Based on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle directed by Andy Serkis starts streaming on Netflix from December 7. The film stars Rohan Chand in the titular role and Freida Pinto plays the maternal figure to Mowgli. In a conversation with indianexpress.com, Freida shared that the Indian audience will appreciate this telling as it is much closer to the book and honours the Indian origins of the story.
Freida spoke about the origin of the book and shared, “Andy Serkis (the director) does such a brilliant job of honouring the origins of the story which was actually in India. I think the Indian audience will really appreciate that because there have been other versions of The Jungle Book but no one really threw light on the fact that Kipling actually wrote this book in India.”
The names of the animal characters in the film are also Hindi words and Freida expanded the same, “All the animals that you talk about in the film, characters like Balloo, Balloo actually means Bhaalu which is a bear or Akela, the lone wolf. So I really hope that people in India actually take a moment to really feel proud that this film got made because someone was inspired by the country and wrote this amazing book that all of us love.”
Freida Pinto also spoke about Mowgli being a social commentary and said, “Even when Kipling wrote it, it was a social commentary. We watched The Jungle Book (the cartoon animated series in India) and we just took it at as an animated series. But really when you read the book, you realise it is really a narrative on existential questions and it’s really about belonging, identity and acceptance. It’s like a self-discovery of who you are in the process of all of this.”
Freida, who was recently seen in the international film Love Sonia, shared that she would love to do films on relevant subjects.
She said, “I want to do more films like Love Sonia and I want to do movies that are very diverse. So whether that film comes from India, an Indian director or comes internationally, it doesn’t matter. As long as we are honouring the variety of stories that need to be told from the Indian sub-continent, there are so many stories that the world just hasn’t seen yet. We haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg.”