Review of Adventures Of Jojo – Jungle Safari combined with a good message
Director – Raj Chakraborty
Cast – Jashojeet Banerjee, Samiul Alam, Rudranil Ghosh, Padmanabha Dasgupta
Overall Rating – 3/5
Making an adventure film for kids is a dream project of director Raj Chakraborty. His initial target was to adapt the story of Tongling written by Leela Majumdar, but that did not happen because of some copyright issues. Later he settled down with another adventure story written by Arup Kumar Dutta. That story has been developed by Raj along with screenplay writer Padmanabha Dasgupta to make the film Adventures of Jojo.
The story is about little Jojo (Jashojeet Banerjee), a class six student living in Kolkata along with his parents. Jojo is very much fond of wildlife, but in a city like Kolkata his access to wildlife is limited only to some toys and sketches in his room. He gets the chance to explore real jungle when he visits the Baropahari National Park in Arunachal Pradesh during his visit to his uncle’s house. His uncle works there as a manager in tea estate. There Jojo becomes friend with a local kid Shibu (Samiul Alam) and his elephant Noni. Along with them he gets free access to explore every part of the jungle. Soon they realize a probable danger for the wild animals as some poachers are lurking around. Their main target is Chengiz, a big size tiger in the jungle. How this two kids Jojo and Shibu along with their elephant Noni defeats the poachers and saves Chengiz that forms the rest of the story.
Adventures of Jojo is a nice attempt to combine the thrill of a jungle safari along with some well intentioned message about conservation of wildlife. That is really a nice idea, but the main problem of the film is it’s weak writing. Screenplay writer Padmanabha Dasgupta has tried to make it too simple for kids but the final output has became too childish and immature. The way they have over simplified everything that looks totally unconvincing. The beginning of the film is promising, there are some fun moments in the first half including the studious twin cousins of Jojo. But sadly as the film progresses the fun elements keeps replacing with some illogical annoying drama. The villains in the story are too cliche to add any excitement. The way the kids tackles with the poacher that part also asks for some clever writing. Besides the script, the dialogues also is a big let down. It does not sound like regular conversation done with kids at home. When ever someone talks about the importance of wildlife, it sounds like lessons from text book.
All these shortcomings of writing department has been compensated mostly by the brilliant technical team lead by Cinematographers Soumik Haldar and Manas Ganguly. The way the vast greenery of the jungle has been captured that is praise worthy. Some close shots of the wild animals will surely excite the kids. Also the computer graphics are mostly okay considering the budget of the film. One must praise Raj Chakraborty for giving his cent percent in this project. He has successfully broken his image of a copycat director and have attempted a tough subject. Shooting in real jungle that too with kids and animals is not an easy task but Raj has done that effortlessly.
Both the kids have acted well in their parts individually but the bonding is missing in them as two buddies. That is not their fault though, as the script does not offer anything substantial to show the friendly bonding expect for the farewell scene in the climax. Sadly none of the elder actors are impressive in fact Rudranil Ghosh and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya are quite irritating in their villainous acts.
Overall Adventures Of Jojo is a good attempt to make an adventurous film for kids. A better written script could have done full justice with the potential. Nevertheless, during this winter vacations parents can surely take their kids to this jungle safari along with Jojo.