THE ELEPHANT WHISPERERS (2022) – My rating: 7.5/10

The Elephant Whisperers film poster.jpg

The Elephant Whisperers is an Indian-American short documentary film directed by documentary filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves in her directorial debut. The documentary is about the bond that develops between a couple and an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu, who was entrusted to their care. The Elephant Whisperers is produced by Sikhya Entertainment, the film had its world premiere on 9 November 2022 at DOC NYC Film Festival, a film festival for documentaries in the United States. I love animals, and since this documentary was Oscar-nominated, I watched it on Netflix.  It is heartfelt and informative.

The Elephant Whisperers tells the story of an indigenous couple named Bomman and Belli who are entrusted with an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu. They take great pains to ensure that the fragile, injured infant survives and grows to be a healthy young elephant. A strong bond develops between the couple and the elephant. The couple treats Ragu as if it were their child. Set in the Mudumalai National Park in South India, the documentary also highlights the natural beauty of the location. It explores the life of the tribal people in harmony with nature. The film was released by Netflix globally on 8 December 2022 for streaming. Kartiki Gonsalves spent five years following this family in order to make this documentary.

Romey Norton of Ready Steady Cut rated the film 3.5 out of 5 and said that “It packs a small punch and is definitely worth the watch, especially if you love elephants”. Poulomi Das reviewing for Firstpost wrote, that “narrative, is fairly straightforward, the storytelling manages to be simultaneously gentle and persuasive”. Praising the cinematography, Das wrote, “the film is elevated by its stunning cinematography”. Das opined that “Much of the beauty of the film lies in the understated coming-of-age of the film’s narrative that draws ample parallels between humans and animals.” Das said, that The Elephant Whisperers “is ultimately a love story about the power of community,” and concluded by saying, “the film champions the dignity of — all kinds of — life.” Manjeet Singh of Leisure Byte reviewing the film praised the film writing, “the complete documentary appears more like an experience, that needs to be felt than rather just to be seen.” Singh opined that “The docufilm is capable of making you cry, or even sob” and it is “the finest presentation of the year.”

The Elephant Whisperers definitely made me emotional and it was beautifully filmed.  Baby elephants don’t usually survive after being separated from their mother or village. The time and devotion this couple put in to insure the baby elephant’s care are remarkable.  They literally eat, drink, sleep, and live for the elephants.  This documentary is a real eye-opener.  I recommend The Elephant Whisperers to everyone, especially if you have a passion for elephants.  The Elephant Whisperers is streaming exclusively on Netflix.

[THE ELEPHANT WHISPERERS is Oscar-nominated at the 95th Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short Film totaling 1 nomination]





4 responses to “THE ELEPHANT WHISPERERS (2022) – My rating: 7.5/10

  1. Never heard of this documentary. Thanks for enlightenment. Bliss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We Indians are elated!!

    Liked by 2 people

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