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Movie Review: KGF Chapter 1
Cast: Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Ananth Nag, Achyut Kumar, Malavika Avinash, Srinivasa Murthy, Aswanth, Vasista and Others.
Music: Ravi Basnoor - Tanishq Baagchi
Cinematography: Bhuvan Gowda
Art Direction: Siva Kumar
Production: Vaarahi Chalana Chitra - Hombale
Story - Screenplay - Direction: Prashanth Neel
Release Date: 21st of December 2018
Kannada Films were usually made with a limited budget. Because of the budget constraints, Films made in the Kannada Industry weren't able to meet the standards of either Bollywood or Tollywood or Kollywood. Not many Kannada Films were dubbed in other languages due to the same reason. In contrast, 'KGF' created a sensation with lavish production values & also by releasing in as many as five languages (Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam). Raw Content in the promos drew the attention of people across the nation. Hero Yash has become quite popular all over the country because of this project. Will this high budget flick make him a Pan-India Star?
'KGF' is a story spanning from 1951 To 1981. Ramakrishna Pawan alias Rocky (Yash) takes the life lesson (Doesn't Matter How You Were Born, But Die Rich) taught by his Mother very seriously. His Journey begins from Mumbai Streets, and then he gets involved in Smuggling & Illegal Import of Gold. One day, Rocky gets the assignment to get rid of Garuda (Ramachandra Raju) who controls Narachi Mining Corporation in Kolar. He falls in love with Rajendra Desai's Daughter Neena (Srinidhi Shetty) after landing in Bangalore. Rocky lands in the Kolar Gold Mines as a slave. Was he able to fulfill the dream of emerging as a Ruler?
Yash, who began his career with Small Screen, has become a Film Star in a short span. He attained national-wide popularity with 'KGF'. Makeover he has undergone for the larger-than-life character is appreciable. He is aptly cast in the role of a gangster who doesn't emote much but only focuses on achieving the goal. May be, Yash decided to show his acting calibre only in the Chapter 2 of 'KGF'.
Srinidhi Shetty is the biggest weak link in the movie. Neither she have the features of a Heroine nor did she delivered an arresting performance. As Antagonist, Rama Chandra Raju is menacing. Sai Kumar's Brother Ayyappa Sharma does pretty well as the trusted aide of the Main Villain. Ananth Nag who narrates the story as Journalist will be remembered. Villains Vinay Bidappa, Dinesh Mangaluru, Avinash, Harish Rai and Vasista have done justice to their roles.
Storyline of 'KGF' is good enough but makers failed to maintain the kind of intensity required to make it a blockbuster. Depth required to leave a lasting impact on the viewers went missing. Director Prashanth Neel focussed on build-up for Rocky Role in the First Half of 'KGF'. He, however, wasn't able to include few episodes that could mesmerize the audience. Though the film didn't meet the expectations, Technician in Prashanth Neel reflects the growth in standards of Kannada Cinema.
Music could have been a lot better. Neither Songs nor Background Score were praise-worthy. Cinematography by Bhuvan Gowda is a major asset for 'KGF'. The output delivered by him is top-notch, be it in the episodes of Mumbai-backdrop in First Half or Kolar Mines in the Second Half. Art Director Siva Kumar deserves all the praise for the way he created Kolar Mines. Editing by Srikanth should have been more crisp. Production Values maintained by Producer Hombole were unbelievable. This is the major reason behind the wide release of this Kannada Flick.
Kolar Gold Fields, which is the only mining region with abundant gold, has got a history. Director Prashant Neel weaved a story based on the Politics, Slavery & Muscle Power using this backdrop. He took up the challenge to present the unknown facts by making use of Star Image of Yash. Such films are rare down South, so the expectations were high on this project. Non-Linear Screenplay preferred by the Director disturbed the flow. Just when the tempo seems to picking up, Childhood Scenes have been shown and they were more like speed-breakers. Even Narrating the story from Journalist point of view worked against the movie.
Prashanth Neel took ample time to establish the money cravings of Protagonist. Kannadigas might find it worth watching but Telugu Audience wouldn't appreciate it as Yash isn't a Star here. Director tried to balance the emotions to ensure audience doesn't get too bored. As the Makers decided to make 'KGF' in two parts, First Half has been dragged so much and too much elevation of Rocky didn't work. Music is one of the weakest elements in the movie. Art Work is mind-blowing, especially sequences of the Kolar Gold Fields. Action Episodes shot here will be a treat for the masses. The manner in which Rocky was presented as a powerful individual who could even scare the mafia looks unconvincing.
Lack of gripping screenplay plays spoilsport. The whole second half is based on the wafer-thin line of Protagonist's mission to kill Antagonist. Missing Twists & Turns is a matter of concern for the viewers. Prashanth Neel failed to maintain the much needed emotional quotient required to hit the right chord with the audience.
'KGF Chapter 1' is a gangster movie which offers a unique experience. Gold Mines Backdrop mayn't have been touched by any South Indian filmmaker before, but plenty of such kind of mafia-based films had released so far. So, 'KGF' ends up as an ordinary movie. Visually, 'KGF' sets the standards high. As the depth in the story is missing in Chapter 1, People mayn't eagerly wait for Part 2. Every movie can't be a Baahubali!
Bottom Line: Strong Visual Appeal - Weak Content!