LKG: Film Review – A Political Satire With Zero Filters

Verdict: A needed film that reveals the vanity in the contemporary systems and institutions.

LKG is a much-awaited release for all the buzz it created in the Tollywood industry ever since its announcement in 2018. It even had some well-received promotion and marketing over the course of the shooting. The film also received a lot of attention as it is the debut film of R.J. Balaji, who hosts a couple of hit shows on BIG FM 92.7. Produced by Ishari K. Ganesh, the film is directed by debutant K. R. Prabhu.

What’s LKG About:

Lalgudi Karupaiah Gandhi aka LKG is a local area counsellor and a people’s person. LKG chooses politics as his profession. He is not inspired by any political ideologies nor is he sincerely devoted to the interest and welfare of his people. He parks his ethics and goes to any extent to get his job done. He looks at politics only as a career option and is ambitious about being a national leader. He acknowledges the shallowness of his vision but at the same time not the least apologetic about it. He hires an election campaign company headed by Sarala Swamy (Priya Anand) to promote his political image. Through his viral activities on social media, he grabs the attention of the national leaders who give him the opportunity to contest in election. He is then challenged by a rival Ramraj Pandia (J. K. Rithesh) who already holds a prominent position with the party. How LKG overcomes these challenges and his revolutionary political journey form the rest of the plot of the film.

What Works:

The film is a fresh perspective in the midst of the political drama films that only talk about what is wrong followed by unrealistic problem solving. Instead, LKG digs deeper into the subject and is a critical analysis of the political scenario in the country. It exposes the loopholes in our hypocritical value systems and beliefs and takes a dig on all institutions including government, education, media, and corporate companies. LKG has caricatures done right, it has dark humour which will probe you into some serious thoughts and discussions. Whether LKG is a hero, a villain, an antihero, a joker or a scapegoat is not clearly given away in the plot and leaves it to the audience to decide. It is a critique on the system by itself.

Apart from the brilliant concept, what stands out in LKG is the narration style. The narration derives a lot of inspiration from theatre genres like absurd and epic theatre. The concept of election campaign as a convoluted business strategy is portrayed realistically. There is no sugar-coating or trying to explain the logic behind the campaign business. LKG is not a battle between good and evil, it is an overly surrealistic battle between the smart and the smarter.

What Could’ve Been Better:

LKG has a unique treatment which might not cater to a wide audience. LKG is not a preachy film, it just shows the gimmicks the way they are with zero commercial elements. The film is not an easy watch, it requires some amount of pre-requisite knowledge on contemporary politics and the film might clearly confront your views if you are a wishful thinking optimist or idealist.

Why You Should Watch:

LKG can be watched the way you want to look at it. It can be seen as a funny film with a fair share of jokes and contemporary political references, or it can be watched as a serious political satire. Whatever you choose, LKG manages to keep you engaged through its brilliant concept and humor.

Anjali Menon: