MUMBAI: It was a rare sight to see two film production centers – Hollywood and Bollywood – share the same stage to talk about the Netflix show.Mogli& # 39 ;, Andy Serkis & # 39; to assume Rudyard KiplingThe classic story about a wolf cub raised in the jungles of India.
The cast of the Indian voice of the film – Abhishek Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan – and their Hollywood counterparts – screenwriter and director Serkis, actor Batman Christian Bale, child actor Rohan Chand and Freida Pinto – film in Hindi. trailer here Sunday at a press conference ahead of its world premiere.
It was interesting to see talents from two industries mingling with a story written by a British writer born in colonial India.
READ ALSO | & Quot; Mowgli & # 39; explores colonialism, the misappropriation of jungles: Andy Serkis
The story itself follows a boy trapped between two different worlds – humanity and animal species.
Serkis, whose tone is darker than the old versions of the story, said that it was important for him to root him in India and bring the film here.
"I'm very happy that we're opening the film here." The film came to the fore, to tell this story, an interpretation that has never been in a country that inspired the story.At this time, you can not make a film on this subject, in the Indian culture, "said Serkis.
The director said his version is about Mowgli's identity crisis and how he comes to an agreement.
"The difference between this version of the previous ones is that it is really seeking the heart of Mowgli." In many other adaptations, it seems that Mowgli is on the side while other animals take a star. emotional journey of self-discovery. It is about being divided between two worlds, which is the heart of it. In short, it is closer to the book, "he said.
"Other adaptations have not gone so far as to extract the visceral sense of what it is to be caught between whether or not to have a true sense of belonging," he said.
Bale, who expressed Bagheera, an older brother and Mowgli's mentor, said it is important to present the film in India.
The actor said he found many similarities between the three central characters – Mowgli, Bagheera and film antagonist Shere Khan, but Bagheera, despite being caged by humans, does not hate the puppy man and forms an emotional bond with him.
He is also the only character, who understands how Mowgli is divided about his identity.
"As Mowgli, Bagheera had to find out who he was. He took the damage and turned it into love and positivity, while Shere Khan took it and turned it into bitterness and hatred," Bale said.
Serkis is ahead of the group when it comes to performance capture and Bale said he would often turn to his director to understand the nuances of technology.
"He (Serkis) has always been a phenomenal actor, he really dominated this performance-capturing thing, he would guide me through that," Bale said.
It was also a kind of gathering for stars Anil Kapoor and Freida Pinto, from 'Slumdog Millionaire'.
READ ALSO | High pressure to make Mogli & # 39; acceptable in India: Freida Pinto
Kapoor speaks Baloo in the Hindi version, while Freida has nicknamed both versions of his character.
She plays Messua, Mowgli's adoptive human mother in the film.
"The most beautiful part about Mowgli is that it's an ode to India. I remember Andy telling me before I left for South Africa that he wanted me to do my parts in Hindi," he said. Freida, adding that she loved the fact. that she took advantage of a version of the Holi festival and sang a beautiful Hindi lullaby, written and composed by Indian-American musician Nitin Sawhney.
"All those beautiful things I associate with India came to life in that movie," said Freida, who first worked with Serkis on "Ascending the Planet of the Apes."
Abhishek, who expressed Bagheera in the Hindi version, said it was difficult to fit Hindi into English lines, since the two languages have a different tone and, to indianize, it was difficult.
He credited Bale's brilliant performance by helping him understand the tone of the character.
Kapoor, who nicknamed the beloved Baloo bear, in the Hindi version, said it was Serkis's voice that guided him in moments of doubt.
"Every time I got stuck, I heard Andy's voice several times and tried to figure out what emotion he was looking for, what he was thinking," Anil said.
Madhuri said he had fun doing the voice work of Mowgli's wolf mother, Nisha, a role originally played by British actor Naomie Harris.
She described the character as "fierce" and said that Nisha is actually protective of the puppy-man she adopts as his, despite the difference.
Sounding wise beyond his years, Rohan Chand, who plays Mowgli, said the character has always been his hero, but he actually worked hard, physically, to portray the character.
& # 39; Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle & # 39; will be broadcast by Netflix as of December 7.