“The Forest ” – Film Review

Film: The Forest
Producer: Ashvin Kumar & Judith James
Directed: Ashvin Kumar
Cast: Javed Jaffrey, Nandana Sen., Ankur Vikal,

Duration: 86 mins.

Jungle Mein Mangal a Visual Delight

The film is set in the foothills of Kumaon hills Garhwal. A wealthy couple
from Delhi Pritam (Ankur Vikal), and Radha (Nandana Sen.), visits the
Jim Corbett Park to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and
in the process if possible to get the lost romance back in their life, being
with nature. Never had they anticipated that fate would land them in direct
confrontation with the ex – lover of Radha i.e. Abhishek (Javed Jaffrey),
who happens to be a wildlife warden. The film is loosely based on the man
eating leopard of Rudraprayag, ones, from one of the stories of Jim Corbett.
Most of the film is shot in the night under the source lighting of the full
moon or otherwise the minimal lights of the guest house or at the most torch
lights or the headlights of the Jungle safari jeeps. The film is a visual
delight, with the magic of cinema at its best. Full marks to Bedi
brothers Naresh and Rajesh Bedi (First Indian to have won Green Oscar
in 1984 and only Indian to have won two BAFTA (British Academy of
Film and Television Arts nomination for two tiger films. Saving the tiger
and the man eating tiger.).The forest wildlife sequences are executed so
beautifully, that you just get swayed away. Right from the first frame you
get transformed to the mysterious world of the jungle, the film being shot
mostly in the Jim Corbett wildlife sanctuary and Bandhavgarh National
park. It is to the credit of the young and talented writer, editor and Director
Ashvin Kumar, who also happens to be the co-producer, who stuck to his




conviction and his love and a message of sorts for the conservation of Nature
and environment.
There are some really spine chilling moments, beautifully executed
like the one where the boy takes up the challenge to go and strike the bell
and how his confidence gives way to sheer panic even in the broad daylight
with the kind of eerie silence which he confronts when he sights a blood-
soaked head of an animal falling down in front of him. Than that sequence
where Pritam tries to face the leopard following him on the tree branch,
you virtually freeze in your seat. To beat all the scenes the encounter
between ex-lovers Abhishek and Radha of an intimate kind is shot in the
most primitive way possible and very much complementing the fact that
animals outside in the jungle and the animals within us are no different
when it comes to action! They go all out for the kill. All in all a very
engrossing affair and only if the duration would have been slightly increased
to establish the main central protagonists, than it would have indeed become
an engaging affair between the villains in the civil society and the villains of
the jungle. Javed Jaffrey comes across as aggressive in the initial stages and
vulnerable later on with complete ease. Ankur Vikal is equally convincing in
his portrayal of a helpless husband and a fighter when it came to a kill. Ritu
Kumar a renowned fashion designer who incidentally happens to be mother
of Ashvin Kumar has given Nandana Sen, a very urban and chic look with
T- Shirts, khaki Jeans, and a Safari jacket. Nandana has proved once again
that she can be sensuous, bewitching and vulnerable at the same time. She
manages those delicate moments when torn between a husband and a lover
very aptly.
Ashvin Kumar is successful to quite a good extent in putting
across a point that you mess with nature and than nature will take its own
toll. It’s not only the man eating leopard we should see and talk about, but
what about those merciless poachers and hunters who are the main villains
behind the killings of the jungle animals!
For the lovers of Discovery and Natural Geography channel it is indeed a
treat to watch this film and for others who must have gone to Jim Corbett
and not spotted any jungle species can have a dekho and an experience of A
Jungle Kind!!!