Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is the brand new production based on the original stories written by Rudyard Kipling. They were originally published way back at the end of the Nineteenth Century. Kipling is one of the most famous names in English literature. Born in India, much of his work was heavily influenced from this period. The Jungle Book is one of the best examples. Packed full of moral references, the story is about a child who is raised by the animals and the challenges he faces to fit into this wild world.
There have been many adaptations of this epic tale. The most famous of them would be Disneys sing-along musical animation that was released in 1967. Generations have grown up with the songs from this feel-good film ringing in their ears. That version is about as feel good as you can get. It became one of the biggest grossing animations ever becoming a family classic.
The 2018 release of Mowgli on Netflix is nothing like this at all. It is a dark challenging adaptation that holds nothing back. Totally refusing to include any fun at all, the film focuses a lot on themes of abandonment and the harsh realities of life.
Andy Serkis directs the movie and does create a visual masterpiece. But somehow he has ended up with a film that is not very suitable for children. While also lacking in enough substance to be truly appealing to adults. This is a shame because the casting is fantastic. There are brilliant performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and even Serkis himself. Rohan Chand plays the part of Mowgli, which must have been a tremendously difficult role given the complex approach that Serkis uses in his creation, but Rohan does a remarkable job.
On paper this movie has everything going for it. However, the realism is taken a little too far sapping away any chance for the viewer to take anything enjoyable from this film. The brutal and bloody deaths hit the screen right at the start of the film setting the trend that carries all the way through to the finish.
Personally, I really wanted this film to work but finished up feeling disappointed. Serkis succeeds in creating a totally new approach to the story but it is not better for it. The end result is a movie that is just too challenging and totally exhausting. Overall this brand new release from Netflix is worth watching, it is just not the family classic that it should be.