Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle Review: Director Andy Serkis Brings The Original’s Darkness to Netflix’s New Adaptation

Kareena Kusari |Dec 11, 2018

Instead of retelling a fantasy adventure tale for children as Disney’s version in 2016, 2018 Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle brings the darkness to Mowgli’s story, like the original.

Mowgli 2018
The director Andy Serkis brings the original's darkness to 2018 Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Directed by: Andy Serkis
Main Cast: Rohan Chand, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto, Cate Blanchett, and Matthew Rhys
Rating: 4/5

With The Jungle Book’s latest adaptation, Andy Serkis, the movie’s director, brings a breath of fresh air to the film in comparison with the previous versions. However, this strangeness hides the great accomplishments the movie possesses. Instead, it makes the fans not evaluate thoroughly the whole movie by accident. Specifically, the majority of the discussions related to Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle focus on the movie’s visual razzle-dazzle as well as its modern motion capture technology. On the contrary, there are few comments on its important themes.

Historically, among all the movie adaptations, Serkis’s film is the most similar to the author Rudyard Kipling’s well-known story. Therefore, instead of retelling a fantasy adventure tale for children as Disney’s version in 2016, 2018 adaptation brings the darkness to Mowgli’s story, like the original.

See the official trailer for the movie: Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle here

In a recent interview, the director Andy Serkis shared some information about the novelist Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book’s author. Although born and bred in India with the Hindi language, he was a British Empire’s citizen. However, as a kid, he was taken to the United Kingdom, where he completely disliked. Like a fish out of water, he felt strange in unfamiliar surroundings. Possibly, the author’s feeling of belonging to nowhere and being torn between two locations is the principal theme in Andy Serkis’ remake.

The latest version’s Mowgli is forced to leave the Indian jungle, his beloved world, to come to humans’ society. Imprisoned in a wood cage, in the village children’s eyes, he is just a strange creature, not an individual as the normal ones. He uses all four limbs to approach food with curiosity like a child. Nonetheless, Mowgli is unable to eat humans’ food without retching because of its flavor. He is a wild child and familiar with everything belonging to the India jungle’s wilderness. Different from this remake, Disney’s 2016 Mowgli finds a true love and sings the song Bare Necessities.


However, The Jungle Book 2016 achieved the huge box-office success, leading to the postponement of Serkis’ version.

Basically, these two adaptations are identical in conflicts and ways of solving problems. Nonetheless, the details the latest one explore makes the audiences, especially children, hard to comprehend.

Unlike the 2016 version for mass audiences, Mowgli only reaches viewers at the age of 13 and over. After many delays, Warner Bros also presented its trailer and officially confirmed its release schedule in October 2018. However, Warner Bros’ finally abandoned the project and Netflix became the rescuer of Andy Serkis’ Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.Mowgli

Andy Serkis is known as a talented and well-known director in this field of advanced technology. The previous successful projects he has performed include Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Planet of the Apes. These state-of-the-art special effects help the animals’ mouth movements, even their eye motions smoother and more natural. Thus, the characters’ facial expressions become more frightening and have more emotional depth. They are the remarkable efforts of the director and the movie crew.

Nevertheless, with 2018 Mowgli's appearance on televisions, the movie’s modern motion capture technique can’t definitely reach the highest efficiency as well as the most brilliance as shown in the wide screens.

In addition, although the story’s main context is in an Indian jungle, the filming locations don’t take place in India. Moreover, there’s merely one Indian in the main cast. It is the actress Freida Pinto as Mowgli's adoptive mother. Nevertheless, these issues don’t still lower the efficacy of Mowgli’s latest adaptation.

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