Photo: ‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’
‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’ is a new interactive special that has just aired on Netflix. This film features the journey of Bollywood superstar and actor, Ranveer Singh, as well as world-renowned survivalist expert, Bear Grylls, who accompanies Ranveer on his adventure through a Serbian forest in the hopes of attaining a rare flower for his wife, Deepika Padukone. This flower, named Serbica Romanda, is “an endemic plant found only in Serbia.” It is “also known as the phoenix plant due to its ability to come back to life, after being completely dry for years.” Ranveer Singh displays the high quality of his character throughout this special, as well as his strong mental fortitude, which is reflected in his adamant desire to push his body and mind to extreme limits.
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Ranveer, in his quest to find this amazing flower, shows not only the deep love that he has for his wife but also allows the audience to glimpse into the type of person that he truly is. Granted, at times his “acting,” can be viewed as a bit overdramatic, contrasted against the cool and calm demeanor that his co-star, Bear Grylls, exercises. Although, the energetic nature of Singh’s performance is partially what creates such an entertaining spectacle for the viewer! Together Ranveer Singh and Bear Grylls create an unlikely but efficient duo, as the special plays to both of their strengths as well-known personalities, and individuals who are eager to test their own will against the harsh backdrop of an uncaring, wilderness and uncertain guarantee of safety.
‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’: Bollywood Superstar Ranveer Singh Heads into The Wild
Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh teams up with wilderness survivalist extraordinaire, Bear Grylls, to create this new interactive special which focuses most of its attention on pushing this Indian actor out of his comfort zone. Grylls serves wholly as a guide for Singh’s journey. At one moment in the film, when Bear Grylls is demonstrating an incredibly dangerous feat with a calm and carefree demeanor, Ranveer describes Grylls’s attitude with a sense of awe. There are many other times when Ranveer denotes Bear with the title of, “Big Brother.” This nickname, which is primarily born out of respect, and is most likely drawn from cultural association, highlights the relationship between the actor and the wildman survivalist.
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Bear Grylls’s role throughout the film is to keep Ranveer safe and that is exactly what he does. One aspect of the film that the viewer struggles to comprehend is the level of realism used within this interactive film. There are moments of certain and impending danger, like when the duo comes across “wild,” bears and wolves, and yet in these moments, they allow the viewer to decide their fate. While this feature in these moments is certainly entertaining, it, unfortunately, is what brings the viewer to the conclusion that much of what they are watching is actually staged and is fantasy. This realization ultimately becomes a disappointment for the viewer as in the beginning of the film, Ranveer states that this journey will mean either life or death for himself.
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Viewers Will Determine The Outcome in This Interactive Visual Special
‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’ truly is a new form of visual entertainment. The style of this film is fundamentally new. While it is not the first of its kind, a title that can only be awarded to Netflix’s earlier creation, ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,’ it is essentially an improvement upon this other film that boasts the same style of interactiveness with the audience. The form of the film, ‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’ is broken down between actual footage of Singh and Grylls in the Serbian wilderness, and moments where their journey comes across a metaphorical “fork in the road.”
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This varied decision allows for the filmmaker to engage with the viewer on a more personal level and asks the viewer to guide the future of what Singh will do, in order to find this flower as a tribute to the love of his life. Unlike the earlier interactive model found in ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,’ ‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’ improves exponentially upon this interactive style, and allows for large moments where the viewer does not have to constantly worry about the choice that they will make, but rather sit back and enjoy the humorous journey of this Bollywood superstar. Much of this film is largely entertaining, and this can be credited to the creative and engaging selection of options that the film has afforded the viewer. With each time that the film calls for the audience to make a selection for what Ranveer should do next in his journey, each choice is something that draws the viewer into continuing watching. The most shocking realization of the entire show is the fact that to create a film that splinters, Ranveer must have been forced to complete every single task that the viewer can choose from. This epiphany only serves as a greater sense of respect that the viewer holds for Ranveer Singh and his creativeness and drive as both an actor and a filmmaker.
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Does The Interactive Aspect of This Special Resonate with Viewers?
‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’ is certainly a film that resonates with its viewers. It is not a perfect creation, by any standard, and there are times when the dialogue and questioning line between both Bear and Ranveer, borderlines moments of boredom for the viewer. That being said, the way that this film incorporates the style of interactivity, is completely what places this particular film into a league of its own. The interactiveness of this film is masterfully employed, and yet when the film ends, the viewer is left with the notion of wishing that there was more. While this adventure looks particularly difficult for even the athletic Bollywood star, Singh, the creative and appealing style of allowing the viewer to guide Singh’s journey, ultimately is what determines the overwhelming success of this special. Before even beginning the film, it would be understandable why the audience would be doubtful before watching another interactive special. By looking back at past creations, such as ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,’ which was in all regards a muddled mess, ‘Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls’ is a film that examines the failures of this earlier interactive special and learns from its past mistakes.
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The dynamic between Grylls and Singh is exceptional and both stars seem to genuinely enjoy the journey that they share together. This film accomplishes the goal that it sets before itself. It is as entertaining for the viewer as it looks for the two well-known celebrities, and it leaves the audience at the end of the film eagerly awaiting the next journey that these two will share.
Director: Khuzema Haveliwala
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Bear Grylls, Karan Kapadia
Writer: Shantanu Srivastava
Producers: Deepak Dhar, Bear Grylls, Mrinalini Jain, Rishi Negi, Chaunce Philipose, Delbert Shoopman
Cinematographer: Dan Bowring
By Thomas Jacobs
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Thomas Jacobs is an avid writer, Cinema aficionado, and filmmaker. He graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in Film and Digital Media. His passion is directly tied to the appreciation and creation of film and television, and this fact is reflected in his intent to be a writer for the acclaimed entertainment journal, The Hollywood Insider. His beliefs mirror the core goals and mission statement of The Hollywood Insider by sharing an admiration for quality entertainment as well as bolstering a sense of positivity and equality among all humans. Thomas believes that Cinema is an advantageous promoter of civil and social empowerment, and he shares a mutual societal view with The Hollywood Insider, that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.