- Movie Name:KGF Chapter 2
- Critics Rating: 4 / 5
- Release Date: APR 14, 2022
- Director: Prashanth Neel
- Genre: Action, period and drama
Kannada language period action-drama KGF, which was released in 2018, set in motion a mythical story about India's most notorious criminal, Rocky Bhai, at the centre of the world's biggest goldmine El Dorado. An almost God-like antihero, Rocky, played by Yash, whose on-screen presence is truly unmatched and unseen in a long time, returns on the big screen with even more swagger and fiery intensity in his eyes. Four years later, the sequel retains the same elements in storytelling that made it a blockbuster back then and more importantly a fan favourite.
KGF's story makes a seamless transition into the sequel. It is almost like Marvel's storytelling. The experience is immersive and grips the viewers from the beginning. For a refresher, the sequel devotes the opening scene to recalling KGF's hidden truth and with it, the story of greed, violence, politics and mindless bloodshed to unearth gold hidden in KGF mines. A call back helps viewers establish a connection instantly and also paves the way for Rocky-mania to unfold.
Yash's intro scene does full justice to his larger-than-life character. In a long sequence, with a thumping, orchestral background score, set in the ruins where he now rules, we see a stylish and suited up Rocky Bhai walk in against a silhouette. This is the moment where you get the hint that Yash is set to take you on a ride. He makes snappy transitions from a funny and fast-talking man to an intense one. The characterisation by director Prashanth Neel has to be praised here. In between mindless mayhem, Rocky's unpredictability becomes even more striking and effective. The audience connects with Rocky's sarcastic and serious nature with equal ease.
KGF: Chapter 2 story runs parallel in the present and the past, like the first part. Within this larger narrative scheme, the director uses more parallel editing to connect themes and keep the pace edgy. At no point in time does the story gets convoluted. Most of the characters make a return in the sequel and with them some newer ones too. However, the only way one makes a distinction between them is whether they are with or against Rocky and his empire. Such is the enigma of this character that all details get dissolved into the larger picture.
The cinematography by Bhuvan Gowda is like added ammunition in the KGF's arsenal. Chapter 1 mostly had dimly lit scenes at KGF to imply slavery. Here, there are well-lit scenes to signify freedom and rebellion against authority. Additionally, there are sweeping aerial shots that add to the visual grandeur and give a slick feel to the movie. Coupled with the background score, the viewers get the vibe of a Hollywood event film, but with Indian roots.
Even as the character becomes more unabashed and deadly in the sequel, Rocky's underdog story and the emotional scenes from his past life, with his mother in them, make him human and vulnerable. The connection that is established in passing flashbacks is meaningful and the feeling of loss and pain lingers on. This establishes a real bond with the character, one that goes deeper than the surface.
Sanjay Dutt plays the antagonist Adheera in the movie. His confrontation with Rocky is too intense. In solo scenes, however, Dutt fails to measure up. His character looks frail in some scenes but Dutt nevertheless does the job. Raveena Tandon as Prime Minister Ramika Sen is also against Rocky's empire. She does well with the role on her plate. The director has tried to imply that Rocky and Ramika mirror each other's grit and characteristics, but this idea does not develop fully. In comparison to Yash, Raveena and Dutt's roles make less impact. Meanwhile, Rocky and Sona's (Srinidhi Shetty) chemistry develops further in Chapter 2 but honestly, it does not really add any dimension to the movie overall.
Prashanth's direction and his vision seem like they know no bounds. He has gone bolder with KGF: Chapter 2. The imagery is metaphorical and the many twists and turns leave you gasping in excitement. Rocky's sharp dialogues will acquire a separate fan base. However, as we reach the climax, we do tend to wear out with the template storytelling. But there is enough meat to keep you on the edge and root for Rocky, one of the masses who turned into the leader of the masses.