'Sholay', '70s films inspired 'KGF': Director Neel

'Sholay', '70s films inspired 'KGF': Director Neel

Prashanth Neel

Prashanth Neel is in the limelight for directing KGF, a blockbuster smashing box-office records across the country. 

He debuted with the Kannada film Ugramm, and KGF has now raised the bar for the Kannada film industry as a whole. Made in Kannada and dubbed into Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, the film is growing from strength to strength at the box office, beating such films as Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Zero’ and Ranveer Kapoor’s ‘Simmba’. 

Prashanth has begun work on a sequel to KGF; it will be called KGF Chapter 2. In an interview with Metrolife, he reveals how he came up with the idea of making KGF.

After your film Uggram, how did you decide to do KGF?

After Uggram, I wanted to move away from the genre of action and drama but producer Vijay Kiragandur wanted me to work on something I was comfortable with. That’s how KGF happened.

Why is your film set in Kolar Gold Fields?

KGF represents the ’70s, and I love the decade. I’ve always enjoyed watching movies of Amitabh Bachchan like ‘Sholay’ and that era remains strong in the memory of Indians. And gold was a very important element in almost all action movies of that era. I put in a few other elements, such as gold pricing, and I was ready to make a movie that had both the feel and flavour of the ‘70s.

Were you choosy during the casting?

When we set out to make a movie from the ’70s, we wanted people to believe it was from that era. I didn’t want to put familiar faces; we successfully managed to avoid them to a large degree. Characters who don’t have much to do in the first part, heroine included, will have prominent roles in Chapter 2. Only when you put the two pieces together will you understand it is the life story of one man. I feel the thriller aspect in the first part has overshadowed some other aspects.

What was the most challenging part of making KGF?

It was tough to get 500 people to think on the same scale. Initially, people thought this would be an arthouse movie. The challenge was to keep them motivated.

Tell us about the choice of locations.

We have shot on the famous Cyanide Hill, where gold extraction was done for 100 years. People believe gold residues can still be found there.

And there were people afraid to go there because they had heard the sand contains cyanide. We also shot portions in Mysuru, north Karnataka and in Minerva Mills in Bengaluru. All these places represented the ’70s in some way.

Your choice of Yash...

It would be more appropriate to say the script picked Yash. I am a big fan of Yash. I had watched his ‘Googly. It is easy to work with someone whose work you’ve fallen in love with. In fact, more than his on-screen contribution, his off-screen contribution is remarkable.

When is Chapter 2 hitting the screens?  

We haven’t decided that yet. But the film is turning out better than the first part. In fact, Chapter 1 is just a trailer to Chapter 2. You will see a bigger canvas.