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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 



Tarzan, Review


This 2013 production by German director Reinhard Klooss is a franchise authorised by the estate of the original author, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950), but rather different from any of the story-lines written by him. Tarzan of the Apes appeared in the October 1912 issue of All-Story magazine. Burroughs received $700 for the tale. The first Tarzan movie appeared in 1918, with Elmo Lincoln in the title role. (Imagine, it will be a hundred years old in 2017)! Eventually Burroughs penned a total of 26 Tarzan books, and left a fragment of another that was only discovered long after his death.  The year 1932 saw the release of the first talking Tarzan film, Tarzan the Ape Man, with the now legendary Johnny Weissmuller. Since then, there have been dozens of screen versions, including several Indian C grade films.  

Klooss, who co-wrote this adaptation and started working on it in 2009, updates the film to the 21st century, and changes many incidents, including the way Tarzan’s parents met their end. Done with amazingly smooth Motion Capture technology, in 3D, Tarzan’s 2013 version is about idyllic locales, greed, science fiction and, above all, love—love of a group of apes for a human boy they adopt, love of Jane’s father and Jane herself for the environment and the love affair between the animal-like Tarzan and the city-girl, Jane.

Klooss’s oeuvre includes Asterix & Obelix vs. Caesar, Impy's Island, Animals United (CGI, 3D), Wild Fire, Go Trabi Go, Charlie & Louise, Comedian Harmonists and Leo and Claire. Dubbing artistes Kellan Lutz (Hercules in The Legend of Hercules, current age 29)/Anton Zetterholm/Craig Garner for Tarzan, Spencer Locke/Rebecca Reaney for Jane and Trevor St. John for Clayton (villain) suit the characters well. A voice over narrator, almost standard equipment in all such forays into literary hero films, feels somewhat out-of-place, considering the contemporary time-line. Pace is slick and the duration is just over 90 minutes, making sure that boredom does not set in.

Rating: ***



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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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