Monday, 24 December 2018

KGF Chapter 1: Personifying a war between greed and power

Throwing a secret initially and unfolding it in the later part of the screenplay is the most interesting trait and that’s what Yash’s KGF – Chapter 1 has done. Though Prashanth Neel’s directorial venture is a Tamil-dubbed version of the first instalment of this Kannada period-action-drama, it establishes a lot of instances that anyone can relate to.

What drives the protagonist of this story, who aims at winning the whole world, is nothing but his compassion towards his mother and her words. There are moments spilt all over the narration where Rocky (Yash) travels back in time to his childhood and relates his present-day situation with the preaching of his mother.

Rocky is one of the very few protagonists we have seen in cinema who is totally imperfect legally but is ethical, with so many social values and intense personal life emotions. There is a scene in the film where Rocky is called ‘villain’ and not a hero, that too, after saving a man from deathly trouble. That is how his character has been fashioned. He aspires to conquer the world and wants to see his name turn into a brand, but he becomes something more than that, a demigod - making folklore come to life.

The entire way of story-telling is embedded in secrecy and suspense. Until the last frame, the movie keeps unfolding knots but leaves a whole lot untouched for the second instalment of the series. For a movie of such production values, one cannot spot a place where director Prashanth has carelessly wasted screentime or money. Every scene and every word of KGF has been sculpted with top-notch filmmaking skill by the whole crew.

At times, KGF (Kolar Gold Field) gets more puffery than the protagonist Rocky during the narration which was similar to Manickam turning Baasha (in Rajinikanth film Baasha). Prashanth lets his audience wait with the hype and opens up the geography when the narration reaches a crescendo. This, in fact, is the reason that makes the spectators feel it be the most challenging mission for Rocky, who is able to deal with any big task single-handedly. Since his aim is conquering the world, the story is filled with conflicts and you see a villain popping up every 10 minutes.

One of the nimble-witted moves of the writer is having a narrator. And, this narrator is someone who is not outlandish but is within the story. For a very non-linear screenplay like this, having a narrator all the way makes it clearer when we struggle to cope with three different story timelines.

The war between greed and power is personified by KGF and the choice of the period, the late 1970s, when gold prices were high, makes the battle more aggressive. So, Prashanth has a lot more to say how it all ended, or whether it really ended, for which one has to wait until KGF: Chapter 2.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, December 24, 2018.

A part or complete version of this review by Santhosh Mathevan has appeared in newstodaynet.com. This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.

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