|Directed by||K. V. Anand|
|Produced by||Elred Kumar|
|Written by||Subha (Dialogue)|
|Screenplay by||K. V. Anand|
|Story by||K. V. Anand|
|Music by||Harris Jayaraj|
|Cinematography||Richard M. Nathan|
|Distributed by||Red Giant Movies|
|Budget||₹10 crore |
|Box office||₹38crore |
Ko (English: King) is a 2011 Indian Tamil political thriller film directed by K. V. Anand, starring Jiiva, Ajmal Ameer, Karthika Nair and Piaa Bajpai. The film was released on 22 April 2011 to mostly positive reviews, and was the Tamil remake of the Malayalam movie Rangam as well. This movie was a blockbuster and had 175 days theatrical run. A sequel to the film released on 13 May 2016 with a different crew and cast titled as Ko 2 directed by Sarath.
The film was remade in Bengali in 2013 as Kanamachi. The film was also later dubbed into Hindi as The Real Leader (at first titled Power Unlimited 2) and released in 2018 by Goldmines Telefilms. Based on an online poll conducted by The Times of India, it won the Best Film Award for 2011. The film received nominations for six Filmfare Awards South, winning two and four Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Music Director for Harris Jayaraj; Best Stunt Coordinator for Peter Hein;Best Art Director for D. R. K. Kiran; Best Costume Designer for Swetha Srinivas).
Ashwin Kumar (Jiiva) is a photojournalist working for the private newspaper Dina Anjal. He witnesses Naxalites robbing a local bank. He chases them and manages to click photos of the robbers. When he tries to escape, he is stopped by a young woman Renuka 'Renu' (Karthika Nair) who assumes he is the culprit and helps the robbers to take his camera. However, he is able to secure the memory card of the camera. The police catch him, and to prove that he is a press photographer, he shows the photos to them, who identify everyone except the gang leader (whose face is covered by a mask). At his office, he again meets Renuka, who has newly joined as Article Editor. Saraswathi 'Saro' (Piaa Bajpai) also works in his office and has feelings for Ashwin, who does not reciprocate.
Settled in her new job, Renuka writes a cover story about a politician Aalavandhan (Kota Srinivasa Rao), describing his attempt to marry a minor. Enraged by this, Aalavandhan barges into the newspaper office and shouts at Renuka. The audio recording of her interview disappears (courtesy Aalavandhan), and she is fired from her job for falsified reporting. Ashwin later risks his life to capture the pictures of Aalavandhan who actually engages in child marriage in a temple at midnight. Later the story with the photos is printed in their newspaper and this makes Renuka to fall in love with Ashwin, which the latter reciprocates. Saro is initially jealous of the love between Ashwin and Renuka, but later accepts it and gets over Ashwin.
Meanwhile, Vasanthan Perumal (Ajmal Ameer), a recent graduate and engineer who is Ashwin's former college mate, strives hard to enter the politics by contesting the upcoming election. He is contesting against more experienced politicians who capture the people by giving freebies and money. No one cares about Vasanthan and his team of graduates, who promise a healthy government to people. Their party name is Siragugal (feathers). Ashwin and Renuka find out about Vasanthan's election campaign, and they and the entire Dina Anjal team extend their support to the campaign, covering it extensively, much to the chagrin of Aalavandhan and the Chief Minister Yogeswaran 'Yogi' (Prakash Raj).
One night, Vasanthan's party organises an election campaign meeting. Ashwin, photographing the event, receives a text message from Saro that states there is a bomb underneath the stage where Vasanthan is speaking. Ashwin manages to save Vasanthan just before the bomb explodes. Later, Ashwin finds Saro fatally wounded near the blast site. Saro struggles to tell something to Ashwin and Renuka before she dies. Ashwin, through a video clip recorded by another photographer, finds out that Saro was intentionally killed by someone. He later notices a resemblance between the leader of the bank robbery and this unknown killer, concluding that the Naxalite leader killed Saro.
A few days later, Renuka notices that Vasanthan's photo in their newspaper was cut from a college class photo, where Ashwin is also present. Confronted by Renuka, Ashwin tells her that he and Vasanthan studied in the same college and were best friends. He also tells her that he is happy for Vasanthan's success and is wholeheartedly supporting his election campaign.
