For those who are not well versed with the story, let me bring you up to speed. Mowgli is a human child who was found and raised by a pack of wolves. He grows up learning the ways of the jungle along with Bagheera, a black panther. But as the forest learns about his presence, danger arises in form of Shere Khan, a tiger who has seen the brunt of man and now wants revenge.
I still wonder how such a elementary story can make for an experience so lasting, that I’m still in awe of it. The Jungle Book for all parts but Mowgli is CGI. But the special effects, sound design, and voice acting is all so immaculate that you sit there and stare at computer generated imagery for two hours and never doubt it being real, not for a second. The jungle makes you want to leave the comfort of your seat. The animals seem larger than life (sometimes literally), like the majestic elephants, the stealthy wild cats, the united wolf pack. It is no doubt that the movie makes for one of the best adaptations of the book, since it is not just the story but the characters coming alive.
Of course, you are thinking that this is just another visual spectacular. Enter the star-studded cast. With the big budgets and bigger banners (Disney), the association of big names has become inevitable. But rarely do you see a cast that seems almost tailor-made. May it be Sir Ben Kingsley as strict Bagheera or Idris Elba as the ruthless and fierce Shere Khan or Lupita Nyong’o as caring and protective mother Raksha, the actors fit their characters like a glove. And not to forget the star of the show, Neel Sethi, who is adorable, smart, funny and everything you’d imagine Mowgli to be. It it this powerhouse of a cast that brings characters to life and makes you feel immersed throughout your movie experience.
No matter how much i pick each aspect of the movie and explain how it has been done perfectly, I cannot miss the ringmaster: one of the most underrated directors, Jon Favreau. Favreau is the brain behind many movies like Iron Man and Chef (both personal favorites). It is a lesser known fact that he is one of people responsible for jumpstarting the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His work on The Jungle Book not only stands at par with his previous hits but even exceeds them at some levels. My vote is with the guy who can make me watch ‘animated animals talking and a jungle-raised human child’ without disbelief. Go Favreau!
I could keep going on about how [I think] the movie is perfect, but something tells me you are already convinced. So go grab your tickets and some popcorn and get set to run with the pack.
P.S. The 3D doesn’t make it dark at all. Definitely recommended.