There are few children's movies that I particularly enjoyed I can
recount The Borrowers, Labyrinth and The Neverending Story. Jumanji,
however takes a new place among children's films in fact, it may seem
that initially, Jumanji is about simplistic story about kids playing a
board game. Based on a gorgeous picture book story of the same name by
Chris Van Allsberg, this movie takes a beautiful magical adventure and
makes it into a thrill ride that defies all natural laws.
Time travel, physical transformations, perceptual distortions and
multiple universes are just a few of the things that Jumanji toys with.
The most evident phenomena is that the characters run in two different
and parallel universes, one where Jumanji exists, and the other where
it is just a dream. The life of Judy and Peter as orphans exists in a
different world from the one where Jumanji doesn't exist in other
words, Jumanji is a catalyst of fate, an evil entity that does not
bring about awe as it did in Allsberg's book, but fear. The world that
Allen Parrish is doomed to be incarcerated in the jungles of Jumanji is
another one, but that period of time is nonexistent in the world he
will eventually live in. This is the beauty of the movie; that these
characters can only allow their trauma and epiphanies to cross worlds.
With each roll of the dice, the characters grow and change.
The ending with 'Jumanji' is mark of the end of that universe
everything that the jungle world had yielded, from the colonist-hunter
Van Pelt to the roaring stampede and the monkeys had to return, to be
sealed into the game and the universe. The game controls life; but it
is merciful when played to the end without cheating.
The mental agony and pain must have been tremendous for the Parrishes.
Presumably, Alan spent his twenty six years in the jungle, but returned
to his old self only to again relive his life as if it never happened.
The temporal distortion must have presumably had an effect on his
parents, although only Sarah seems to notice. (She was playing the game
and only those playing are directly affected, but in the game
universe of Judy and Peter we see a problem in the movie's
understanding of temporal change)
The power of fate in deciding the endgame was critical in the film. It
seems that the game was in itself a game of a game; it was all planned
out and ready to go. In fact, it also seems that no matter how crazy or
perilous the situation is, the characters cannot be killed. Even Van
Pelt says at the Sir Sav A Lot that "I am hunting only Alan. I won't
kill you, since you didn't roll" He too is bound to the rules of the
game, no matter how much of a colonialist he is. The game instills a
high level of fear without death, in order for the game to continue,
all the characters must be present. So in one way, no one need be
scared of anything in the game. Instead, the game builds resilience in
It was natural that in the end the end was initiated by the future; or
more appropriately the past. At the end, both Sarah and Alan make up
for the trouble they have caused and have a life bond from the
experience. The jumping between 1994 and 1964 is a critical aspect
where we see that the horrors of the game have allowed Judy and Peter's
parents to not die in the ski accident. They are oddly willing to put
an end to their vacation when they hardly know the Parrishes
"In the jungle, you must wait, until you roll a five or eight"
Jumanji "Roll a two, roll a four, but never ask for more" Gautam
RATING: 10/10 (amazing)