In the election, Vasanthan's party wins by a huge majority and Vasanthan becomes the Chief Minister. He orders the release of 20 naxals on Republic Day, citing humanity. Shocked on hearing this news, Ashwin rushes to the secretariat to meet Vasanthan. In Vasanthan's office, Ashwin notices that the Naxalite leader who killed Saro is there, talking with Vasanthan. Ashwin airs his grievances to Vasanthan, who ignores him. Ashwin then follows the leader to his hideout. At the same time, Vasanthan orders the Tamil Nadu Police to go kill the Naxals at their hideout and the Police Commandos surround the perimeter of that place. Ashwin, already at the hideout, confronts the Naxalite leader, whose name is Kadhir (Bose Venkat) and finds out from him that Vasanthan had made a deal with the Naxalites to help him win the election. They orchestrated events such as the burning of a hut and saving the woman in that hut (who was also a Naxalite) in order to win people's sympathy. In the same vein, they had planted a bomb on the stage where Vasanthan was speaking during his meeting. Saro had found out the truth about Vasanthan, but was fatally assaulted by him so that she does not reveal his character and intentions to anybody. Ashwin realises that Saro had tried to warn him and Renuka about Vasanthan's true character before dying and also that now Vasanthan is double-crossing the Naxalites and is planning to kill them as a show of achievement. Ashwin records this confession using his mobile phone camera and sends it to Renuka, who plans to publish this story in their newspaper. Vasanthan then arrives and kills Kadhir. He also tries to kill Ashwin. However, Ashwin triggers a land mine there which explodes, killing Vasanthan, while Ashwin manages to escape.
Vasanthan's party members arrive at the hideout on hearing the news that Vasanthan had died. Seeing their innocence, Ashwin forces Renuka not to reveal the truth about Vasanthan because his party members would get into serious trouble and lose their seats just for supporting Vasanthan. They did not know about Vasanthan's true character and intentions and supported him, believing his false claims of a "healthy government". Instead, Renuka publishes an article saying that Vasanthan had sacrificed his life fighting the Naxalites and died as a martyr. Ashwin and Renuka submit their resignations to the Editor for falsified reporting, but he rejects their resignations and tells them to cover the upcoming election.
- Jiiva as Ashwin Kumar Jayaraman, the protagonist (Ashwath aka Haricharla Ashwathama in Telugu version), a brave and clever photojournalist working for the newspaper Dina Anjal.
- Ajmal Ameer as Chief Minister Vasanthan Perumal (Vasanth Kumar in Telugu version), Ashwin's former college mate who is now an activist and ill-minded young politician.
- Karthika Nair as Renuka Narayanan "Renu", Ashwin's love interest. She is an investigative journalist and helps Ashwin in revealing the blunders of politicians. She becomes the article editor for Dina Anjal. (voiceover by Chinmayi)
- Piaa Bajpai as Saraswathi "Saro", Ashwin and Renuka's colleague who unfortunately gets killed by an exploding bomb by Naxalites. (voice over by Krithika Nelson)
- Prakash Raj as Chief Minister Yogeswaran "Yogi" (Yograj Makrand in Hindi version) 
- Kota Srinivasa Rao as Aalavandhan (Kondala Rayudu in Telugu version / Someshwar Shinde in Hindi version), a politician who engages in child marriage.
- Achyuth Kumar as S. Krishnakumar "Krish", the editor of the Dina Anjal who wants Ashwin and Renu to cover the upcoming election at the end.
- Bose Venkat as Kadhir (Kaasi in Telugu version), the Naxalite leader who killed Saro but later gets killed by Vasanthan.
- Sona Heiden as Sumitha Kothari
- Jagan as Chandru
- Pattimandram Raja as Jayaraman, Ashwin's father
- Vanitha Krishnachandran as Ashwin's mother
- D. Suresh as Suresh
- Anthony as TV Editor
- Imman Annachi as Aalavandhan's sidekick
- Kaajal Pasupathi as Rudra, Kadhir's assistant
- D. R. K. Kiran as College Student
- DMJ Rajasimhan
- Special appearances by cine-artists in the song "Aga Naga song"
Initially the film was rumored to have Karthi in the lead. However, it was later officially announced that Silambarasan would play the lead in the film, but was later replaced by Jiiva. Actors Ajith and Suriya were also considered for the role. The lead female role was initially supposed to be enacted by Tamannaah Bhatia, who was replaced by actress Radha's daughter, Karthika Nair. The trailer of this film was played during the screening of Manmadan Ambu and got a favourable response.
