Synopsis – The blood-soaked land of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) has a new overlord now – Rocky, whose name strikes fear in the heart of his foes. His allies look up to Rocky as their savior, the government sees him as a threat to law and order; enemies are clamoring for revenge and conspiring for his downfall. Bloodier battles and darker days await as Rocky continues on his quest for unchallenged supremacy.
My Take – Back in 2018, when the Hindi dubbed version of the Prashanth Neel written-directed Kannada film, K.G.F: Chapter 1, released alongside the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Zero, few expected it to resonate with people outside the targeted perimeter.
But backed by excellent presentation and a time-tested story of an underdog rising to top against all odds, along with the right amount of twists and emotional weight, the film turned into not just a commercial success in all released languages, but also managed to carve a unique identity for the Kannada film industry.
Thankfully, despite the three years+ long wait and immense anticipation attached to it, returning writer-director Prashanth Neel, more than delivers in the sequel. Which not only expands the scale and story introduced in its predecessor, but also sets new standards of how mainstream films should be produced in the Indian film industry.
Unsurprising, because when the underdog in question is the seemingly invincible Rocky (Yash), every element of the masala template is dialed up to astronomical levels. Sure, films of these kind are filled with illogical and physics defying moments, but here director Prashanth Neel, with his gripping plot, gorgeous visuals and stunning action sequences, keeps you thoroughly invested in the state of disbelief world he has created.
With Yash‘s immersive screen presence being a major add-on, this massively successful sequel (estimated ₹552 crore in 4 days & counting) not just surpasses expectations, but only sets up gigantic expectations for Chapter 3.
With Vijayendra Ingalagi (Prakash Raj), son of Anand Ingalagi (Anant Nag), the author of the book El Dorado, taking over the process of completing the interview with Deepa Hegde (Malavika Avinash), the chief editor of a 24/news channel, after the latter is indisposed after a heart attack, the story takes place right after the events of Chapter 1, and once again follows Raja Krishnappa Bairya aka Rocky (Yash), a hit-man, who after killing Garuda (Ramachandra Raju) and his heir apparent Virat (Vinay Bidappa), has now taken charge as the kingpin of Kolar Gold Fields (K.G.F), much to the chagrin of the ones who hired him.
But with the workers literally worshiping him and considering him to be their savior, Rocky has become their leader with a determination to build an indestructible empire. But as his plans go into place, new troubles come knocking, first in the form of Adheera (Sanjay Dutt), Garuda’s Vikings inspired vengeful uncle, who has returned from exile, evoking visceral fear and demanding K.G.F back.
And then in the form of Ramika Sen (Raveena Tandon), the latest Prime Minister of India, who is perplexed by Rocky’s meteoric rise and wants him taken down.
Here, director Prashanth Neel is relentless in his storytelling and progresses at a brisk pace. For a film that is 168 minutes long, there isn’t a single dull moment. The film, like the first part, presents a dark, dreary world that is stylishly shot. From re-introducing our favorite characters and introducing new ones to building up conflicts and backing them with explosive action, the film has all the ingredients of a proper mainstream entertainer.
While the first installment took time to prove who the protagonist was and included more time to establish the same, this second part moves quicker and one gets to meet more characters. The conflicts and battles are more interesting this time.
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 brilliant technical team conjures mesmerizing visuals to keep us invested in the fictional world. Keeping the color palette to a minimum, cinematographer Bhuvan Gowda gives us some stunning visuals that capture the grandeur of the project without really showboating.
Another facet that will be always associated with the franchise is hyper-stylized violence. While there is a lot to discuss where the film falls on the moral spectrum, the arresting visual style of the film masks such thought processes during its runtime. No aspect of this opulence feels wasted or overboard. Be it the vast expanses of the mines or the never-ending shots of an array of vehicles including cars, planes, ships, bikes, helicopters etc., every visual element of the film stands tall.
Even Ravi Basrur‘s background score is scintillating and brings back his magic from the first part. He gives exactly what each scene requires and amps up Rocky’s buildup scenes to the next level.
It is needless to say that the film belongs to Yash from start to finish. With his irrepressible swag, natural coyness and obnoxious body language, Yash has breathed life into the role and looks at ease when he mouths the tacky dialogues. He owns them and it totally works. Sanjay Dutt is menacing as Adheera, and has enough moments that make him captivating.
Raveena Tandon also bring in an earnest turn. Srinidhi Shetty is nondescript as Rocky’s love interest, with their romance track bordering on an extreme case of Stockholm syndrome, being the only hiccup in an otherwise flawless entertainer.
In supporting roles, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Malavika Avinash, Archana Jois, Achyuth Kumar, Ayyappa P. Sharma, Saran Shakthi, Eswari Rao, Lakki Lakshman, Harish Rai, Dinesh Mangaluru, and Aadarsh Balakrishna, are effective. On the whole, ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ is an explosive and immersive sequel that is both adrenaline-pumping and highly entertaining.
Directed – Prashanth Neel
Rated – PG13
Run Time – 168 minutes