KGF Chapter 1 movie review: Yash’s movie about goldmine mafia burns bright

Hindustan Times | By
Dec 21, 2018 05:11 PM IST

KGF Chapter 1 movie review: Yash plays the role of a hit man who is entangled in something that he never bargained for.

KGF Chapter 1
Director: Prashanth Neel
Cast: Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Malavika Ashwin, Anant Nag
Rating: 3/5

KGF Chapter 1 movie review: Yash plays the role of Rocky in this film set in the 1980s.
KGF Chapter 1 movie review: Yash plays the role of Rocky in this film set in the 1980s.


They say money makes the world go round; gold’s effect is not any different. KGF Chapter 1 is one such story of greed and redemption. At the heart of it is Kolar Gold Fields, which as per the film came into existence in the early 1950s. As the Cold War between the USA and USSR pushed up the prices of gold, atrocities – including slavery – were perpetrated at the gold fields to ratchet up the gold production.

Rocky (played by Yash) is the product of this environment. An orphan, he grows up to be a monster who will murder for gain. He promised his dying mother that he would be a rich man someday and he intends to keep this promise. At an age when other children are playing hide and seek, Rocky is bumping off members of rival gangs in Mumbai’s underworld.

A goon and a lowlife, Rocky may not be the ideal candidate to start a revolution against mine owners who have enslaved people but love brings him there. 

KGF, overall, is a slow burner. The plot takes its own sweet time to take shape and by the time Yash is sent to the mines on a mission, we are familiar with his past and what ticks him off. This makes us believe that he will eventually turn out to be one of the good guys.

The first half of the film is a lot of action and powerplay as we are introduced to the key players. The man who owns the mines announces on his deathbed that his son will inherit the mines with help from his uncle who has no experience in politics. Others who had hoped to be the successors fall prey to greed and thus begins the game. Rocky has no interest in liberating people or doing good for the society, he is there because he wants more money. How his goals will change eventually forms the crux of KGF Chapter 1.

The film is made on a grand scale and that translates onto the screen. While a tighter screenplay would have made for better film, the narration technique does try to make up for it. While this doesn’t always work, Anant Nag’s narration to Malavika Ashwin does add a little bit of mystery to the proceedings.

The background score for the film is promising, and actors have done a good job. However, the takeaway from the film is the editing. Not because it’s perfect, no. The editing is sharp and helps the film, which would have otherwise dragged.

The visuals are consistently stunning. For instance, the bloody and raw climax takes your breath away. Another scene, which has Rocky slipping away from a crowd to set up the first step of his mission moves fluidly. This fluidity increases the tension and the overall sequence is crackling.

KGF pits together people painted in various shades of grey. They are all trying to gain power to rule people under them – some learn along the way that it is better to take people along with them and earn their undying loyalty while others want to rule using fear as their sole weapon. At the end of chapter 1, Rocky earns the loyalty. What will he do with it and if he will bring about a change in the lives of these mine workers is left to be seen.

Author tweets @Priyanka_S_MCC
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