After watching heavily endorsed JUNGLEE promotions one might get reminded of Bollywood classic, ‘HATHI MERE SATHI’ of 1971. Just replace iconic Rajesh Khanna with gymnast, Vidyut Jammwal. Simply because that lithe and athletic body seems devoid of any bones !!!
Junglee Review: Enjoy high paced action
Moving fast at lightning speed, Vidyut stuns us with his smooth kicks and graceful fights. But he cannot steal the thunder from gentle, two tusked giants who appear oh-so-kind and absolutely adorable. One cannot fail to appreciate their lovable demeanour while flapping those jumbo ears and stretching their trunks for some tender love.
Incidentally, the film is a handiwork of well-known Hollywood director, Chuck Russell. THE MASK, THE BLOB, THE SCORPION KING and BACK TO SCHOOL are just some of his critically and commercially acclaimed films from the past. That also explains JUNGLEE’s fascination with everything Indian. From showcasing Indian elephant headed god to Indian traditions and customs down south. Seen from the eyes of a foreigner, this enchanted forest adds to the exotic quotient of the film aimed at global audience.
One does not need to be a rocket scientist to gauge the premise of JUNGLEE. The conflict between Man v/s wild might be age old but seems frighteningly real in the current scenario. It is indeed heart breaking to watch human greed spelling doom for the peaceful pachyderms. A veterinary doctor’s brave attempts to protect elephants belonging to a wildlife sanctuary from indiscriminate poaching forms the crux of the story.
Done-to-death script of JUNGLEE may appear all too familiar but one can thank brilliant cinematographer, Mark Irwin and hugely talented action directors, Chung Chi Li and Parvez Sheikh for a very watchable film that entertains kids and adults alike.
Veterinary doctor, Raj (Vidyut Jammwal) rehearsing his martial art moves inside blue-tinged mist covered jungle or mammoths spraying water jets in a playful mood with emerald background are just some of the scenes that stand out in the film.
But many times, through the film, one wonders if JUNGLEE was made only to showcase Vidyut’s razor sharp stunts.
At the drop of a hat, he breaks into complicated Kalaripayattu, an ancient Indian martial art form, to tackle every goon and poacher in the world. One is thoroughly impressed with this high-octane adventure but the secondary treatment given to everything and everyone other than Jammwal gets into a repetitive loop.
Asha Bhat as a journalist and Pooja Sawant as a childhood friend of Raj are just there to add a touch of glamour to the proceedings. But don’t mistake them to turn into a Jane for our desi Tarzan 😊
It is left to talented artist, Atul Kulkarni, to provide a twist in the film. But being tied to a mediocre script, he offers pretty much nothing. As Kotien, a street-smart ivory-supplier to global buyers, his calm façade hides a cunningly ticking mind. Wish him better luck with next international collaboration.
After a lull period post COMMANDO, muscular Vidyut seems to be on an extreme mode of perform or perish. He has genuinely and sincerely pored in massive efforts to find acceptance with his global audience. His angular face emotes very few emotions but his flawless action speaks louder than words…so no complaints 😊
Very few Hollywood directors have found success with India-centric themes and unfortunately, Chuck Russell cannot be counted in the same league. His honest attempt was noteworthy but nothing spectacular or dramatic (like SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) comes out of it.
Still, if your life has come to a crawling stage, little action on silver screen might just add some zing to it. 😊😊