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KGF is a story we've seen a million times. But...: Sanjay Gupta weighs in on the Prashanth Neel saga

Sanjay Gupta reckons that if one were to invite the public back to the theatres, the film in the offer must transport them all outside of the grim reality around.

KGF is a story we've seen a million times. But...: Sanjay Gupta weighs in on the Prashanth Neel saga
Sanjay Gupta on KGF 2
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 11.54 AM, Nov 20, 2022

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2022 has certainly been the year of south Indian cinema with each region, so to speak, contributing in its own idiosyncratic way. With films of a varied kind, in terms of both scale and sensibility, working at the box office, one has seen audiences return to cinema halls with great gusto and beckon the big-screen experience back into popular culture. From period epics like RRR to Ponniyin Selvan 1 and smaller-scaled films like The Kashmir Files and Kantara, and practically everything in between, it's been a rich and vibrant year at the movies so far.

The Kannada Film Industry, which had remained the least recognized of the four south Indian industries for the longest time, thrived in particular and if one had to single out a film that heralded the change, the pick would most likely be Prashanth Neel's K.G.F: Chapter 2. As the second instalment of the mega Rocky Bhai saga, KGF 2 turned out to be a phenomenon of some kind with more than Rs. 1200 crores to its name in global box office collections.

As a true-blue pan-Indian film, Neel and his team were able to transport the audiences to a unique cinematic world and offer a one-of-a-kind experience. Film critics and enthusiasts alike hailed the film as a game-changer as far as commercial filmmaking is concerned and even reckoned that it managed to employ the much-loved masala tropes of Indian cinema in a special manner.

For Hindi film director Sanjay Gupta, who himself has often tried to bring larger-than-life stories to the fore in his own nuanced ways, the real reason behind the success of a film like KGF 2 is the ability of the director to create a never-before-seen universe for his story. In a recent chat with a media outlet, Gupta spoke at length about south Indian cinema, the reasons for its recent upsurge, and the concept of retelling old stories in newer ways. 

When asked about whether he ever wishes to dabble with mythology as a genre, the Shootout at Lokhandwala director said, "I don't think I would be interested in a version of the Ramayan and Mahabharat or anything mythological, per se. But if there's a Harappa book series written by Vinay Bajpai wherein the narrative is set 3000 years ago and if I can intercut that with a contemporary story, it would give me a chance to create an alternative universe."

The way S.S. Rajamouli did it with Baahubali where he created a whole new world or KGF, for that matter. K.G.F is nothing but a gangster film set in Mumbai and we've seen that story many times on screen, in fact, I have told that story before. But we have not said it the way Prashanth Neel, the director, said that story. He created a world you can immerse in and that, today, I feel is extremely important in filmmaking."

In the same vein, Sanjay Gupta added that if one were to invite the public back to the theatres, the film in the offer must transport them all outside of the grim reality around. "We cannot give them our regular reality, you see that around you all the time," says Gupta.

KGF 2, despite being a Kannada film, went on to be a massive success as the Hindi dubbed version and managed to collect more than Rs. 435 crores at the box office. The film surpassed films like the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal and the likes in its pursuits.

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