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Mowgli: a dark, gritty story of the conflicted man-cub


The Mowgli trailer shows us a story of a conflicted boy, once a child raised among a pack of wolves but now in the pursuit of an identity, is caught in the conflict between his past and what he’s come to be — of living and gaining acceptance among the some of the most feared animals in the jungle. The essence of it is captured when Mowgli, in a reply to Bagheera, says “I’m not a man, and neither am I a wolf.”

In the last scenes of the trailer, we see Kaa telling Mowgli that he’s “something that the jungle has never seen before.” The trailer too shows an adaptation of the classic The Jungle Book in a way that we’ve not seen it before. It has turned the fun, cheerful, bright jungle landscapes into a dark, gritty milieu.

The trailer begins with Baagheera (played by the superb Christian Bale) talking about how his life and a message for Mowgli. The story is about Mowgli coming “face-to-face with his human origins.” The 2-and-a-half minute trailer opens with an ominous message, “Witness the darkest telling of the beloved masterpiece” and goes on to show the conflict in Mowgli’s life, summarised by Bagheera who in a remorseful tone states, “I thought I could teach you how to belong, but I was wrong, Mowgli.”

The man-cub has become a young boy now, but Shere Khan (voice by Benedict Cumberbatch) continues to want to him to out of the jungle. We see the fearsome tiger, now a bit weary, only in one scene, talking to Mowgli, “My My…how you’ve grown.”

A power-packed lineup

Mowgli has an impressive array of stars, including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Freida Pinto. The movie is directed by the multi-talented Andy Serkins.

Explaining the CG, Serkins said, “The main thing that I wanted to do was make real, truly emotionally, connected and believable talking animals.”  And, he also mentions that there’s no King Louie in the movie.

Talking about Rohan Chand, who plays the role of Mowgli, the director said, “He’s a phenomenal talent, who really went through the mill to play the part.”

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