, the characters are neatly sketched, the narration is hatke for a Telugu moviegoer. It begins on a promising note but the romantic track and the comedy scenes could have been better. Priya Anand's, who mixes stage shows and social service, sensitivities and language are like an icing on the cake in the macabre film. However, the ditties that come often seem to slacken the pace. The scenes meant to evoke laughter fall flat.
The infusing of the Sharwa-Priya track two times in the story would have come as a big relief had the director shown little more imagination. All the same, it serves the purpose of building the tempo in the second half.
Since the dialogues already give a thorough expression to the thinking of the protagonist, the songs do not serve to take the story forward. The lingo adds a feel of its own to the overall ambience, the villainy is differently written, the heroism is heart-felt.
For an audience used to appreciate a kind of narration, it could look knotty at some places. One also feels that it is the film is entertaining but neither novel nor original. The climax fight is a letdown. The ending is poetic though.
Sri Hari has never been lovable in a long time. The good part is that his character doesn't need to be exaggerated in its emotions and the dialogue delivery. He carries many scenes on his broad shoulders with ease. Sharwa, who is adept at making the two expressions of pain and angst proves himself more than ever before. The story may have needed a hero with a higher level of verve, but Sharwa shows his gusto with aplomb.
Priya Anand is a rare face looking quite tender and pure. She merrily carries the role of a conscience- keeper. The actors who play PC and Chitti entertain with the light-veined expressions but also endear themselves with their emotional indulgences.
Technically, KAK is a notch higher than many Telugu films. To name the best two: The intelligent music (Shakti Kanth) and the nimble cinematography (Erukulla Rakesh and Naveen Yadav) are like two characters without which the story could not have been told.
A pat on the back of Sharwa, who has shown guts in producing a distinct Telugu film.
Released on: 28th Dec, 2012