Bhubaneswar: Saturday morning saw a kick-start to Netflix’s ‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’ by Andy Serkis’. Hold your breath, for this Mowgli is not the innocent tale of Disney’s old creation or the Jungle Book released in 2016. This is darker, grimmer and more real a tale to give you chills down the spine. It has been rated 13+ because of some gory scenes and several instances too difficult for an innocent mind to comprehend. The movie brings to the fore issues of concern, including the disappearance of the jungle, hunting, poaching, chaotic wildlife and a corrupt humankind. Special effects in this movie are commendable. Mowgli, played by Rohan Chand, is just as naive, emotional and a harbinger of peace in the toxic wildlife-human conflict.
Scott Mendelson, a senior contributor at Forbes, wrote: “This is a more grounded take on the core material, even as that tone harkens back to the original Rudyard Kipling novel.” The most important element of this movie is its ability to connect and wrench your heart with its visuals, emotions and dialogues. Of course, Mowgli kills “Shere Khan’ in this one too but there is more to look out for. The English and the Hindi version are both equally beautiful. Popular face of Batman, Christian Bale (English) and Abhishek Bachchan (Hindi) as Bagheera sounds quite appropriate. However, Bale has our hearts for that grave tone in his voice. The list of superstars having given their voices from both Hollywood and Bollywood is impressive. Madhuri Dixit’s soft yet stern voice turns Nisha (a female wolf who turns mother for Mowgli) into magic. The English voice for the same has been given by Naomie Harris. Director Andy Serkis donned the hat of the fun-loving and adorable ‘Baloo’ and guess who from Bollywood? The raunch and rustic Anil Kapoor. Benedict Cumberbatch, who is known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, voiced the antagonist here – the Tiger Khan and father of Bollywood’s Tiger dubbed it in Hindi – Jackie Shroff. Shroff, in an interview with The Telegraph, had said that the character of Shere Khan is so iconic and that “he indeed is the king of the jungle.” We also loved the hypnotizing and seductive voice of ‘Kaa’ given by Cate Blanchett and Kareena Kapoor. In fact, the movie begins with Kaa narrating the tale and ends with her small verses. The movie is a new experience and an interesting one with twists that did not ruin the plot even once. Even with so many issues and concepts brought together, the movie is not confusing, depicting the beautiful manner in which our eco-system thrives. Besides, the mild tunes of flute and Hindustani vocal ‘aalaap’ add to the drama and the serious tone of this movie.