Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Jungle Book

Movie Name: The Jungle Book
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken, Garry Shandling, Brighton Rose
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Synopsis & Review:
Director Jon Favreau follows his independent effort "Chef" with a big budget Disney film, featuring state of the art visual effects. The film "The Jungle Book" is an adaptation of the books by Rudyard Kipling and follow the adventures of Mowgli, a young boy who is left on his own in the jungle after his dad is killed by a dangerous tiger by the name Shere Khan. Mowgli is then raised by wolves and protected by the panther Bagheera and the bear Baloo. When Shere Khan returns to finish off what he started, Mowgli is forced to run towards villages with men, where he'll be more protected. During his escape he makes more friends, but also comes across some menaces, such as the python Kaa and the monkey king Louie. Shere Khan however uses his ties with the wolf pack to force him to come back and fight him.
"The Jungle Book" is a book that uses fables, where animals are given anthropomorphic qualities to give moral lessons. The work from Rudyard Kipling (he was awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1907) has been a classic since being released in 1894, and has been adapted to the screen multiple times (Disney has released the animated version directed by Wolfgang Reitherman in 1967, and subsequent ones such as the live version one with Jason Scott Lee in 1994, directed by Stephen Sommers). Jon Favreau's version is a beautiful accomplishment, in the sense that it smartly combines the themes of belonging, growing up and family, while simultaneously having an ecological and environmental conscience. The film also successfully brings the story to life for a new generation, and does so with visual effects that are simply stunning: the animations of the jungle and animals, are simply fantastic. The film looks superb, and the voice cast is impeccable, particularly Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley, who lend their charisma to the characters Baloo and Bagheera respectively. It's a film that has an impeccable momentum and one that definitely has an impact, with just the right amount of humor and darkness. A very good film worth watching.