The soundtrack album is scored by Harris Jayaraj, who had previously worked with Anand on Ayan. The composition of the songs took place in Macau. During Diwali 2010 a short teaser was released which featured the song "Enamo Aedho" which received acclaim from critics and audience. Another song, "Aga Naga", featured special appearances by several Tamil film personalities, including composer Jayaraj (see under cast). The album was launched on 19 January 2011 in Chennai.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sony Music India|
|Harris Jayaraj chronology|
|1.||"Aga Naga"||Pa. Vijay, Vanamali||Vijay Prakash, Tippu, Ranina Reddy, Priya Subramaniam, Solar Sai ,Srik , Emcee Jesz||5:23|
|2.||"Enamo Aedho"||Madhan Karky, Sricharan, Emcee Jesz||Aalap Raju, Prashanthini, Sricharan, Emcee Jesz||05:36|
|3.||"Gala Gala"||Kabilan||Tippu, Krish, Haricharan, Sayanora Philip||4:53|
|4.||"Venpaniyae"||Pa. Vijay||Sriram Parthasarathy, Bombay Jayashree||5:28|
|5.||"Netri Pottil"||Madhan Karky||Naresh Iyer||2:43|
|6.||"Amali Thumali"||Viveka||Hariharan, Shweta Mohan & Chinmayi||05:43|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
All lyrics written by Vanamali.
|1.||"Aga Naga"||Vijay Prakash, Tippu, Ranina Reddy, Priya Subramaniam, Solar Sai ,Srik , Emcee Jesz||5:20|
|2.||"Endhuko Emo" (English lyrics by Emcee Jesz)||Aalap Raju, Prashanthini, Sricharan, Emcee Jesz||5:31|
|3.||"Gala Gala"||Tippu, Krish, Haricharan, Sayanora Philip||4:51|
|4.||"Ee Manchullo"||Sriram Parthasarathy, Bombay Jayashree||5:25|
|6.||"Nemali Kulukula"||Unni Krishnan, Shweta Mohan & Chinmayi||5:45|
The soundtrack received mixed reviews from critics. C. Karthik from Behindwoods.com gave 2.5/5 writing: "Overall, Harris has tried to re-create the Ayan magic in KV Anand's latest and has achieved it to an extent [...] There are a couple of songs that give bragging rights to Harris but the others fail to scale the same height. Ko is worth having in your personal collection!" Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff gave a 2/5 citing that "aside from the sweetly melodious Ennamo Edho, the other numbers are all mish-mashed versions of his earlier hits." Indiaglitz said "Ko's music is vivacious with different genres of romantic songs, hip hop and nevertheless even poetic."
The satellite rights of the film were secured by Kalaignar. The film was given a "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board and released in nearly 2230 theatres worldwide, making it Jiiva's biggest release ever. It is also being released in multiplexes across metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Vadodara with English subtitles to attract the non-Tamil audience.Ayngaran International released the movie on DVD and releasing soon on Blu-ray.
The film opened to positive reviews. The Hindu described the film as a "tale with a realistic twist" and praised Anand who "strikes gold with Ko. Blending the commercial with the realistic is a challenge, but K. V. Anand proves adept at it." The Times of India gave three and a half citing: "With Ko, director Anand gives notice of his immense talent once again, making a movie that is all set to lord over the box office this summer". National Film Award-winning critic, Baradwaj Rangan wrote: "If someone wants to make a case for the abolishment of song and dance from our cinema, Ko would be Exhibit A." He also went on to state that Ko was "a series of big scenes with no transitions, no segues, no scenes that just stop to smell the scenery."
The film opened 95–100% occupancy on first day collected ₹ 25 lakhs s. The film first weekend collection is ₹ 74 lakhs. The film first week collection is ₹ 549 million. In Chennai, it collected ₹ 73,39,000 in the opening weekend. After 9 weeks, it collected ₹ 79.9 million in Chennai The film's total worldwide collection is ₹ 25 crores at the box office thus being biggest blockbuster ever in Jiiva's career. and completed 100-day run at the box office.
