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JUNGLEE - A wasted opportunity that could have been huge with such an appealing big screen theme featuring the real elephants instead of the CGI ones. (Review by Bobby Sing)

30 Mar, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / J

To be fair, this was a great opportunity for Hindi Cinema to have their own epic big screen extravaganza bringing in the families giving them an out of the world experience of an elephant sanctuary, with all real elephants instead of the CGI created ones. Particularly in the era when there are no circuses around and the zoo remains the only place to see these beautiful giant creatures roaming in their specified areas (read cages). 

Moreover, a film on elephants or on any animal for that matter was being made after almost four decades with all the major ones releasing back in the 1970s led by HAATHI MERE SAATHI in 1971 and then MAA (1976), SAFED HAATHI (1977) followed by more in the 80s with sub-plots involving similar friendly animals.

Secondly, this was a rare Indian project too, (not a foreign project based in India) which was being directed by a renowned Hollywood director Chuck Russell and thus was expected to deliver much more than the routine both in terms of content and action as well as entertainment.
But surprisingly, written by four Indian writers together and visualised by a foreign director, JUNGLEE fails at almost all levels and elephants remain the only saving grace of this unexciting, supposed to be joyride disappointing the kids too. Supporting the statement, I witnessed a few kids constantly asking for their food items from their parents remaining uninterested in the proceedings on the screen, except the scenes involving the elephants.
Giving the details, strangely a film promoted as a 'Jungle film' with a 'Tarzan like character' and of just 115 minutes in duration takes too long to come to the point (i.e. the jungle) and then becomes a complete drag post intermission solely focusing on Vidyut alone. In fact the scenes featuring the elephants too seem to be not enough as promised and that is the reason one doesn’t get emotionally involved in the narration & characters, which ought to be the key feature of a film talking about animals, wildlife conservation and their merciless killings.
No doubt the intention was appreciable pointing towards the ignorance about the issue in India, but really wonder how the director Chuck Russell was briefed about the same and what was he having in mind while directing the film. Probably he was more interested in the Indian settings, traditions, mythology and Vidyut Jammwal much more than the elephants. A specific sequence bringing in an animated Lord Ganesha really makes you think that way and then the amateurish one-note characterisation never lets you enjoy the proceedings in any manner. 
Coming to the performances, no one really gives you anything except the elephants. Yes, Vidyut Jammwal is known for his unbelievable action but I was not there to watch his usual action in a film titled Junglee focused on elephants and their tusk smuggling. So Vidyut  doesn’t deliver anything else than his amazing stunts and neither does anyone else in the cast which surprisingly also includes names such as Atul Kulkarni and Makarand Deshpande (who is really doing nothing). 
In the technical department too, JUNGLEE is a kind of mismatching product with a just fine cinematography (nothing extraordinary), costumes more glamorous unrelated to the characters, the production design at times looking unreal, the editing quite lazy and the VFX not as per the reputation of the team/director. As usual the music is just there like a filler, that sounds okay while watching the film but offers nothing that registers itself individually. On the other hand, background score is much better in comparison.
In all, if you are thinking this must be something great due to its theme, its director and the presence of Vidyut Jammwal playing with the real elephants, then would like to warn that it is nothing of that sort to be honest. However, many still might find it fairly enjoyable watching it on the online portals soon in the comfort of their homes.
Rating : 1.5 / 5 

Tags : JUNGLEE Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Hindi Films directed by Chuck Russel
30 Mar 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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