Life

Film Review | The Jungle Book

Imagine my delight when I first heard of the live action reimagination of the 1967 classic that I would happily still watch over and over again. So of course I would have been a fool not to see Jon Favreau’s adaption.

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Running into the cinema we just got in as the film began, Mowgli running through the jungle and our own entrance rather similar, but mine slightly less athletic with nachos in one hand and a pepsi in the other trying not to trip up the stairs whilst seeking out our seats.

I’m sure we all know the story of a boy raised by wolves living in the jungle with no want to return to the man village. You know me, I’m a sucker for anything dog like and absolutely love the wolves relationship with Mowgli, I always get so much more of an emotional investment in dog-like creatures. Neel Sethi played Mowgli, a fantastic performance from such a young actor, really making you feel each of his emotions. Mowgli lives out an idyllic life with the wolf pack, in the great outdoors and a watchful panther that you just want to reach out and stroke his silky fur – oh yeah, watch it in 3D, it’s awesome.

Of course life can’t be so simple and Sher Kaan makes that perfectly clear, striking just as much fear as toddler Bonnie experienced in the chase scenes. He is terrifying, my heart was in my throat as soon as he slunk onto the screen, far too calm and unpredictable to be trusted.

 

A sudden turn of events leads to Mowgli having to leave his wolf pack and head for the man village. Along the way he meets Baloo, a slow bear, truer to the Kipling original. All the creatures are thoroughly thought through where they inhabit and this has also led to an extinct species being brought to life in the form of King Louie, according to the director to be in keeping with the region than that of an Orangutan.

Something which shocked me whilst doing a little bit of round the film research was that King Louie was created for the Disney film and does not appearย in Kipling’s original stories. I think King Louie was one of the characters who stuck with me when seeing the original animated film and his gigantic form in the more recent film with eerie chanting of the much beloved ‘I wanna be like you’ is creepily haunting.

Of course we can’t skip over the fabulously sassy Karr voiced by Scarlet Johansson, a bit of a favourite of mine anyway. Give her a voice over and those beautiful husky tones just sing, I mean if I was a man cub I think I’d be seduced into her coils to my very near death.

All in all it’s an absolutely amazing film, I was jumping out of my seat on several occasions, the live action is phenomenal, with only Sethi being traditionally filmed. A great take on a classic, giving it new twists to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. In my opinion Disney are nailing it with their remakes and bringing all the nostalgic feels, with a all the exciting shiny newness.

Definitely worth the watch!

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