The Elephant Whisperers review: Calming tale about the bonds between people and elephants

An indigenous Indian couple is followed as they take care of Raghu, an orphaned elephant, in the wildlife documentary ‘The Elephant Whisperers’. It is now streaming on Netflix.


‘Kattunayakan’ or ‘King of the Forest’, is how Bomman introduces himself. He claims that the Tiger Reserve Forest in Tamil Nadu known as ‘Mudumalai’ is his ancestral home because they resided there for many years.

Bomman describes Raghu, an infant elephant that he and his wife Bellie are caring for. Bomman is an elephant caregiver at the ‘Theppakadu Elephant Camp’ and resides in a small village with his wife.

The daily activities and survival techniques of indigenous people are depicted. Bomman and Bellie describe and demonstrate how they care for Raghu and live their daily lives. 


Excellent cinematography is used to capture beautiful aerial views of the forest. Amazingly, monkeys are captured snatching up and consuming the food that elephants throw away. The documentary has a lot of life because of such well-timed shots.

Both the breathtaking wildlife footage and the tribal people’s working style are visually appealing. The sequences’ soft background scores help the audience feel the couple’s devotion to Raghu.

The heartfelt emotional scenes that were captured are enhanced by a depressing BGM and close-up shots.


Even when the creators describe the tiger reserve and the elephant camp, it might be challenging for non-South Indians or viewers from other nations to pinpoint or understand the exact locations. 

The couple’s residence and the location of their village are unclear. Since there is little consistency between the scenes, there is not much of a documentary to provide. 

Some customs done among the tribals aren’t even described in great detail since it would be impossible for someone who isn’t Indian to comprehend what is happening and why everything is done.


The genuine tale of how humans and elephants formed such a strong emotional link is told in the documentary, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’.

Although the creators sincerely mean to emphasise the need for a safe haven for elephants, the way the narrative was handled doesn’t do the topic any favours.

The Elephant Whisperers
The Elephant Whisperers review: Calming tale about the bonds between people and elephants 1

Director: Kartiki Gonsalves

Date Created: 2022-12-08 13:30

Editor's Rating:

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