A lot about the KGF films reminds us of quintessential Hindi cinema of the 1970s and Yash‘s on-screen aura is a reminder of Amitabh Bachchan’s angry young days. When Prashanth Neel was asked about his influences behind making the magnum opus, he opened up about how Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay and Amitabh Bachchan changed the way he saw cinema.
“The 70s, basically one man Amitabh Bachchan, shaped the way I thought about cinema. One thing that the 70s did and what Sholay did was to tell the Indian audience that you can make a Hollywood movie in India with Indian emotions. That got stuck with me for a very long time. I didn’t think I would make KGF this early in my career… but that is something that stayed with me that you can tell a larger-than-life story but what is common is human emotions,” Prashanth told Farhan in an interaction.
As the conversation continued, he opened up about his first-ever meeting with Sholay’s director Ramesh Sippy. “Three years back, I saw somebody at the hotel I was staying. I was checking in. I saw him. I dropped my bag and I ran and I said, ‘I want to take a picture with you.’ And everybody around me was thinking, ‘Who is this man?’ I took that selfie and my hands were shivering. It was with Ramesh Sippy. That is the only selfie I have taken in my life,” he continued.
KGF, which released in 2018, was Prashanth’s second feature film. It was his first collaboration with Kannada superstar Yash. Interestingly, the two confessed that destiny had a huge part to play in bringing them together for the blockbuster film. Prashanth, who thought of KGF in 2006, eventually met and signed Yash after he saw his film Googly on screen. For Yash, the actor admitted to being blown away by Prashanth’s craftsmanship in his maiden release Ugramm.
The director also revealed that initially, he didn’t plan to make KGF in two parts. He said because of the budget constraints, he had to stop filming KGF for almost two months, during which he and his team came up with a new screenplay and suggested they divide it into two parts.
“I tried to explain them that we should split the film into two. The discussion was that the second half is the best part of the movie. So, how to make the first half into an entire movie? We brainstormed for a month and a half. We stopped the filming. In that time, we came up with the screenplay and took the plunge,” he concluded.
After KGF Chapter 2, Prashanth Neel has Salaar, which is set to release in 2023.