'Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls': Singh unlocks audacious persona
India's first interactive special Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls hit Netflix on Friday. It features Ranveer Singh maneuver his way through adverse conditions that drain him physically and mentally, but he perseveres to hunt a rare flower, Ramonda Serbica, for his wife. He is, of course, accompanied by survival specialist Bear Grylls. Is the show as interesting as it sounds? Here's our review.
Special starts off well, heightens the intrigue factor
The Netflix Special begins with Singh underlining why stubbornness is an essential life constituent—and just how far can one go in order to prove one's worth in adverse situations. The Padmaavat actor is described as an "adrenaline junkie" and a "hopeless romantic"—two aspects he balances simultaneously while being stacked against the wilderness. This raises intrigue at the beginning itself, hooking the viewer in.
Singh, Grylls are exact opposites and it works!
Excellent drone shots fantastically capture the obstacles that impede the duo's way—ice-cold rivers, deadly predators, ruthless terrains. They also act as foils: Singh being the volcano of energy that he always is, while Grylls's experience reflecting in his calm, yet visible valiance. Special mention to an obviously scripted yet enjoyable bear-chase scene—it immediately took us back to the American mystery-thriller Lost!
Use of forest as a metaphor for life stands out
What we also enjoyed was how the survival drama talked about larger metaphors and life philosophies, without appearing pedantic or preachy in any way. For instance, the Kill Dil star talks about the forest being a metaphor for life and finding the "touch" he had lost with himself. This makes it a journey not merely in the literal sense but also a gaze inward.
Special loses its steam halfway through
Though entertaining, the show isn't without flaws. In the first five minutes, Singh pulls off something that is a bit awkward and somewhat cringe-inducing. Moreover, the constant reiteration of "We have to do this" becomes repetitive after a point. Despite being an engaging package, the episode slightly loses its steam in the middle—with action out of the way and the focus on conversations alone.
If you're an adventure junkie, this is your perfect watch!
It is as much of Singh's own curiosity as is ours that keeps us choosing the duo's fate; he is high on adrenaline, with boisterous energy oozing out of him throughout. The stakes are further heightened because they are on a clock, with no scope for any slips. Wait for a special Grylls moment toward the end—you probably won't see it coming. Verdict: 3/5.