Koko Image


By Brian Shaer | March 25, 2021

Look, I can appreciate the filmmakers’ stance that, in matters of the heart, there are no rules that should govern who gets to fall in love with who. However, portraying such an extreme example as Koko does with the gravity of a capital murder case is the wrong approach. Had Pandey developed the idea with more of a satirical tone in mind, the message would probably have gone down a lot easier.

Instead, we sit and watch as Randy makes a fool out of himself, desperately trying to explain the unexplainable. We groan when Randy’s friends start sincerely buying his story. Mike, who is at this point a newly minted attorney, even takes on his friend’s case and argues to the court for Randy’s right to legally marry Koko.

“…has its heart in the right place.”

Even more astounding is Trish. The poor thing had it in her mind that Randy was about to propose marriage to her. And why wouldn’t she? Randy phoned her and told her to meet him at the courthouse the next day for an important and mysterious purpose. She arrives with a big smile on her face only to discover Randy needed her to be a witness as he obtained a marriage license for himself and Koko! Unbelievably still, following her humiliation, Trish forgives Randy and attends his trial as he fights for the right to marry the dog for which she was dumped!

The fact that the movie doesn’t realize how ridiculous it is, in some ways, affords the whole thing a certain innocence. There are moments when Koko works in this regard, in an “I can hardly believe what I’m watching” sort of way. Had it chosen to telegraph its story with the wink the audience is begging for and allowed its characters to be tuned into the preposterousness of it all, the proceedings might not have appeared so incredulous. If you’re going to use such an oversized theoretical as a jumping-off point, you better be prepared to go all in to really sell it.


Koko (2021)

Directed: Anjani K. Pandey

Written: J. Scott Vajner

Starring: Anthony Esposito, Travis Chase, Dulaney Sundin, Rachel Willis, John Parsonson, Celia Isla, Sean Collins, Andrew Kranz, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Koko Image

"…affords the whole thing a certain innocence."

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  1. Carroton York says:

    Its so sad to marry a dog, you have shad the tears,for sure you I don’t no I will tell but it looks stupidity and mor much nonsense to marry a dog

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