One of India's greatest perennial stories gets crafted into a whole new era and added charm with Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book.
Making finest use of live action with CGI technology, the film finds its origin from Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli stories and the hugely successful 1967 Disney screen adaptation to craft a captivating and thoroughly entertaining adventure tale. Featuring Indian boy Neel Sethi, the only living human amid computer-generated characters, there is hardly any moment which pulls interest factor on the back seat.
The film does lose its pace when Mowgli spends screen space with lethargic Baloo, the bear he befriends while taking swings in the jungle to find manhood for his safety. But, even then their chemistry keeps audiences entertained and also on the edge of their seats.
Watch Trailer Here:
The Jungle Book has been released in India a week before it will hit US screens, may be because it is special for Indian audiences. Not because it showcases Indian jungle but due to its familiar characters people have been watching since ages.
Hindi version of the movie comes with voices of Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, Om Puri, Nana Patekar and Shefali Shah. While, English version presents Hollywood voice cast Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Lupita Nyong'o. Many may crave for more offering from the real story like Radha’s character or better involvement of other characters in the grand fight with Sher Khan. But even small chunk of the story has been crafted like a pro.
The film is a perfect blend of available technology and the emotion filled tale to hit all the right chords, which results in an extreme movie experience carved out from the stowing of fantasy-adventure genre. With movies like this, which has no mystery in story line, the focus must be on the presentation and Favreau does all the justice to ensure freshness during a role of complete 106 minutes.
Neel Sethi (Mowgli), at such a small age, made debut in the film and his expressions itself make the whole story worth watching. Shining amid such big names is not easy but, the little boy managed to stand out well. The Jungle Book, which comes with varied flavours like thrill, action, adventure, friendship and emotions; this is an out rightly a film for kids. But, the director has taken enough care to keep it a mix for audiences of all age groups.
The film I saw was in English and particularly for that Indian audiences might feel offended on musical notes. There are two songs but finds no connection to audiences like the Hindi version has with Jungle Jungle Baat chali hai.
Final Verdict: The film is a hard core movie for kids with an ample offering for elders and with the best makers to present a drama which completely justifies the love for the perennial tale of Mowgli and his friends from The Jungle Book. It’s is a must watch.