KGF Chapter (1 & 2): Cost of a Promise
KGF 2 Review
Star Cast: Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Srinidhi Shetty, Archana Jois, Raveena Tandon, Prakash Raj, Malavika Avinash, and Eswari Rao
Edited by Ujwal Kulkarni
Music Composed by Ravi Basrur
Cinematography by Bhuvan Gowda
We all hold something or the other dear to us. For me, I hold values given by my parents. I try to stick to my belief system as much as I can and that is what Makes Me Me! Similarly, Yash’s belief system made him a Rocking Star of Kannada Cinema. We both are at extreme edges of success … My journey is still at a basic level and he is at the pinnacle. I can’t compare but to make a point, I am trying to make, I am trying to give an example. You have your own belief system too and that makes you what you are. Prashant Neel understood that very basic principle in life and made it into a huge script. A man believes in his mother’s words so much that he wants to rule the destiny that cheated her. He did just that.
He ruled his destiny. How? Not by going to KGF. Not by digging up his mother’s grave. Not by bringing his father to look after his mother’s grave. Not by keeping his love by his side with force but yet giving her the choice to not love him. Not by waging war on everyone but by deciding how he will die. He is in rush to live every day on the edge of the knife and to earn every possible gold that the world has ever produced. He wants to be the Sultan and he becomes the Sultan by deciding how he will die.
He is not a cunning fox waiting for his turn. He is not a blood thrust looking to establish his rule. He is not a mad man motivated by greed. He is like Vishnu almost, who determines his avatar’s outcome and works towards it. He came to KGF to end the rule of demons and took all that is worthy of saving in terms of earthly pressures with him. He built all the workers there, their home, and their society to live their lives fearlessly. Neel understands heroism lies in death but not in clinging on to life in a gangster’s life. He reversed Sarkar and Satya in his own style. Satya becomes a pawn in the political game and loses Everything, even the love of his life. He is motivated by his will to live. Sarkar is motivated by his will to help others and bring justice. Mix them both and reverse Sarkar’s motif to Satya while giving Sarkar’s iron resolve to triumph under all circumstances to Satya who gives up everything when love leaves his hand. You get Rocky Bhai. Rocky doesn’t give up ever and even when he knows death is inevitable he doesn’t touch the lady who is after him, he stands in front of her with a weapon but still doesn’t disrespect her even one bit. She is terrified of him for the first time but still, she doesn’t respect his ambition enough to let him know that criminal conduct makes him, her enemy but a better behavior from his side can change everything. This means, if he can stop illegal drilling and get productive as a businessman then they both can be on the same side. Had they seen each other as ambitiously driven mad people who are no threat to each other, things would have been different.
This is where Prashant Neel scores. He is not narrating the story of so-called peacefully positive people. He is narrating the story of two extremely passionate people, who will go against each other anytime, anywhere. Who can’t ignore a challenge. If someone draws blood, they have to answer. Neel very subtly in a maddening over-the-top world created Rocky and his biggest enemy in Female Rocky. Ramika Sen looks like a character underwritten but with the way she used Burma War to threaten Rocky, she is like Rocky. That is what Neel meant with that scene. He even explicitly said that Rocky can only bring KGF down. While it has an outer meaning of Rocky acting upon his emotions without thinking it also has a second meaning of him going against a person who is like him and who also doesn’t think that ending KGF will end people’s lives who are attached to it. She wants to end a criminal’s rule. The intention is right but at what cost? Rocky’s intention to rule the world is good but at what cost?
Both of them left their mark on the world. One by being ruthless and another by forcing a ruthless world to bend the knee and then turn even more ruthless. Craftsman in Prashant Neel is happy to tell a simple tale on a larger-than-life scale while the writer in Neel is unhappy to stage a scene for the sake of scene. Take the children looking at their reflection in the mirror for the first time. The kind of ruler Garuda was and the kind of ruler Rocky will be, is just explained in that one scene. A mother in KGF doesn’t aspire for her son to be alive in front of her. She knows it is pushing her luck too much but she hopes for her son to get a good burial. See, in a world where living is tough, you expect at least death to give you solace. Neel wanted to drive this point with Eeswari Rao‘s character and he did brilliantly. In all glitz and glamour of packaging, we miss this but he as a writer did not want us to miss it at all. He created characters and scenes to highlight them and even tweaked them to use them as elevations too. The Police Station scene is heights of Mass hero from commercial cinema. But at the same time, a small boy announces that he is Ramakrishnappa Bariya and he is Big Brother. In the world of KGF, where youngsters determine their path, a youngster with no worldly knowledge could identify the youngster’s ambition in Ramakrishnappa Bariya who became Rocky for the world. Prashanth Neel as a writer is threatened by his own ambition still he is not afraid to package it all and hopes that people will notice.
Even the Narrative in First Chapter shifts from hero worship to cynicism. He needed Anant Nag kind of a stalwart personality to engage us in an unbelievable story and it turns to more believable. Here, his son’s lack of trust in his father’s life’s work and cynicism come into the tale hence, we feel distanced from everything. Still, the setting works as Prashant Neel’s story in the second part needed that cynicism to creep in. Otherwise, Ramika Sen would have looked like a villain. Neel maintained a decorum to show Adheera as the villain and Ramika Sen as a right person driven to do the wrong thing if needed to bring someone or something down that she feels is a threat to society. Also, Neel writes a subtle romantic track. He narrates to the heroine every act of Rocky from the pure eyes of children and not the corrupted eyes of her father or her world. She has to be around a man whom she loves but doesn’t know if he respects her. She understands him completely when she finally decides to accept her love for him hence, she tells him that his mother is inside her but not their kid. Neel as a writer is clever and far superior to the credit that he lets that writer get. As a director and editor, he needed to package everything in his style and that style dominates his writing.
Still, his narrative works. His ambition works. His penchant to earn numbers works. All he needs is to trust that writer more and let him fly. Maybe the success will help him to recognize that his core strength lies in his Writing and the rest all are acquired. Yash as Rocky Bhai lived in the role and his monumental ambition needed as much hard work. He did not shy away and hence he deserves all the accolades. Every actor except for Sanjay Dutt looked like they belong to this world. Sanjay lent his presence but was not needed. Ravi Basrur, Bhuvan Gowda, and Ujwal Kulkarni need to be given all the accolades and if possible all the hikes they ask for. KGF is a monumental effort where ambition met the right people at right time.
KGF 2 Review