After the humongous success of RRR, another film that is pitched to bring about a storm in the pan-India market is Prashanth Neel’s KGF Chapter 2, starring Yash. If its predecessor, which garnered an enormous fan following at the time of its release in 2018, is anything to go by, the upcoming Kannada-language action film is one of the most anticipated films of the year. The director and actor duo open up about the idea behind their cinema and what goes into creating a larger-than-life world.
Anupama Chopra: You’ve previously described films like KGF as ‘anti-gravity cinema.’ I think that’s a brilliant way to describe these films that are not necessarily sticking to the logic of physics or geography or any logic at all, but it takes a real talent to make them. There is a certain conviction that you need to have to pull this off. What are the elements that you must have before going into this larger-than-life canvas?
Prashanth Neel: Emotion. Anybody is going to tell you that first. We have more emotions in these kinds of movies. When you talk about the anti-gravity or the macho kind of movies, if there is no strong reasoning behind whatever happens, then it’ll be like watching set-pieces. Nobody likes that. They want to know that this guy is this powerful and he can hit 100 people. But it cannot come straight out of just pure natural strength, it should come out of madness. It should come out of some emotion that’s in-built. You understand that emotion, and people will not concentrate on how these 100 people can fly. They’re going to concentrate on ‘This guy can do it.’ The portrayal of the stars down South is almost godly, so it’s very easy to make movies like these with them because you have an image about them even when you’re coming to watch a movie. You understand that this is a superstar that can hit 100 people, you already are convinced. So, our job becomes very easy. With him [Yash], it became a much easier task for me to put in all those anti-gravity elements that you were talking about. But yes, it should come with a strong reasoning and if that doesn’t come across, then people are going to talk about the anti-gravity elements.
AC: So, you need a logic for the lack of logic?
Yash: True. That’s a balance that one has to strike when you’re doing these kinds of films. Also, hope is another ingredient. The film should give you some kind of hope. I can say this out of personal experience that whenever I watch a so-called anti-gravity movie or even a slice-of-life one, all I expect is that I should take away something which will give me hope. Slice-of-life movies remind me of the issues that I or my friend are going through in life, but these kinds of films will be relatable to a larger number of audience because they can place these kinds of situations in their lives and can still relate to it. That’s the beauty of it. I think people are smart enough to understand what is logical and what is illogical. Some things are choreographed and stylized, and the audiences know that this is something which is there for entertainment. The emotion behind it is what they’ll be absorbing. They’re paying for the entertainment and feel excited about entering another world that is larger-than-life. In cinema, we don’t try to preach anything and yet, they take away something from it. We don’t take it lightly saying, ‘Ok, I’m a superstar, I’ll hit a hundred people.’ The reason behind doing so will be so relatable that it will evoke the kind of emotions where the audience will feel like, ‘Maaro usse.’ So, it’s not about how I hit, it’s about why I’m hitting. That is the most difficult thing. That is why there are only a few people [making this kind of cinema], and that is why people respect this kind of cinema by turning out in such huge numbers.