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KGF In Hindi Is A Messy Monstrosity

Subhash K . Jha

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KGF, Chapter 1(dubbed  Hindi Version)

Starring Yash,  Srinidhi Shetty

Directed  by Prashanth Neel

Rating: *(1 star)

“If you bad, I am your dad.”  I swear I heard the messianic hero  mouth  this line  in this  messy violent exploitative  film about class exploitation.

It was  in a club scene  right after Mouni Roy finished shaking  her stuff into the camera when  another fight (there are so many of them I  lost count after the 9th one) broke  out  and the film’s heroine,  rich and haughty and waiting to be  tamed by  the  peasant-class hero,dares  Rocky(Kannada superstar Yash) to touch her.

 Does he touch or not? We shall leave the touchy issue aside to tackle the more imminent  problematic  and contentious issue: why pretend  to make  film about the decades-old exploitation of labour in the Kolar  gold mine fields when all this films purports  to do is merely glorify the popular Kannada’s hero’s hero-giri?

 Yash, who enters  the overwrought and rotten  plot  a little after the  show begins, occupies  every frame with feudal ownership. The culprits are  not so much the assorted villains(allavaricious  landgrabbers  who want all the gold in Kolar) . The main villain  is  the abominable  dubbing and editing.

In one sequence Yash tells the fuming heroine, “I was just thinking of you  in the bathroom, and….”

Ok then.

The  hindi  dialogues are so  cheesy I wondered if the film is actually a spoof on all the action-darma potboilers  of the 1970s and  80s where the mother-loving outcast hero grows up  hating the world and desirous  of getting even with the capitalist swines.

Hell, the  baddies in KGF are so swinish in their demeanour  you wonder how so much evil  could aggregate  in one  place all at the same time.  They don’t leer at  women, though. They just want  money and why not? Even Rocky our  super-hero’s mother urges her son to  become  super-rich(as though it  were an  option on a form) to be respected .

Going  by the world that this film inhabits, the respect is not worth  earning. Anarchic and obnoxious  the screenplay celebrates  juvenile violence when Rocky as  a child is seen  killing a  policeman in broad daylight.You wonder if the censor board was looking the other way.

Not that the editing,  which seems  to have done with a  butcher’s knife, gives any room for  thought  let alone rumination. The director thinks  pushing every scene into a froth of frenzy and pulling out before  the characters make sense, is a sign of evolved storytelling.  The  narrative is so enamoured  of its hecticity it gladly disposes with every  modicum of  continuity and logic.

By the time we  approach the  second-half  KGF  resembles a rollercoaster  on  a drunken swing .  Post the badly-needed  midpoint  breather(suggestion: get  out of the mess while  you still can)  has  our hero joins  the slave population in the mine fields while hideous  looking minions of  the  capitalists wield the whip as their evil laughter resonates in dolbywith the relish  of a raucous video game invented  for troubled teenagers who need to vent surplus energy .

Realizing how jumbled and jerky the storytelling looks, the  director introduces  Anant Nag as the narrator who leads us through the  chaotic plot trying to cement the lose ends.It is like negotiating  explosives in a minefield  wearing spiked shoes.

In its  unhealthy  weakness  for  bullying and  bloodshed KGF   has a serious Ram GopalVarma  hangover.  Almost every  character  wears a thick beard and an unwashed  look. Whether they are on the right or wrong side is  immaterial. Our hero Yash straightens  out the curves in the moral arc . When it comes  to  blind idolization it doesn’t matter which side  you are on.

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