It was a rare sight to see two centres of filmmaking—Hollywood and Bollywood—share the same stage to talk about Netflix’s Mowgli, Andy Serkis’ take on Rudyard Kipling’s classic story about a man cub raised by wolves in the jungles of India, reports PTI.
The film’s Indian voice cast—Abhishek Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan—and their Hollywood counterparts—writer-director Serkis, Batman star Christian Bale, child actor Rohan Chand and Freida Pinto—introduced the film’s Hindi trailer here on Sunday at a press conference ahead of its world premiere.It was interesting to see talents from two industries mingle over a story, written by a British writer, who was born in colonial India. The tale itself follows a boy caught up between two different worlds—mankind and animal kind. Serkis, whose tone is darker than the earlier child-friendly versions of the story, said it was important for him to root it in India and bring the film here. “I am thrilled that we are opening the film here. The film has come to the root source, to tell this story, an interpretation that has never been in a country that inspired the story. In this age, you can’t make a movie on this subject and not ground it in Indian culture,” Serkis said.
The director said his version is about the identity crisis of Mowgli and how he comes to terms with it. “The different thing that separates this version from earlier ones is that it is really searching for the heart of Mowgli. In many other adaptations, it seems like Mowgli is on the side while other animals take a star turn. We have a very Mowgli-centric story. It is about the complex, psychological, emotional journey of self discovery. It is about what it is to be torn between two worlds, that’s the heart of it. Tonally, it is closer to the book,” he said.
“Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle” will stream on Netflix from December 7.