LKG Movie Synopsis: A small-time politician aspires to become the leader of the state. Does he succeed?
LKG Movie Review: LKG opens with Lalgudi Karupaiah Gandhi aka LKG (RJ Balaji), who is about to be sworn in as the chief minister, getting shot. The film then goes back in time to narrate how LKG, a councilor in the small town of Lalgudi, managed to get elected as the chief minister.
LKG is mostly a satisfying political satire and inarguably the best among the recent crop of political films. Its success lies in how efficiently it manages to strike a balance between idealism and cynicism, and reflects the attitude of the common man towards politics. It manages to achieve this thanks to the characterisation of its protagonist, LKG. He is not in politics for the people, but for himself. In an early scene, he is seen worshipping Amaidhipadai Sathyaraj, Mudhalvan Raghuvaran and Vijay Mallaya. He is street-smart (his costume is a black shirt and a saffron veshti!) and ambitious. In the early scenes, we see how this under-30 guy has managed to become a councilor. He understands that people buy it when a person sells them idealism.
He realises contemporary politics is run by the corporates, and seeks the help of a Cambridge Analytica-like firm, headed by Priya Anand, to become a state-level politician. And soon, he becomes a talking point on national news. This wins him the appreciation of Bhojappan (Ramkumar), the deputy chief minister, who is taking care of the state following the hospitalisation of the current chief minister. When the latter dies, Bhojappan decides to field LKG in the ex-CM’s constituency in the by-elections, but then, they are up against Ramaraj Pandian (JK Riteesh), their own party man, who holds the constituency like a fort.
LKG is an RJ Balaji show all the way. The actor, who is also the writer, comes up with a script that uses contemporary political, film and social media references in superb fashion. From a chief minister’s hospitalisation, memorial drama and Marina protests to IPL, Bigg Boss, Thala-Thalapathy fights and even YouTube reviewers, no one is spared. At the same time, unlike a film like NOTA, LKG isn’t content to coast along on the references alone. It has elements of a masala movie, with a cat-and-mouse game between the protagonist and the antagonist, relationship drama in the form of a father-son angle (Nanjil Sampath plays the dad), and the ideal of a social awareness movie (the climax speech). But even the preachy monologue in the end comes with a wink. The only misstep is a force-fitted romantic angle that is thankfully cut short as soon as it begins.