Bollywood’s reigning master of Kalari, Vidyut Jammwal, is set to return to his butt-kicking ways this month with “Junglee”. With one teaser already released last fall, you can catch a longer glimpse of what the film has in store, if you haven’t already, with the official trailer below!
Jammwal leads the film in the role of Raj, who finds himself defending his jungle friends from the clutches of a gang of elephant poachers. Per the film’s official synopsis:
“Junglee is a family-adventure film, revolving around a vet, who on his homecoming to his father’s elephant reserve, re-unites with his childhood friend- Bhola, the elephant, and fights an international poachers racket.”
As you can see, the film carries a similar theme of zoological concern with Tony Jaa’s 2005 hit “Tom Yum Goong” (aka “The Warrior King”), and Jammwal, a genuine master of Kalaripayattu, clearly knows how to carry an action film. As seen in 2013’s “Commando: A One Man Army” and its 2017 sequel, “Commando 2: The Black Money Trail”, Jammwal is a proven lightning rod of swagger and charisma, along with intense physicality. Indeed, fans will further be delighted to know that Jammwal will also return to the aforementioned franchise this year with the upcoming “Commando 3”, set for release in India on September 20th.
“Junglee” is worthy of extra note as the Bollywood directing debut of American filmmaker Chuck Russell, well-known for helming 1994’s “The Mask”, the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle “Eraser”, and The Rock’s leading man debut, “The Scorpion King”. On directing the film, Russell stated in an interview with Times of India that, “My goal is to make a film that is true to India, but uses the music, dance and the wonderful artists in Bollywood to tell a universal story about returning to the natural world”.
Russell further indicated that the significance of elephants within Hinduism will be reflected in the film, specifically in regards to the god Ganesha: “I am familiar with Ganesha from the incredible artwork I’ve seen…I’m quite fascinated with mythology from various cultures…I also see God in these animals. Maybe I can express a little of that in the film. The fact that the positive spirit of animals is reflected in [the monkey god] Hanuman, [who Thai martial arts superstar, Tony Jaa, also mentioned as being one of the super heroes he’d love to play] Ganesha and other deities means Indian culture recognizes that spirit.”