Junglee Film Review: A comic relief at best
Junglee Film Review: Poor execution and bad acting make this Vidyut Jammwal-starrer a mere comedic watch.
Director: Chuck Russell
Cast: Vidyut Jammwal, Pooja Sawant, Atul Kulkarni, Akshay Oberoi
There may be a relevant message lying at the heart of Junglee's story, but the wafer-thin plot renders director Chuck Russell incapable of translating it into a thought-provoking film. Poor execution and bad acting makes this Vidyut Jammwal-starrer a mere comedic watch.
This wildlife adventure revolves around Raj (Jammwal), a vet working in Mumbai. He shows his extraordinary Kalaripayattu skills by taking on a bunch of goons who are torturing a stray dog. While his relationship with his father may be strained, the two harbour a shared passion - their love for elephants. Raj's trip to the elephant sanctuary owned by his father turns all the more interesting when he meets female mahout Shankara (Pooja Sawant) and a journalist-animal rights activist (debutante Asha Bhat). However, our mighty hero has little time for romance - trouble looms large over him as he has to protect the elephants from poachers (led by Atul Kulkarni) who trade their ivory tusks for moolah. How Raj saves the pachyderms from the hunters forms the crux of the story.
Watch the trailer here:
Russell appears to be well-acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of his protagonist. So, you have a script that has little plot and more frills. You will be sold at the good ol' hand pummeling, as Jammwal spices up the desi maar dhaar with mixed martial arts. As for the rest of the cast, Kulkarni's poker-faced bad guy act is something one doesn't expect from a seasoned actor. Sawant is convincing while Bhat as the babe in the jungle is completely wasted. Akshay Oberoi as the forest ranger and Makrand Deshpande are sincere.
On the upside, Mark Irwin's cinematography keeps you hooked to the screen. He captures every moment in the lush jungles with sincerity. But that doesn't save the film from sinking. With a runtime of 115 minutes, this thriller feels longer than it should. You will miss the deft direction that Russell displayed in his previous outings, The Mask and The Scorpion King.
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