- Release Date: 14/04/2022
- Cast: Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Prakash Raj, Achyuth Kumar
- Director: Prashanth Neel
KGF: Chapter 2 begins exactly where Chapter 1 had left off. Rocky (Yash) has killed Garuda and has taken control of the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF). The conspirators who had sent him to kill Garuda are taken aback by this sudden change of fate and decide to eliminate Rocky. However, Rocky proves to be equal to the task and easily subdues them with his swag and muscle power. In desperation, the conspirators turn to Adheera (Sanjay Dutt), a vicious and brutal killer who was presumed dead and has a legitimate claim to the throne of KGF. He makes a towering comeback and nearly brings Rocky to his knees. What is left to be seen is how Rocky responds. He has a history of hitting back the hardest when pushed to the wall. Will he do the same again or will Adheera prove to be too strong for him to contend with. To know the answers to those questions, you have to watch the film at a theater near you.
Elaborate story, engaging screenplay, and effective direction
KGF: Chapter 2 is relentless in its storytelling. For a film that is 168 minutes long, there isn’t a single dull moment. The speed of the narrative remains consistently breakneck but does give the viewers enough time to absorb the content on display. I thought that the pacing might come down a little in the second half as is customary with most films but that never happened. The story is so dense and has so many elements, twists, and underlying emotions and drama that I would not be wrong to say that it has enough material to propel three films.
Prashanth Neel’s direction is masterful. Every sequence feels like a short film in itself as it begins slowly, gathers momentum, and reaches a crescendo by the time it arrives at its culmination and ends with the desired release of the tension and excitement for the audience. This aspect of the film is common for all the sequences be it simple exchanges, dramatic show-offs, or complex action sequences. The sequences are designed and executed in such a way that allows the visual and auditory presentation to milk the last ounce of machismo from the protagonist and the many antagonists. The result is a film that will give you a thousand reasons to cheer in its runtime.
Yash’s performance as the protagonist
It is needless to mention that KGF is a Yash show from start to finish. This wouldn’t be the film that it is if it was anything else. This is the story of a man who rose from nothing to have his hands on the greatest wealth in the world and he is able to hold on to it because of his bravado, sharp intellect, and ability to look into the future and predict what it holds for him. Yash is able to embody and express these key elements of the character with clinical ease. The fact that he had very little exposure in the Hindi heartland makes it even easier for someone like me to accept him for nothing else but Rocky as I have no memory of any other character that he has played before. Hence he disappears behind the character of Rocky. The man brings out every aspect of the character with such power and vigor that it becomes very easy to even accept some of the more outrageous feats that the character is shown pulling off. Having said that, Prashanth Neel does really well to maintain the action and vulnerability of Rocky to a level that is mostly acceptable. This in turn adds even more character and inspirational quality to the action sequences and Yash’s overall essay.
Sanjay Dutt’s performance as the fierce and maniacal Adheera
From the time, Sanjay Dutt was cast as Adheera, many felt that the part should have been done by someone from the South Indian Film industry. I was thrilled to witness Sanjay Dutt turn in an absolutely brilliant and maniacal performance as a villain who enjoys carnage more than anything else. Many critiqued the Viking-like outfit that the man was shown wearing in the promos and even that aspect of the character is taken care of in the film with just one line of dialogue. Sanjay has the physicality and mannerisms to sell the character of Adheera. He successfully renders the things that Adheera is shown doing believable with emphatic ease. From the moment he arrives on screen, he steals the thunder momentarily from Yash and that I believe was an almost impossible thing to do in a film like this. For that and everything else, I loved Sanjay Dutt’s essay.
Raveena Tandon’s performance as the hard as nail Prime Minister
Raveena Tandon comes in very late but even after that, she leaves an impact. For a brief moment, I thought that she might go overboard with her dialogue delivery as that has been the case in many realistic films where she has been asked to play a powerful character. In a scene or two, my fears did come true but then Prashanth Neel’s stellar direction stepped in and her dialogue delivery was toned down to feel more realistic and impactful. Her performance immediately got better and so did the character that has an important part to play in Rocky’s story.
Srinidhi Shetty as Reena is not even addressed with her name in the film
Srinidhi Shetty is wasted in a role that could have been done by anyone. While she had some say in KGF Chapter 1, she is reduced to a glorified doll that Rocky plucks out and places in his palatial villa to entertain and amuse him in Chapter 2. Rocky expresses these very feelings to her and after being his captive for a few years; she finally gives in to his will and falls in love with him. This portion of the film was so regressive and written with such contempt and so little idea of how women live and are that it made me think whether it was written by the same people who wrote the rest of the film. Shetty doesn’t even have proper dialogues apart from one-line questions. Her character is the weakest in the film and Srinidhi cannot be blamed for that as the character is written so poorly.
Cinematography, editing, and background score:
The technicalities of KGF: Chapter 2 takes it to the next level. It feels grander and crazier because of how the film is shot, edited, and scored. The cinematography by Bhuvan Gowda reminds us of everything that we loved about Chapter 1 but gives us frames and sequences from time to time that reminds us that we are watching a grander and lot more imaginative film than its predecessor. The mood of every scene is beautifully captured and conveyed by the temperamental lighting and the imaginative camera angles and movements used to capture the character in their natural environment. I loved how the action sequences are shot. While there was some overuse of slow-motion shots, it never got too pronounced to turn into a problem. There is one chase sequence in the film that reminded me of the high octane chase sequences from some of the iconic Hollywood films. How Gowda captures Rocky elevates the man to a God-like creature. Gowda’s camera work documents the reverence of the man for the protagonist and how inspired he was by the character.
19 years old Ujwal Kulkarni who made a fan edit of the son, “Sidila Bharava” is the official editor for KGF: Chapter 2. He has proved what a passionate man can achieve when he puts his heart and soul into doing what he loves. The entire film, as well as the individual sequences, feels like a countdown to a crescendo and it is achieved by combining the story elements, the performances, the background score, the cinematography, and the editing. The editing here is the most important aspect of it all. Be it the action sequences, the dramatic exchanges, or even the simple expository sequences, Kulkarni edits it all with a sense of urgency and cuts to the beats in the background score. This ensures that the people can actually swing with the score and know when the next cut will come. This may not be something that the audiences will notice but at a subconscious level, this style of editing makes the proceedings not only easy to follow but ensures they are memorable.
A lot has been said about the background score of the film. Some believe that it is the single most identifiable aspect of the two films after Yash. Some hated it and believed that it was an overkill telling the audiences how to feel and was so loud in certain moments that the audiences couldn’t hear some of the dialogues. I loved the background score of KGF: Chapter 1 and still listen to it on the loop during my long walks. The background score here was not even close to what Chapter 1 achieved but was good enough to elevate certain sequences. I felt that the inspirational quality of the score of Chapter 1 was missing. It wasn’t even memorable. The songs were weak too. Apart from Toofan, none of the other songs made any impact.
A film like KGF: Chapter 2 was bound to click with the audience. It is that perennial rag to riches story that has enthralled viewers and fired up their imaginations across generations for ages. It has the right balance of hero moments, storytelling tropes done right, and just enough twists and turns and emotional weight behind its story. It will appeal to different strata of the audiences at different levels and still give everyone something or the other to enjoy even if he or she is not in love with the film as a whole. The ones looking for entertainment will be overwhelmed. The ones looking for extensive storytelling will be impressed. The ones looking for realism will be sparingly satisfied. The ones looking for closure to all that was started in Chapter 1 will be exasperated. For Yash, Sanjay Dutt, and Raveena Tandon fans, Chapter 2 will be like the second coming of Christ.