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KGF: Chapter 2 movie review – Prashant Neel and Yash conclude the tale of India’s most wanted criminal with elan

The second and final instalment in director Prashant Neel’s KGF saga was touted to be bigger and better than the first film. Does it live up to the hype?

3.5rating
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 05.36 AM, Apr 14, 2022

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KGF: Chapter 2 movie review – Prashant Neel and Yash conclude the tale of India’s most wanted criminal with elan
Yash in a still from KGF: Chapter 2

Story: Rocky’s got Garuda out of the way, but KGF isn’t his just yet. Rajendra Desai, Andrews and Gurupandian
are still vying for the throne of that empire. For that, they need to find someone formidable enough to take on Rocky and who better than Adheera for the job. The government, led by Prime Minister Ramika Sen, is also determined to root out Rocky. Who will have the last laugh?

Review: When KGF: Chapter 1 released in theatres in December 2018, critics were far from nice, literally ripping apart director Prashant Neel’s film and dubbing it a series of stylized slo-mo shots designed to worship the hero – Rocky (Yash) - amid a flimsy story. The reviews, though, had zilch impact on the film, as audiences across the country lapped it up, allowing the team to laugh its way to the bank. Ultimately, that’s all that matters, as far as Hombale Films, Prashant, Yash and the rest of the team were concerned – they’d achieved what they set out to do. To make a big film, which their target audience would hopefully love and appreciate. And love they did, elevating the film to an even higher pedestal.

With KGF: Chapter 2, the team promised that whatever they did in the first part would be bigger and better, as they could afford it. But does it live up to that hype? Oh hell ya! KGF: Chapter 2 is a visual spectacle – everything’s been magnified times 10; it helps that the action is not in the mines. Rocky is now the most wanted criminal and the lord of KGF, but the real star of KGF: Chapter 2 is costume designer Saniya Sardhariya. Armed with a hero who has immense screen presence and looks fabulous in the designer suits she kits him out in, Saniya presents a 2-hour-48 minute extended commercial for Raymond – The Complete Man. But boy, does Yash look good onscreen!

Let's look at some of the things that worked and didn't for this chapter. Throughout the process of KGF: Chapter 1 and 2, Prashant has always maintained that the story that he began with, with the intention of making one film called KGF, has remained the same. The difference between the two parts that it eventually became is only in the scale on which he has mounted each of them, with the second reaping the benefits of the first’s success.

If we are to take the moral high ground, Rocky’s underdog tale that Yash’s has been going to town about, wherein a mother exhorts her son to escape the clutches of poverty by any means possible, is quite problematic. Especially since he then chooses a life of crime to get to that goal.

With KGF: Chapter 2, the basic undertone of the story remains the same and it is still wafer thin. Rocky’s goal is firmly set on his mother’s dying wish. And it doesn’t matter how many lives are lost along the way. It's the conflicts along the way of Rocky's rise to power that form the crux of the narrative, so, saying anything more will be a spoiler,  

After all the brown and grey shades of KGF: Chapter 1, Bhuvan Gowda unleashes the full might of his cinematography skills, capturing the spectacle that is Rocky and his empire. Of course, both Prashant and Neel love dull muted tones, which finds place in the action sequences, lovingly captured in slo-mo, with every little detail in place.

Ravi Basrur’s music was one of the highlights of KGF: Chapter 1 and is here too, although it does feel a tad too loud and overbearing at times.

Sanjay Dutt makes Adheera look and feel menacing, aided immensely by Balaji Manohar’s vocals for the character, and his confrontations with Rocky, especially in the final moments, are, no doubt, among the best moments of the film. The same cannot be said of Raveena Tandon’s Ramika Sen. The actress brings gravitas to the role, but, say, Sudharani, who voiced her character, could have done as good a job, if not better.

Srinidhi Shetty’s Reena had such a pointless and severely limited role in part 1, that she had to draw everyone’s attention to her by proclaiming repeatedly that Prashant has made it up to her by giving her character more to chew on this time around. It appears that the actress was misled by the team. Or perhaps the bump up from 5 to 15 minutes was enough for her.

If you thought that KGF: Chapter 1 was an extended showreel of hero worship, Chapter 2 takes that to another level. Right from his intro scene when he arrives in KGF in a chopper, to the end, Chapter 2 has Yash in pretty much every frame and if he ain’t there, whoever is has enough to say about Rocky Bhai that you almost feel his presence.

Verdict: It really doesn’t matter what reviews say about KGF: Chapter 2. The craze surrounding the film in the run-up to its release and the massive advance bookings are testimony to the fact that irrespective of what any critic thinks, this film will make bucketloads of money.

But having taken the trouble of watching an early morning show at an exorbitant rate, here’s what I think – KGF (KGF: chapter 1 and 2 put together) is by no means a great film. It’s a spectacle that fans of that genre are gonna love. Rocking Star Yash’s fans can rejoice. If he announced his arrival as a pan-Indian star with Chapter 1, with Chapter 2 he proclaims that he’s here to stay.

Here's hoping that while setting new and amazing standards of filmmaking, the team also slips in a more palatable story next time.

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