Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls review: Actor weeps, eats maggots, misses Deepika Padukone in kinda-interactive show

Published on Jul 08, 2022 07:03 PM IST

Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls review: Ranveer Singh’s much-talked-about Netflix special was everything it was promised to be except truly interactive.

Ranveer Singh and Bear Grylls in a still from the Netflix special Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls.
Ranveer Singh and Bear Grylls in a still from the Netflix special Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls.

As a kid, one of my favourite series of books was a spinoff of RL Stine’s Goosebumps called Give Yourself Goosebumps. Every 100-page book allowed you to choose your adventure. At the bottom of every page were two or more choices for a character and you decided what would happen. It was the first truly immersive and interactive adventure I had, and always wondered what it would feel like on screen. Netflix made it possible, first with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in the world of fiction and now with Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls in a real-world setting. As a whole, Ranveer Singh’s Netflix debut is exciting, action-packed and fun but it is also a bit underwhelming because the ‘interactive’ element is very limited. Also read: Ranveer Singh cries as he ditches his colourful wardrobe for camo pants

We have seen Bear Grylls go into the jungle and have adventures with Indian celebs before. Everyone from Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn to Rajinikanth and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi have had their wilderness survival moments with him. What set Ranveer Singh’s adventure apart was that it provided viewers with the reins to the two explorers’ decisions. It was almost akin to a video game where you could control Ranveer Singh on his adventure.

The premise for the adventure is simple. Self-proclaimed hopeless romantic Ranveer is in the Serbian wilderness to obtain a rare flower called Serbica Ramonda for his wife Deepika Padukone. Helping him in his quest is world-renowned survival expert and eater-of-all-things-alive Bear Grylls. And whenever the two are faced with a dilemma or a choice, viewers can decided what they should do with the click of a button on the screen. So viewers are choosing if Ranveer should have bear testicles or maggots for ‘lunch’ or what equipment he should carry in his backpack.

Ranveer Singh running away from a bear in a scene from his Netflix interactive special.
Ranveer Singh running away from a bear in a scene from his Netflix interactive special.

The trouble is that the entire 90-minute adventure offers viewers only 4-5 such choices. It is no Bandersnatch where you had to choose every few minutes and the narrative got so complex that the only way I could navigate it was through a flow chart. Of course, a survival show in the wilderness does not allow one to have so many options. It is simply not practical or logistically possible. But if 20 choices is too high, then five is too low. The apt number is somewhere in between. It is a fun experiment but needs to be a bit more interactive.

Beyond that, it is a fun adventure, which features good doses of drama, comedy, and a truckload of Ranveer Singh’s energy. There is a cameo from Ranveer’s ‘chaddi buddy’ Karan Kapadia and Deepika’s voice as well. It feels refreshing to see a star out in the wilderness doing something different. And Ranveer’s energy lends itself quite naturally to the format. His hyperactive, almost-manic self is a good foil to Bear Grylls’ cool-as-a-cucumber persona. In fact, his chemistry with Bear is better than all of the other Indian celebs before him.

I see this as a pilot project from Netflix. The hope is that if this succeeds, they will be able to get other stars in similar crazy interactive specials, depending on who fits where. How they do that or if they even do will be interesting to see. Ranveer vs Wild gets full marks for trying the experiment but one must dock a few for the execution. Thankfully, it remains a good watch largely due to the fun the two men have on screen.

Ranveer vs Wild with Bear Grylls

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Bear Grylls, and Karan Kapadia.

Get more updates from Bollywood, Hollywood, Musicand Web Seriesalong with Latest Entertainment Newsat Hindustan Times.

    Abhimanyu Mathur is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. He writes about cinema, TV, and OTT, churning out interviews, reviews, and good old news stories.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, December 07, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals