Director Andy Serkis opens up about 'Mowgli' movie's message
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, directed by Andy Serkis, is releasing on Netflix soon and includes a stellar cast of Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and Cate Blanchett with Rohan Chand playing Mowgli. They came to Mumbai, recently, to promote the movie, that is an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling'sThe Jungle Book. During that time, Serkis spoke about the movie's message. Read on for more.
Serkis, who is considered a master of motion capture, decided to approach the film from a unique point. He believes that all great classic literature should have varied interpretations. Exploring the story's roots in Indian culture, he decided to do a Mowgli-centered story closer to Kipling's version, where he could play out Mowgli's emotional and psychological journey on his quest for self-discovery.
Serkis was okay with getting a PG-13 rating for the movie's tone. While he admitted kids from ages of 8 or 9 could easily sit through it, he said it would be a little intense due to some gore scenes for kids aged 3-5.
Serkis, who is best known for playing Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Caesar in the reboot of Planet of the Apes, is also acting in his own film. Although he didn't plan to play Baloo, he approached the character resembling the book's version. Thus he rejected the happy bear image, instead, projected himself as Mowgli's strict teacher who shared a complex but affectionate relationship.
While discussing his film, the most important point Serkis had to make was about Mowgli's theme. He spoke of how the film explored the idea of belonging, through the titular character who was born human but grew up with wolves. Mowgli's entire story is a dilemma as he decides whether to lead a human life or with his wolf family who raised him.
In today's world of mass immigration, people are regularly displaced from their houses and alienated. Furthermore, tribalism is on the rise and people do not often feel a sense of belonging even in their own houses. Most importantly, global politics now celebrates division and fosters this culture rather than celebrating coming together. Thus Mowgli symbolizes young people trying to find a place to belong.