[Review] The Jungle Book – A Fantastic revival of a childhood Fantasy

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Cast: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray (voice), Ben Kingsley (voice), Idris Elba (voice), Scarlett Johansson (voice)

Pre-Release Hype

3_stars

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).

jungle-book-light

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.

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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.

Verdict

five_stars

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!

Trailer

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