'K.G.F: Chapter 2' hit the cinemas today (April 14). It is produced by Hombale Films and presented in Telugu by Kaikala Satyanararayana and Vaaraahi Chalana Chaitram.
The first edition of 'KGF' dealt with Rocky's rise to the heights of underworld domination, his journey from Bombay to Bangalore, the rise of his stature among the slaves working KGF fields, and his successful assassination of Garuda. The story of the second part takes off from where the first part ended.
Adheera (Sanjay Dutt) has decided to resurrect himself now that Garuda is gone. In the political corridors of Delhi, Ramika Sen (Raveena Tandon) is rising. Both Adheera and Ramika Sen, although unrelated to each other, want to stall the unstoppable rise of Rocky. It is now up to Rocky to show unreal aggression to save himself and his empire from crumbling down.
Yash's image was cast in stone by 'KGF 1'; he had to look far more hyper-energetic in the second part to reach the audience's expectations. And he manages to do it without resorting to screaming and shouting and dancing impossibly. That's what makes him different. Without an actor like Yash, 'KGF 2' would be a less sexy world.
Sanjay Dutt brings his A-game to Adheera the character. His dubbing might be routine for the Telugu audience but he proves to be a fearsome villain, infinite notches above the likes of Jagapathi Babu. Raveena Tandon is surprisingly effective but her scenes are not many.
Srinidhi Shetty gets overshadowed by the dramatic performances by Rao Ramesh (as a CBI director), Prakash Raj (as a narrator) and even Malvika Avinash. Eshwari Rao is too melodramatic and her track is a boring.
The film also features the likes of Achyuth Kumar, Ayyappa P. Sharma, Archana Jois, and others in different roles.
Shivakumar's production design and Bhuvan Gowda's cinematography are in tandem, giving a fillip to the period feel of the movie. Without the distinctive design and matching colour palette, the 'KGF' movies wouldn't have been this unique.
Coming to the songs, Ravi Basrur's 'Toofan' is one of the best mass songs. It's way better than the other hero-worship song, 'Sulthana', audio-wise. 'Yadagara Yadagara' sounds routine and comes as part of a somewhat jaded stretch.
AnbAriv's action choreography is scintillating. The VFX work is absorbed by the film with fluidity. Ujwal Kulkarni's editing is not regular, the way it was for the first part.
Director Prashanth Neel is unburdened by heavy expectations. He treats the story sincerely and without pandering to the tastes of the elite. The film's sole concern are the mass audience. The honesty and power of conviction are so infectious that the family audience, too, might love those gravity-defying action scenes.
Talking of gravity, there is a moment in 'KGF 2' where a character says that when Rocky is around, gravity works in reverse. The screenplay, however, doesn't always obsess itself with lionizing Rocky. He seems to commit a genuine error. In one place, he underestimates Ramika Sen.
For all the film's strengths, the second half could have been way better. The trajectory of Rocky's scenes with his lover Reena feels a bit awkward. She is used as an instrument to build up to the final showdown with Adheera.
Much as Adheera is shown to be ruthless and monstrous, he seems to get defeated too easily.
Even if you don't forgive the regular demerits of the movie, 'KGF 2' gives you a memorable experience. The action blocks don't make way for routine song-and-dance moments. They are unabashedly there to keep you hooked to the gore. The mother-son track is occasionally cliched. But then, the same is milked effectively even in the second half to create empathy for Rocky.
Despite its pardonable shortcomings, 'KGF 2' can't be missed. Go for it!