A new twist played on Serkis’s new film “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle”

Maddie Briggs, Sports Editor

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By Maddie Briggs

Released on Netflix Dec. 7, a new twist was introduced from Rudyard Kipling’s story, “The Jungle Book” in the tale “Mowgli: ‘Legend of the Jungle” in the new adaptation directed by Andy Serkis. It set a gloomier look on the story of Mowgli that greatly contrasts from Disney’s interpretation.

Mowgli’s tale introduces a different angle where Mowgli has to choose where he belongs showing elements of his life in two completely different worlds. With the threat of Shere Khan coming back to the jungle, Mowgli’s life has become difficult, and he has to pass the test in his pack or has to go back to the man village and be with his own kind.

Serkis had his inspiration and wanted to tell Mowgli’s story in a new light. Exploring the darker elements of Mowgli’s story in his adaptation that no one has yet done, Serkis expresses that “Mowgli: ‘Legend of the Jungle” was always meant to be PG-13. The reason why is that Serkis intended on making his film have darker themes and be scary and frightening in certain moments throughout the film.

Mowgli, played by Rohan Chand, did an excellent job playing as Mowgli and put much work to become his character. Mowgli’s wolf parents Akela, voiced by Peter Mullan, Nisha, voiced by Naomie Harris, and Messua his human caretaker, played by Freida Pinto, played as the parent figures to Mowgli and were necessary for him to see both sides as they made him feel safe and loved.

The role that I thought lacked and gave the story a two dimensional storyline was Mowgli’s wolf friend Bhoot, voiced by Louis Serkis, which gave the story the element of belonging and had very little parts, and it could have made the story stronger if he had more parts and added to the story rather than being just a secondary character. This lack of characterization and parts for this character caused us to feel like we couldn’t connect to Mowgli’s relationship to his pack. Also, the facts of the story seemed rushed, so it cause the audience to not feel the emotion and connection that they needed to care about the outcome.

I recommend that younger audiences not watch, as the PG-13 rating gave the movie more edge to work with and dive deeper into a darker story than other adaptations. I enjoyed watching Mowgli’s story in a new light although it would have been nice to have seen more about younger Mowgli and showed a part of his past to see what life for him then was like. Other than that Serkis did a fantastic job giving Mowgli’s story darker aspects of the jungle life and gave a sense or reality rather than a fairy tale.

I wish Serkis had explored more parts and more background of the jungle life. Altogether, it was a great film that kept me going until the end. It was a story told in a new way, and this was interesting to watch as well. I would rate “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” 4 out 5 stars.

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