MUMBAI: That a rare sight to see two filmmaking centers – Hollywood and Bollywood – share the same stage to talk about Netflix & # 39;Mowgli& # 39 ;, Andy Serkis & # 39; take Rudyard KiplingThe classic story of a man who was raised by a wolf in an Indian forest.
The voice of Indian films – Abhishek Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan – and their Hollywood counterparts – Serkis director-writer, Batman star Christian Bale, child actor Rohan Chand and Freida Pinto – introducing the Hindi Trailer film on here on Sunday at a press conference ahead of his world premiere.
It was interesting to see talent from two industries mingling with stories written by a British writer, born in colonial India.
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The story itself follows a boy who is trapped between two different worlds – humanity and animal species.
Serkis, whose tone is darker than the previous child-friendly story version, said that it was important for him to root it in India and bring this film here.
"I am glad that we opened the film here. This film has become the main source, to tell this story, an interpretation that has never existed in a country that inspired stories. At this age, you cannot film about this and not ground in Indian culture, "said Serkis.
The director said his version was about Mowgli's identity crisis and how he could handle it.
"The different thing that separates this version from the previous version is that it's really looking for Mowgli's heart. In many other adaptations, it looks like Mowgli is on the side while other animals take a star turn. We have a very large Mowgli. Centric story. This is about a journey of complex, psychological, and emotional self-discovery. This is about what must be torn between two worlds, that is the heart. Earlier, it was closer to the book, "he said.
"Other adaptations have not come that far to extract visceral feelings about what must be caught between or not having a real sense of ownership," he said.
Bale, who had voiced Bagheera, a brother mentor to Mowgli, said it was important to present this film in India.
The actor said he found many similarities between the three main characters – Mowgli, Bagheera and the antagonist of the film Shere Khan but Bagheera, despite being locked up by humans, did not hate the cub-man and formed an emotional bond with him.
He is also the only character, who understands how Mowgli was divided about his identity.
"Like Mowgli, Bagheera must know who he is. He has taken damage and turned it into love and positivity while Shere Khan has taken it and turned it into bitterness and hatred," Bale said.
Serkis is ahead of the pack when it comes to catching performance 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 mastered all of these performances. He will guide me for that," Bale said.
It is also a reunion for stars & # 39; Slumdog Millionaire & # 39; Anil Kapoor and Freida Pinto.
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Kapoor Baloo's voice in the Hindi version while Freida has been dubbed for both versions of the character.
He played Messua, Mowgli's adopted mother in the film.
"The most beautiful part about & # 39; Mowgli & # 39; is that it is an ode to India. I remember Andy telling me before I went to South Africa that he wanted me to do my part in Hindi," said Freida, added that he likes reality. that he must enjoy the version of the Holi festival and sing a beautiful Hindi lullaby, written and composed by Indian-American musician Nitin Sawhney.
"All the beautiful things I associate with India come alive in the film," Freida, who first worked with Serkis in & # 39; Rise of the Planet of the Apes & # 39 ;, said.
Abhishek, who has voiced Bagheera in the Hindi version, said it was challenging to enter Hindi into English because both languages differed in tone and for Indian it was difficult.
He praised Bale's brilliant performance to help him understand the tone of character.
Kapoor, nicknamed the favorite bear, Baloo, in the Hindi version, said it was Serkis's voice guiding him in moments of doubt.
"Every time I get stuck, I will listen to Andy's voice repeatedly, and try to find out what emotions he will plan, what he thinks," Anil said.
Madhuri said he had an explosion while doing sound work for Mowgli's wolf mother, Nisha, a role originally performed by British actor Naomie Harris.
He described the character as "ferocious" and said Nisha was truly protective of the man-child she adopted as herself despite differences.
Sounding wise beyond his age, Rohan Chand, who described Mowgli, said that the character was always his hero but he really worked hard, physically, to portray the character.
& # 39; Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle & # 39; will stream on Netflix starting December 7.