By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | March 29, 2019
Rating: 2.5 / 5
The essence: Vidyut Jamwal gets another opportunity to position himself as India’s one-man action hero with stylised fights focussing on his expertise, and he does not disappoint. However, makers will have to utilise him well with scripts to match his moves to ensure he becomes our Bahadur.
For a Vidyut Jamwal movie, Junglee makes the mark; plenty of slick action which only he can do in Bollywood, apart from Tiger Shroff.
Apart from that, the movie is a damp squib. It does start with some promise but misses its mark mainly because of the poor support cast, who either don’t know how to act or are simply bored, and a poor script.
The girls, Pooja Sawant and Asha Bhat are an eyesore. I mean take them away and you still have Vidyut Jamwal. Asha, who plays a journalist (she is affiliated to no media house), is perpetually on her camera recording everything that is going on. Pooja is a mahout who wears designer jeans in the jungle. Atul Kulkarni looks like he was forced to perform at gunpoint.
Rest of the cast too is plastic, nay synthetic. Thankfully you have Bhola, Didi and their daughter Asha (all elephants) who make up for the human actors. Asha, in fact comes for just 45 seconds towards the end and manages to steal the show!
Junglee could have been much better than what it finally turned out to be as it touches on a good topic, that of protecting animals especially about Elephants being hunted for their tusks. It makes a poignant mark as it shows the handsome tuskers being disfigured by poachers for their tusks. Visually, the film is appealing and the plight of the Elephants too is well captured. As a viewer, it moves you to ensure that these voiceless gentle being are protected. The film even has a scene where a dog is being dangled from a bridge by some ruffians who get the treatment from Vidyut. Unfortunately, Director Chuck Russell is not able to extract anything of substance from the other cast.
Vidyut gets another opportunity to position himself as India’s one-man action hero with stylised fights, focussing on his expertise, and he does not disappoint. However, makers will have to utilise him well with scripts to match his moves to ensure he becomes our Bahadur.
Raj (Vidyut Jamwal) is a veterinary doctor practicing in Mumbai who visits his home in the Jungles after 10 years. Once there, he realises that all is not well and the Elephants are being hunted down and his dad who is a conservationist who takes care of the Elephants is falsely implicated. Soon, its mayhem as his father is killed and the cops turn on him. Meanwhile, Asha is busy with her camera while Makarand Deshpande pops up to save the day on an Elephant.
Towards the end, it’s a full-on circus with some Chinese and firangs drooling over the tusk and a blonde saying, “It smells like fish.” The Chinese guy retorts: “Of course it smells like fish, there is a sea out here.” Perched on top as the action takes place below, Asha who is with her camera says, “Life mein risk nahi liya to kya jiya.”
If you are a Vidyut Jamwal fan and love action flicks or even if you are an animal lover, do watch the film.
If not, don’t fall for Asha’s line!
Producer: Vineet Jain
Director: Chuck Russell
Star Cast: Vidyut Jamwal, Pooja Sawant, Asha Bhat, Atul Kulkarni