KGF raises bar for filmmakers

Its success across India — and now in Pakistan — makes it possible for Kannada films to dream big, say directors

The stupendous success of ‘KGF Chapter 1’ has set a new benchmark for the Kannada film industry. The Kannada film, dubbed into five languages, has reportedly collected more than Rs 200 crore at the box office worldwide. It has crossed 25 days in India and is running successfully in Pakistan since last week.

Hemanth M Rao, director of ‘Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu’, agrees the film has widened the horizons of Kannada films. “If you have a strong vision and involve the right kind of people, your vision can turn into a reality. The success has indirectly given directors a licence to think beyond what is existing,” he told Metrolife. It is not that the industry is pumping in that kind of money every day, but KGF has broken the mould, he says.

Actor, director and producer Upendra says KGF has proved cinema has no language barriers. “We will see more such attempts. The old tricks don’t work any more,” he says. The audiences know what they want. The real success of a film is when the right team comes together. The right combination can weave magic, he says.

Producer Rockline Venkatesh says big budget movies tasting success is not new in the Kannada industry.  “We have done it before and we have done it again with KGF. Had Kurukshetra, which was to release in October, come out first, it would have got the same response. I will plan a big budget film with Yash soon,” he says.  

Some like director T S Nagabharana and actor Ramesh Aravind say big budgets are not always viable. “Filmmaking largely depends on the subject. Regional cinema is content-oriented,” says Nagabharana.  When the market is big, filmmakers have to think big to reach out to that market. In a year, how many films like KGF can you make, he wonders.  “The success of KGF definitely gets people to sit up and take note and work on films with visual appeal,” he adds.

Actor and director Ramesh Aravind says Kannada films were never short of ideas. “The market and the budget sometimes become constraints to the imagination. What the investor looks for is return on investment. Films like this bring hope to investors,” says Ramesh. Each story is different and not all films can have a KGF-style budget. The story dictates the budget, he says.

Director’s focus on Chapter 2
Prashanth Neel, director of KGF, is being approached by producers to make more blockbuster-style films. He doesn’t want to commit to anything till ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ hits the screen.  He told Metrolife it was impossible to make movies on such a large canvas all the time. “I am looking forward to ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ because that is the best writing I have done so far,” says Prashanth.  Is he under pressure after the success of the first part? “There’s no pressure. Movies like ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Mother India’ were the first colour films so they naturally did well. This is what has happened with KGF,” he says, suggesting his film is a pioneering attempt.

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KGF raises bar for filmmakers

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