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From ‘Ugramm’ to ‘KGF’, the Turnaround Story of Director Prashanth Neel


KGF is more than a film, it is an emotion and a euphoria. The film is indeed a celebration of the beauty of cinema and the man behind this wonderful ‘world’ is Prashanth Neel. Though the man always gives due credit to his team, his contribution to the film cannot be denied. Best known for ‘anti-gravity’ cinema, Neel combines seemingly impossible action sequences with pious emotions that appeal to the masses.

Hailing from Hassan in Karnataka, Neel was inclined towards making films and storytelling since the beginning and wanted to pursue his career in the same. Neel goes on record to say that he ventured into films to make some money for his survival.

‘Aa Hudugi Neene,’ Neel’s first project was rebuffed by his brother in law, Srimurali, who was also a rising star in the Kannada cinema. Despite being snubbed by his own brother, Neel gave himself another and keeping Murali in mind, he came up with ‘Ugramm’. If you have watched Ugramm you would have loved it, but what Neel went through to make it happen was no less than an ordeal.

Although ‘Ugramm’ was loved by the audience, the film was a commercial failure at the box office! Both the producers and Neel who had invested their money in the film lost it all. This was a turning point for Neel and he understood almost all the nitty-gritty of the industry and the art of films. He goes on record to say that the film changed him from within and it was a learning curve for him. After this bearish experience, Neel wrote his magnum opus, the KGF. A film that no one knew would scale up to this level and become so pompous.

“I write my stories after having a drink at night, and I go to bed in the same state. If the story gives me the same kick in the evening as it gave me last night, I pursue it,” said Neel when asked about his writing process. Countering the critics, Neel defended his crazy action films by saying, “People say that I make mad films that defy logic, but they forget to feel the emotional construct that leads to this madness where the hero beats 100 people single-handedly.”

To make KGF a reality, Neel teamed up with the right people and hatched a perfect plan. Every single detail of the film, from pre-production to post production was perfectly executed. He is a humble man who thanks and gives equal credit to everyone in the team to have believed in this vision and gave their best. But he goes on to say that the Kannada cinema and the people of Karnataka, made him what he is. Neel is certainly a director we can look upto.

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