Directed by: Jon Favreau
Cast: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray (voice), Ben Kingsley (voice), Idris Elba (voice), Scarlett Johansson (voice)
Why the buzz?
The expectations were a collage of excitement and apprehension.
When Disney announced this remake of the 1967 animated classic, the expectations were a collage of excitement and apprehension. The excitement of watching the childhood fantasy with enhanced technology was played down by the apprehensions of a life-long association being compromised.
What is it About?
Based on the classic literary work by “Rudyard Kipling”, this is the story of a man-cub named Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who embarks on a journey of self-discovery when he decides to rise against the ferociousness of Sher Khan (Idris Alba) with the help of his jungle buddies; the free-spirited bear, Baloo (Bill Murray) and the protective panther, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley).
What works for the movie
Despite all the innovation in visual excellence of the movie, the narrative never once deviates from the essence of the original
- The production design is befittingly grand to match the magnanimity of the legendary tale.
- The movie showcases probably the best Special Effects ever created for a live-action film. It is hard to believe that the whole environment and all characters other than Mowgli were artificially created with Computer Graphics.
- Despite all the innovation in visual excellence of the movie, the narrative never once deviates from the essence of the original. This worked as the real heart-winner for viewers like me who have grown with the characters.
- Director John Favreau works wonders with the kid. Considering the fact that Neel Sethi performed in front of a green screen for the whole movie, the precision of his body language and dialogue delivery is commendable.
- The screenplay doesn’t even give you a chance to blink. Keeps you engaged from the first to the last frame.
What works against the movie
Some might find the language a bit of a niggle
While the modernization of the story results in absolute satisfaction, some might find the language a bit of a niggle, with all the age-old characters getting engaged in modern-day slangs. This, by the way, can only be termed a negative, if a reviewer is hell-bent to find at least “one” thing wrong with the movie. As it turns out, I am not one of those reviewers so I have absolutely no problem with the slangs.
Watching this movie is like meeting your childhood in a grown-up avatar; simultaneously satisfying your nostalgia and respecting your self-proclaimed intellect.
If you haven’t totally lost the child within yourself and if you are restricted to watch only one movie this year, this has to be it!