|2011 Filmfare Awards South||Best Actor||Jiiva||Nominated|
|Best Director||K.V. Anand||Nominated|
|Best Male Playback||Aalap Raju
|Best Music Director||Harris Jayaraj||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Ajmal Ameer||Won|
|2011 Vijay Awards||Best Actor||Jiiva||Nominated|
|Favourite Director||K. V. Anand||Nominated|
|Favourite Film||RS Infotainment||Won|
|Favourite Song||Enamo Aedho||Won|
|Best Background Score||Harris Jayaraj||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Ajmal Ameer||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Piaa Bajpai||Nominated|
|Best Male Playback||Aalap Raju
|Best Costume Designer||Nalini Sriram||Nominated|
|Best Story, Screenplay||K.V. Anand
|1st South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actor in a Negative Role||Ajmal Ameer||Won|
|Best Actress||Karthika Nair||Nominated|
The film was remade in Bengali as Kanamachi by notable Bengali director, Raj Chakraborty. It stars Ankush Hazra, Srabanti and Abir Chatterjee in the lead roles played by Jiiva, Karthika Nair and Ajmal respectively.
The song "Ennamo Edho" inspired a 2014 film of same name starring Gautham Karthik. Brahmanandam performed a parody of the song in Telugu film Naayak (2013). The song placement of "Venpaniye" was widely criticised, and KV Anand made a humor of it in his film Maattrraan (2012).
- Vanita Kohli-Khandekar (21 October 2011). "B-town taps festive joie de vivre". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Fans Are Friends For This Star!". Behindwoods. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
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- "Tamil entries for Oscars lack originality". newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 12 Oct 2015.
- "Jeeva's Ko inspired from Hollywood's State of Play". www.filmibeat.com. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "The Chennai Times Film Awards 2011". The Times of India. 22 June 2012.
- Ko (DVD): title credits from 1.36 to 1.53
- Ko (DVD): end credits from 2.44.02 to 2.44.06
- "Simbu walks out of KV Anand's Ko!". Sify Movies. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "Simbu 'OUT' Jeeva 'IN'". Indiaglitz. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "Ajith missed Ko". The Times of India. 13 September 2013.
- "'Manmadhan Ambu' comes with 'Ko'". Indiaglitz. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "Five reasons to watch K.V. Anand's Ko!". Indiaeveryday.in. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Ko at Western Norway Film Commission". Western Norway Film Commission. 23 October 2010. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "'Ko', a political thriller". Indiaglitz. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "'KO' Audio comes in style". Indiaglitz. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- Karthik, C. KO MUSIC REVIEW. Behindwoods.com. Retrieved on 20 May 2015.
- Nothing original about Ko's music – Rediff.com Movies. Rediff.com (25 January 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
- "Ko Music Review songs lyrics". IndiaGlitz. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Ko opening big worldwide. Sify.com (23 April 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
- "Ko Review". Behindwoods. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Movie Review:Ko-Review". Sify. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- "Tale with a realistic twist". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 April 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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- "Ko". The Times of India. 23 April 2011.
- "Ko Review – Tamil Movie Review by Rohit Ramachandran". Nowrunning.com. 23 April 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Baradwaj Rangan. "Bullet-point Report: Ko « Blogical Conclusion". Baradwajrangan.wordpress.com. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Movie Review: 'Ko'. ChennaiOnline (25 April 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
- Cakewalk for Ko – Tamil Movie News. Indiaglitz.com (12 May 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
- Ko – Behindwoods.com – Tamil Top Ten Movies – Kullanari Kootam Vikatakavi Ponnar Shankar Mappillai Ko. Behindwoods.com. Retrieved on 20 May 2015.
- Ko – Behindwoods.com – Tamil Top Ten Movies – 180 Pillaiyar Nootrenbadu Theru Kadaisi Veedu Udhayan Avan Ivan Aaranya Kaandam Azhagarsaamiyin Kudhirai Aanmai Thavarel Kanden Engeyum Kadhal Ko Vaanam. Behindwoods.com. Retrieved on 20 May 2015.
- "Ko Completes 175 Days!". Behindwoods. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Tamil movie 'Ko' to be remade in Hindi – IBNLive. Ibnlive.in.com (14 July 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
- 'KO completes 175 days' Tamil Movie, Music Reviews and News. Moviecrow.com (13 October 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
- 'KO Completes 100 days.' Tamil Movie, Music Reviews and News. Moviecrow.com (18 September 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
- Rangam to celebrate victory in 20 centres – Telugu Movie News. Indiaglitz.com (30 July 2011). Retrieved on 2015-05-20.
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- "Kollywood's commercial fare - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-25.