Prashanth Neel Talks about KGF and Yash
The release of KGF: Chapter 2 is quickly approaching, and the film is already making a lot of news for the right reasons. Prashanth Neel, on the other hand, is a calm man who is excited to watch how the audience reacts to his labor of love. According to the director, his involvement with KGF began in mid-2014.
"I met Yash with my producer, and he was interested in the subject." That's how it all began. "We worked on the script for a year, and by early 2017, the film was on the set," the director reveals.
It was a lengthy voyage, but one that taught him a lot, he says. “None of us had made such big movies before, so it became a learning curve for all of us, as we went along. And all through the journey, I think, we finally got it right,” Prashanth says. The filmmaker had the foresight to dream large, and he credits his producer, Vijay Kiragandur, with bringing his vision to life. “Every director wants to make a very big movie, but it can’t be made without the support of the producer. I had two people standing by my side – the production house and Yash.”
KGF, or Kolar Gold Field, was originally intended to be a single picture, but it wasn't until a month into production that Neel realized the screenplay could be broken into two halves. “We were spending a lot of money and I was not happy with it personally. I felt it had the scope of being split into two parts. I took up the case with Yash and my producer, took a month to write a screenplay and then we took the film to the second chapter. We enhanced our story and moved forward,” he explained.
According to Neel, the success of Chapter One allowed him to increase the budget for the second chapter. “We started off as a Kannada movie and ended up being an Indian film. We have not done anything drastically different, but yes, we got a little more budget to make things bigger. Most of our key content is in the second chapter of the film, even in the original script when it was a single part film,” Neel laughs. It's apparent from Prashanth's oeuvre that he's mastered the art of crafting mafia films.
"It is Ram Gopal Varma's influence," adds the filmmaker. “He has made such amazing movies back in the day. I love films like Godfather and Scarface. So, this genre has been in my head since then. I feel, one has not explored the gangster genre on a commercial level. So, I wanted to create gangster films in commercial space. KGF 2 is an emotional story in the gangster set up.”
Yash plays alongside Sanjay Dutt in the sequel. Yash plays Rocky and Sanjay Dutt plays the terrifying Adheera. About Sanjay Dutt's Adheera, the filmmaker said, “Initially, we were making a Kannada movie. So, we were not sure if he would be open to doing it. We thought, if the first film works, we will approach him for the particular role in chapter 2. And that’s what happened.”
KGF 2 is a basic mother-son story for Prashanth, rather than a mobster story. “Chapter 2 is very high on emotions. I don’t think I can ever make a movie without emotions as it’s the emotion that keeps the movie and madness together,” he says succinctly, guaranteeing a fight between Rocky and Adheera. "You have to represent hope and fear in a film, and both my characters represent that," he concludes. “The two characters represent great conflict, but there are multiple other conflicts in the film - within Rocky himself, with the government, within his circle. We are addressing all of it in the movie and the biggest symbol of conflict are Adheera and Rocky.”
On April 14th, KGF 2 will be released.