| fantastic true story suffers from short run time
The fascinating life and adventures of Jim Corbett, and this harrowing tale of a man-eating leopard (shockingly...) are done a great disservice by the BBC. Cutting this story down to fifty minutes forced the screenwriters to jam what could have been a great full feature dramatization into a what feels like one of those gimmicky three-minute novels banged out on a Times Square sidewalk by a guy with a clackity old typewriter and a brilliant command of adjectives. In other words, it showed flashes of potential that made you want it to be more fully fleshed out.
Not that the Beeb is the only one to blame; where the screenwriters can't be blamed for the short run-time, they must take accountability for writing dialogue that ranges from merely cheesy to downright laughable, especially in scenes involving Corbett and the village wise man, and Corbett and Jean Ibbotson.
Jason Flemyng did his best to capture Corbett's ambivalence toward his calling. Jodhi May, while likely miscast in this role playing a middle-aged woman, demonstrated why she was miscast--she's one of the best out there at portraying the strength it takes to hold back.