It wasn’t long ago when Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book triggered nostalgia among fans of Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel. And now, actor-director Andy Serkis is here with his own version of the story. However, things seem to be a lot different this time. There is obviously no “Bear Necessities” and Mowgli himself looks more distressed than we have ever imagined him. If you haven’t watched the trailer yet, here it is:
It is being called the darkest telling of the classic old story of a boy who was raised by wolves. So far, Mowgli has remained an adorable little character in our memories, protected by harmless forest animals with the only major threat being a vengeful tiger Shere Khan. But with Andy Serkis’s Mowgli, it’s all going to change!
Mowgli’s Encounter With Humans
Mowgli’s trailer begins with glimpses of the boy caged in the human world, something that has never been shown in any representations of The Jungle Book. Obviously, Mowgli is unable to fit in. Having lived his entire life in the wild, the child doesn’t understand the ways of a human civilization. He doesn’t speak their language, his mannerisms are outlandish and he lacks basic hygiene. The fact that all of this makes perfect sense is what is chilling to the core. Because that is when the question comes up, how will he ever survive among humans? In fact, the scene where he tries to break free from the cage, yearning to be back in the wild is absolutely moving.
The Child’s Creepy Movements
Unlike the romanticized depiction of Mowgli in earlier films and animations, the boy appears as an eccentric being who belongs to the jungle. His bodily movements and posture when running with his wolf pack are all animal-like. He runs on all fours and while he may be comfortable that way, it sure is unsettling to look at. This further reinstates the fact that he has grown to be more animal than human.
True-To-The-Book Shere Khan
The menace of the jungle- Shere Khan, was mocked with the name “Lungri” or “the lame one” in Kipling’s book because he was born with one crippled leg. None of the adaptations of the story have kept this little detail intact until now! We can clearly see in the trailer that Shere Khan is walking with a damaged front paw with all claws sticking out involuntarily. Somehow, it only enhances the sinister aura of the tiger.
A More Fearsome Jungle
Certainly, the jungles in Mowgli are way more unwelcoming than what we have seen before. The beasts, whether it is the big cats or the wolves, look every bit as dangerous as they are in reality. Even the notorious “bandar-log” are bearing their fangs and screeching at the camera! And then, of course, Kaa makes a brief venomous appearance.
While there are several elements in the trailer that add a darker feel to the story of Mowgli, there is also a strange curiosity about what the plot holds in store for us. While it looks like it may revolve more around Mowgli’s entry into the human world, it is too soon to make any assumptions. One thing is for certain, the mysterious new presentation and the promise of a new twist in the tale have already created a buzz. Add to that the voices of stars like Cate Blanchette, Benedict Cumberbatch and Christian Bale among others, and we have everything we need for a compelling watch.