Ranveer Singh eats maggots to find a flower for Deepika Padukone on Bear Grylls show
The British adventurer Bear Grylls is not a stranger to Indian television screens. His show Man Vs Wild generated massive interest in Indian viewers leading to several spin-off specials. Bear is known for having actors Akshay Kumar, Vicky Kaushal, Rajinikanth and Ajay Devgn as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his adventures.
This year, Bear took the backseat as 83 actor Ranveer Singh took the spotlight in Ranveer Vs Wild with Bear Grylls. Giving a ‘filmi’ narrative to the special, Ranveer, the self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, sets out on a mission to find a rare flower, Serbica Ramonda, for his wife Deepika Padukone. Under Bear’s guidance, the actor goes on an adventure in the Serbian wilderness.
Here are some of the interesting highlights of the show:
Interactive shows where the viewer has the power to select the trajectory of the story are not new on Netflix. The format of Ranveer Vs Wild with Bear Grylls is similar to an earlier Netflix show, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. But this one’s a new take on the format as Ranveer Vs Wild with Bear Grylls is a reality show instead of a fantasy show. However, the choices that the show offers the audience are far more limited than in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. We get to choose what Ranveer does a handful of times, while in Black Mirror, the choices needed to be made every few minutes.
Also, the choices offered on Ranveer Vs Wild with Bear Grylls seems to have low stakes. Those familiar with RL Stine’s Goosebumps book series and Give Yourself Goosebumps know that making wrong choices leads to dire ends. Ranveer Vs Wild with Bear Grylls has very few ‘wrong’ choices in the first place, so there is very little pressure of the mission failing.
Raveer’s love-at-first-sight with Deepika
The show is a Deepika Padukone appearance short of becoming a full-blown romcom in the jungle. Ranveer keeps showering compliments on his wife and even concludes the show by stating that Deepika would never find a more dedicated lover than him. Towards the end, when Ranveer appears to be giving up on the mission, Bear reminds him of Deepika giving him the last push he needs.
As one of the interactive options, you can choose to listen to how Deepika and Ranveer met. Those who choose their love story hear Ranveer talk about falling head over heels in love at first sight. He also confesses that shortly into the relationship he knew he wanted to be with Deepika forever. For ‘Deepveer’ fans, the show’s overt show of romance can seem adorable but it can get too saccharine for most.
Ranveer Vs Wild with Bear Grylls throws an apparent surprise at Ranveer in the form of his friend Karan Kapadia. The actor-director has an action hero entry into the show. Karan’s presence does not feel redundant as he brings in a message of encouragement from Deepika for Ranveer.
Bear brings calmness and knowledge to the show, while Ranveer and Karan’s combination livens it up. Karan offers Bear and us viewers an insight into Ranveer’s persona. He even participates in a few challenges alongside Bear and Ranveer before making a swift exit.
Fake ‘wild animals’
A frequent criticism that Bear’s shows have consistently faced is the use of trained animals that he claims to be wild. One assumes the showmakers would never take the risk of bringing a guest star at a close range to wild animals. But trained animals are portrayed as ‘wild’ on the show.
Instead of the bears and wolves looking menacing, they appear as tame as pets. The shots with the animals end up looking humorous instead of nail-biting. Bear and Ranveer in the cave with the snakes was the only somewhat-threatening ‘wild’ animal interaction on the show.
The animals that do inspire fear and dread are not the ones pitched as the scary ones. You get to choose if Ranveer, Bear and Karan will eat maggots or boar testicles. The creepy crawlies that the three men have to eat are much more terrifying than the trained bear ambling around the woods.
Despite the choice you make, the truth is the trio had to eat both boar testicles as well as maggots for the shoot of the show. The reactions of the guest stars at eating the not-so-appealing grubs are worth a watch.
Physically challenging tasks
Ranveer is known to sport an impressive physique that he often flaunts on social media. The challenges he faces on the show put his physical strength to the test.
He performs all the physical tasks on the show. While you get to choose some of the tasks, Ranveer had to perform all of the extremely challenging stunts over the course of the shoot. By the end of the episode, he seems to break down when climbing up the cliff to reach the flower. Thirty-six hours of climbing mountains, crossing rivers and ‘snaking’ through narrow caves show us a vulnerable, human side of the celebrity who has pushed his physical boundaries on the show.
The Man Vs Wild spin-off premiered on Netflix on July 8. The show has a single episode where Bear and Ranveer go on an adventure together. By the end of the show, Bear tells Ranveer that the two will be going on another secret adventure together. While Netflix has not indicated a sequel to the show, Bear’s concluding statements hint at a return of the duo for another wilderness trip. And we are ready for it!