Kannada industry is known for remaking films from other languages. In terms of creativity it is not on par with the Malayalam film industry in terms of output. Similarly it does not have the scale of Tamil or Telugu cinema to execute large scale entertainers. But then things are improving to an extent in the last few years. KGF Chapter 1 when released was a surprise hit outside Karnataka as well. This first film went head on head with Bollywood’s ZERO which featured SRK. The audience lapped up KGF Chapter 1 and rejected the same old romantic Bollywood films.
I have to admit that when I watched first KGF, I did not like it. During the lockdowns when I watched it again, I was impressed by the treatment of the film and how even within a limited budget with the tactical use of cinematography, sound and editing they made the film look bigger.
In terms of screenplay also what I was drawn to was the character of Rocky (Yash) who is actually an unlikeable character but Prashant Neel intelligently uses flash cuts to the past and present to create sympathy for him and make the audience root for him.
Coming to KGF Chapter 2, the first 40 minutes is reserved for audience to recollect things from first part. Now that Rocky has claimed KGF, the rest of the film is the new challenges he has to overcome.
the film in terms of screenplay is not on par with the first one, certain events feels repetitive after sometime. In terms of mass elevation, no one does it better than Prashant with continuous introductory scenes. This worked in the first part because there was a mystery to it, but we realise that the director is interested in style and does not have substance to support it.
We have Adheera (Sanjay Dutt) who is supposed to be ruthless and does not spare his rivals. Sensing KGF is something he wanted for a long time, his clash with Rocky is lukewarm. It does not make sense for a character who was promoted as a ruthless villain to see easily forgiving Rocky and the first clash between two of them is underwhelming. In the Hindi version I wonder why the makers have got someone else to dub the voice of Sanjay Dutt which reduces the impact of the character.
The other character that was promoted, Ramika played by Raveena Tandon makes an entry in the second half and despite being the Prime Minister she does not know about one of the biggest criminals in India, which is fine but being ignorant about gold fields or how the party gets money is somewhat perplexing for me.
Reena Desai (Srinidhi) is a prop here as in the first film, but even the makers seem to have forgotten her character or what she did in the first part. In the first part towards the end we see her developing a feeling for Rocky and waits for him, in the second part she seems to be angry when he brings her to KGF. The makers do not give any reason for this, as they know her character does not matter in the film.
Where Prashant flatters is while in the first film we had a clever and strong antagonist in the form of Garuda, here both Adheera and Ramika fails to make an impression due to the way their characters are written, in the first part their characters had more weightage I feel, despite not being seen on the screen.
Prashant solely focuses on Rocky (Yash) and on making him more bigger and bigger. He gets all the whistle worthy lines, where he talks about nepotism and how he is not a product of that, hat tip to him becoming a star despite not coming from a film background. We see a man who wants more and more despite having the world, we see him drinking more often in this film and Prashant gives him the best scene in climax, it is kind of god like, a man who struggled all his life to fulfil a promise he made to his mother.
The action set pieces keeps you engrossed and the police station and scene after interval were my favourites. The important part of climax which feels like homage to Ambareesh’s Chakravyuha.
KGF Chapter 2 is all about style and giving hope to the audience one man with grit and guts can rule the world. As they say there is a nobody in every street who wants to be somebody and that is why Rocky connects with the audience.