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Jungle Movie Review: From Bruce Lee to Jung Lee, Watta Laughable Leap!

Subhash K . Jha

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Junglee

Starring Vidyut Jamwal

Directed  by Chuck Russell

Rating:  *(1  star)

 Junglee, who is direct-lee  related  to  Bruce Lee  loves elephants.  He probably watchedHaathi Mere Saathi  many times  during his  childhood  and grew up befriendship  a forest-ful  of elephants, one  of  whom Bhola  is ourJungler Hero’s special buddy.Their reunion  sequence  is as elaborate  as Devdas returning to Paro from London  in Sanjay  Bhansali’sDevdas.

Tragically  Junglee  is  directed  by  a foreigner who  gets the privilege  to helm a  projecttoplined  by a  sinewy muscular  hero who  has father  issues. Dad wants  Jung- Lee  to look after  the  family business,  namely elephant raring. But  Jung-lee  wants to do his  own thing, and that includes some heavydutykalaripayuttu   in scenic Kerala. The film looks  green. But feels dry and  colourless.

The problem here is  with the dialogues….Wait! Why  just the dialogues which  sound  look  they are being translated from English to  Hindi in the speaker’s head before spoken…Everything  in  this primer  on  animal preservation  looks  and sounds  wrong. And that includes Jamwal’s stunts. They seem far less commanding  here than they  did  in  Commando.

The film creates a wide range  of emotions  in us. It starts  off as  being  mildly annoying as we see two  debutante heroines sharing between them the responsibility of  glorifying  our hero. By the time we  cross midpoint  Junglee evokes  far  stronger feelings, mostly  murderous.And  when after a  skirmish that  kills many elephants, some  humans  and  all credibility , Lord Ganesha appears  in our  hero’s  unconscious state I  knew  it was  time to quit trying to make  head or tails of this strange  and  weird  film that  makes us laugh for all the wrong reasons.

Jamwal’s attempts to act  are at best  suicidal. It’s sad to see Atul Kulkarni struggling to  give his  villainous  role of a  poacher some  sense  of decency. That’s really asking for too much in  a film that writes  off all decorum or grace for a  romp in the jungle that does little  to make  us love Nature.

Junglee  is probably the worst film you will see this year. Or any  year.If you like elephants and  want to see a film that pitches them against a  charismatic star then Haathi MereSaathi  is  recommended.  Not this,  please!

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