It's always fun to see our beloved characters come alive on the big screen. It's not just about the nostalgia or our love for the characters / story, it's about taking that journey to the magical land & for those 106 minutes living with those characters. A brilliant novel achieves & despite the visual aid, we rarely see a cinema perfectly achieve this. The Jungle Book falls into those rare list of films.
This 1894 novel has consistently mesmerized generations with it's captivating story & heart touching characters, making our childhood feel like as adventurous as Mowgli's life in the jungle through it's various adaptations through films or tv-series. The world has kept on changing for better & The Jungle Book has stayed on to be the better story each time. Be it the 1942 version or the 1967 animated version, the journey this story takes us has been the same.
Now in the era dominated by CGI & motion capture, this epic story & beloved characters deserved this technology. Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa, Shere Khan, Raksha, Akela are alive on screen & apart from the technology, it's the stupendous voice over by stellar star cast which includes, Bill Murray, Sir Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlette Johansson, Lupito Nyong'o, Christopher Walken & ofcourse Neel Sethi, the young kid all provide the soul to the characters. Thanks to Jon Favreau for doing superb justice to this story, doing the needful changes to the tone of the film. It's a lot darker than we knew The Jungle Book as yet it stays as heart touching & full of fun as ever.
This version of The Jungle Book is a visual treat. I just for fun, re-watched the 1942 & 1967 version films before watching this 3D re-telling of the tale. Having known this story for over 2 decades now & also having re-watched the older gems once again this week, I still felt like being exposed to the characters for the first time. I felt the characters emotions as if it was the first time. This is the magic of cinema. Hats off to the cast & crew for this.
May be I went with the mindset of not wanting to be critical towards this movie. I bought the ticket & just let myself in on the journey of Mowgli. Every other character Mowgli encounters instantly made a connection. May be I didn't want the makers to change the story much. I just wanted The Jungle Book I knew. We're going to have yet another Jungle Book movie next year, so let the changes happen in that version.
1. The riveting CGI.
2. Voice over by the stellar cast.
3. Neel Sethi as Mowgli.
4. Initial scenes showcasing the relationship of Mowgli with Raksha, his wolf mother.
5. Shere Khan's entry.
6. Baloo teaching the Jungle song to Mowgli.
7. The entire King Louise episode.
8. Stunning visuals that included landslide.
9. The Elephants.
10. Basically the entire Jungle.
1. The pronunciation of the characters names by the western actors. Also certain words like bandar-log is more relevant as a hindi word to us but it's pronunciation disappoints. Probably the Hindi dubbed version would do more justice to it.
2. Wanted a bit more attention given to Akela. I'm just greedy here.
3. The pace drops a bit in the second half but is made up by action packed climax.
4. As usual didn't enjoy 3D much. May be IMAX 3D would offer something better.
My Rating - 4/5
Final Words - A visual spectacle indeed.