Frames in Movies

The art of evoking goosebumps- Inside KGF’s two brillliant moments

Most times what distinguish between a good movie and a great movie are one or two moments that stay with you for very long even after the movie ended. KGF’s first such sequence comes at 47th minute. The film has shown Rocky(Yash) as a rogue and rough character until then. As Rocky arrives in Mumbai and locks horn with Reena (Srinidhi Shetty), Prashant Neel suddenly uses a diversion to let both Reena and the viewers know that Rocky has a heart and is perhaps a better person than you thought.

While Rocky is in car with Reena who is scolding him, he notices a mother with a kid in her hand and trying to pick a bun that fell on the road. It takes Rocky back to the memories of how his mother struggled to meet ends when he was a kid.
Editing is one aspect that Prashant Neel gives great weightage through KGF. As he has also mentioned in his interviews, he did not want to show one long flashback of the mother and kid and then continue with the rest of the story. KGF works mainly because it bring the mother-son moments at the very right places. Here how the cuts quickly switch from the lady to Rocky’s mother is done neatly.

Then there is Ravi Basrur’s music which I would call the single most aspect of KGF that gives it tremendous repeat value and which I believe has not got its full due. Ravi Basrur has songs and BGM that works for both emotional scenes and mass elevation scenes . To get that right for two extreme end of emotions is not that all music directors could achieve in such big scale movies. Look out here for how the “Thanthane thane” song starts when Rocky’s mother is shown on screen.
To let the mother walk into the road and pick up the bun, Rocky gets his car ahead and blocks the street. It goes without saying that KGF is an exceptionally well cinematographed film.
At the first, the drivers get out and scold him. But few seconds later, Reena notices that everyone gets back in their cars silently. How Prashant Neel stages a mass moment here in mid of an emotional scene is fantastic
The camera now comes to Rocky’s gun which is the reason everyone scared and got back in their cars. Wait for how Prashant Neel and Ravi Basrur cleverly switches the mood from an emotional scene to a mass scene by switching the BGM now to Rocky’s mass avatar. Like I said previously, Ravi Basrur’s work in KGF is extraordinary.
And in Yash, Prashant Neel got the right lead actor to carry off the attitude and ruggedness of Rocky to the fullest.
As Rocky picks the bun and gives it to the lady, further interludes of his own mother again appears on the screen. As he finally concludes his dialogue with – ” There is no bigger warrior than a mother on earth”, its time for Ravi Basrur to switch back to the emotional BGM.

This entire 2.5 minute stretch is one of the memorable scenes I have ever seen on screen . This one sequence highlights the making, music, dialogue aspects of the movie. It also underlines the main theme that Prashant Neel wants the viewers take home – The bond between a kid and a mother.
Now the film’s next most brilliant moment comes in at the end of 2 hours runtime and close to climax when the bad guys realize an old man is blind and takes him to their den to kill him. Here starts a terrific sequence to which Prashant Neel had slowly done all the build up for.
A film maker’s biggest tool in creating a mass moment is the reaction of the side characters around the main hero. Prashant Neel’s success in KGF is he could manage to capture reactions from his characters in two timelines ! In the present day , there are three main characters who have been listening to the plights of people in the KGF and eagerly waiting to see if Rocky would help them.

You had the reporter, Deepa Hegde, who was not interested in taking the interview and still thinks low on Rocky. But now she doesnt mind when the attendant had interrupted her. Because she is also eager to know what happened next. Let’s take the attendant. You could take this character out of the movie and there would be no difference. But this is where Prashant Neel’s writing is clever. He implants this character and establishes him as someone who is very afraid of Deepa Hegde in the beginning. Now he jumps out of his seat, comes to the table, interferes Deepa and asks Anand (Anant Nag) – ” Why did not Rocky do anything about it?”. He is excited!
While through Deepa and the attendant, Prashant Neel shows two type of audience- one who is disinterested and one who is excited, in the owner of the channel- he has a viewer who is calm and just comes forward a little to know what happens next. At this point- Anand just says – “You cannot rush and create history”
Now the scene switches back to flashback in KGF. Rocky tries to convince himself that he doesnt have to really save the man who is old enough and he should just do his job and return from there. But as he hear the kids say ” No one can touch them, you can dig a grave for the baby also along with the old man”, Rocky pauses before he drops the hammer down and holds on to it. Prashanth Neel once again brings flashes of his own past and his mother. In the background Anand completes his line – ” You cant rush and create history. That doesnt mean you can plan history and create a blueprint for it”.

This ladies and gentlemen is how you stage a mass elevation scene.
Rocky knocks the hammer and take the count of lorries going outside ( There is another scene where Prashant shows Rocky doing this before to establish he has been observing things around ). As the vehicles go outside, he drops the small hammer and picks a bigger one as Ravi Basrur starts one of the finest elevation songs in memory – “Dheera Dheera”.
As for Yash, he is in his elements as he takes few steps back and smashes the first guy to the ground
Prashant Neel is back to the business of capturing reactions to enhance the impact of a scene . The baby stops crying at this exact same moment and the senior in KGF who has been spending years in misery is in awe.
Meanwhile the cinematography through this sequence is splendid !
The mentally challenged guy who had been always telling people that a hero will come to save all of them says – ” He came, he came”. It is at the exact moment, you see the dust fade away and Rocky’s image with a hammer becomes clear. The sequencing of frames is once again smart.
After Rocky had killed the goons and brought the old man back outside, you see the image of the old man first and then Rocky comes from behind . Missed to say even the lyricist is in fine form here as he goes – ” Thorny paths are what you will find in this world. Even if the earth burns as a barrier, cross it and come. Without giving up persistence, stand up in front”.
Next as Rocky drags the leader of the goons to outside, thousands of people stand up slowly as you get this frame. KGF won National award for best special effects and Stunt choreography. It should have won for Cinematography too.

This is getting a number of departments all right in one sequence – writing to making, action to special effects, music to lyrics , cinematography to a lead actor who looks the part completely . I havent seen many mass elevations done as rightly as this sequence from KGF.