Kumki: Tamil Movie on Elephants (Review)

Kumki Trailer:

Kumki is an excellent Tamil movie about Elephants – Forest Elephant coming into village for food, and villagers using Kumki (trained elephant) to fend them off. Even though the love story has been given maximum screen time in this movie, I still liked the way the story has been presented. Must watch. 

There is a forest/wild elephant called “Komban” that wrecks havoc where ever it goes, killing people and forest guards alike. At the same time, the Government authorities try to take over the village/forest land by luring them with freebies and coercion through forest rangers. The village elders are fed up and decide to hire a trained Kumki elephant to deal with the wild elephant menace.

But, the Kumki elephant that they end up hiring (without their knowledge) is the tame/domestic elephant owned by the hero that is afraid of even the noise generated by a broken coconut! This elephant (along with the hero) initially comes to the village only as a two-day substitute for the trained Kumki elephant (that is not available at the moment). But the hero falls in love with the village head’s daughter and decides to stay longer.

Will the hero be able to train the tame/domestic elephant to ward off the wild elephant? Will he be able to marry the girl in a community where no one has gotten married to an outsider for more than 200 years? That’s the story.

The story is gripping and the movie has been well-made. The comedy scenes are very good. The songs are nice. The scene picturization in dense jungles is superb. Action, by all the lead actors, is exceptional. There are two (minor) things I didn’t like: The screen-time provided for “love” is more than what it should have been, and the climax could have been more believable.

The movie could have focused more on human-elephant conflict than human relationships and love. But then, knowing Tamil movie industry, this in itself, in spite of these commercial elements, is a good attempt. The story is based on true events and that makes it shine even more.

Here is one different Tamil (folk type) song from Kumki that I liked:

Destination Infinity
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