By Cynthia Ayala
Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli must leave the only home he’s ever known when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan unleashes his mighty roar. Guided by a no-nonsense panther and a free-spirited bear, the young boy meets an array of jungle animals, including a slithery python and a smooth-talking ape. Along the way, Mowgli learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to fun and adventure.
This was such a beautiful film, not just artistically but also because it brought to life the story of Mowgli and they did a fantastic job of recapturing the magic that was in the animated feature while also giving this film its own sort of magic. However, some of that magic transcends the film and the story and creates this breathtaking performance between the actor and the voice actors.
The most unbelievable aspect of this movie is the fact that Mowgli (Neel Sethi) was on the set alone aside from crewmembers and the director. That is just a testament to the talent of not only Sethi but also a testament to the directing power of Jon Favreau. Favreau was able to direct this child alone on set and make sure that this young actor was able to give the most believable performance possible. Of course, Sethi was able to create an unbelievable and incredible performance that was just breathtaking. Honestly the acting, voice acting and all, it was just remarkable because these voice actors, it’s as if they parts were molded to them, They were the perfect cast for the film, the perfect cast to bring this film to life.
This movie is very much both alike and different from the original animated version. It does stay closer to the actual text and gets very dark, but there is hope and light in this film that flourishes. The rest of this movie goes towards that sort of magic. The film flows perfectly, and it builds emotion and momentum continuously and draws the viewer in, once again, making it unbelievable that these are CGI animations versus actual animals talking. The movie is structured and filmed to beautifully that it tricks the audience into believing this is real, into believing everything is real, that the film itself is real. That is the magic here.
Favreau and his entire crew were incredible; they were clever in how they structured the film and brilliant in how they decided to bring to life this iconic story. It tugs at the heartstrings, and it makes the viewer believe in magic and love, humanity and peace. It was beautiful at the end of the day and in writing, it was perfect. The writers were even able to capture some of the musical numbers from the original animated version, and they fit into this film perfectly. It recaptured the magic wonders from the original and created its own.
Directed by Jon Favreau
Screenplay by Justin Marks
Based on The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Starring: Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken & Neel Sethi
Genre | Length | Rating: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy | 1 hr 46 min | PG
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures