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Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle Review: Forgettable!

Starring – Christian Bale and Benedict Cumberbatch
Director – Andy Serkis
Genre – Fantasy / Adventure
Streaming Platform – Netflix

Introduction

Been in pre-production since 2012, even before Disney's The Jungle Book (2016), Andy Serkis' ambitious extravaganza Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle geared up for a theatrical release by Warner Bros. Pictures until the online streaming juggernaut, Netflix, acquired the rights of the film to release on their platform on December 7, 2018. Led by an enormous star cast including  Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris, Serkis made clear about how his adaptation is very much distinct from the Disney version, and the final product adheres to that promise. Unlike the 2016 version, this film focuses more on the character of Mowgli, his trials and tribulations in order to get accepted within the Jungle's Wolf Pack, his issues with Shere Khan and his friends, and also his association with human beings and their lineage.

Rationalization

Taking a left turn and distancing itself from its counterpart's version, Andy Serkis' Jungle Book adaptation impresses when it comes to it's lush and kaleidoscopic visuals (for the most part). The vivid detail of every jungle creature/animal when it comes to the features, skin/fur and the battle scars were distinctly designed and executed as the final product. The camera work by Michael Seresin was also equally impressive, the lush green wilderness and the arid sierras in Southern Africa were captured precisely with beautiful panoramic shots, and after multiple renders, the outcome only looked breathtaking on the TV screen.

Continuing with the avant-garde tradition, the realistic and the gritty look of the film made me believe that these characters, Bagheera, Baloo, Shere Khan, etc. were veterans of the jungle and looked like real animals living in the no-man's land. Attributes like violence, fear, fright and survival did not take a step back in regard to complimenting the scene and the film's tone as Serkis unhesitatingly displayed the aggressive and crude of animals and human beings in different circumstances.

But, dug deep in the abyss of creating a visually perfect film, Serkis, by and large, failed to constrict the emotional connection between the audience member and the film. The storyline, in particular, felt boring and messy at times, creating an uneven and forgettable experience, and is also a prime example of trying to manipulate human emotions without actually earning them.

Conclusion

Overall, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle felt like a visual treat impaired by a cluttered plot and poor storytelling. The super-talented cast and the post-production crew did their best to elevate the movie's standards, but, it will sadly be forgotten in a day or two.

Rating - 2.75/5 | Grade - C+

-A Just Stream Editorial by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
Twitter Profile - @JustMovieFreaks | Instagram's Profile - @JustMovieFreaks

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