Now that the film Mowgli: Lord of the Jungle has finally been released on Netflix, we asked Swati Singh – author of The Secret History of the Jungle Book – to see it. This was her reaction…
It’s very good. Brilliant in many parts, though mediocre in some. Shere Khan is menacing and dominates the frame. Mowgli is small and vulnerable. Mowgli’s journey from a man cub to man explored wonderfully.
The scene where Mowgli hides terrified under water while Shere Khan stands above, to the point where he stands in the open challenging Khan, Mowgli’s journey comes full circle.
The movie is not exactly based on the book but rather very heavily and intelligently inspired by it. In fact very well scripted. Mowgli’s crisis of identity has been made the focus of the movie. The movie shows how Mowgli bridges the divide between man and nature owing to his unique in-between position. In fact, the movie has a nice message on man- nature conflict.
The controversial King Louis character has been totally removed, though the monkey people stay. A good watch. Not possible to capture the complexity of the text in an hour long movie but a very commendable job.