Almost 50 years after the original release comes a modern retelling of one of Disney’s most memorable movies.
I watched this film last night. You can call this film a retelling or a remake but there is a lot more to it than that. When the live action project was announced 3 years ago many were highly skeptical, including me. But then they started announcing the cast involved and my interest started to spike. Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Khan and the crowning jewel…Christopher Walken as King Louie. How can you possibly say no to this amount of talent?
Then you find out that the entire film is made in a studio. Every single aspect of this film except Mowgli is CGI; every tree, every bush, every stream or river, every drop of rain, every animal…everything! Which means Mowgli (played by newcomer Neel Sethi) is acting against green screen and tennis balls. My hats off to this little kid, he is going places.
The film as a whole was immensely enjoyable. The story follows pretty much the same through line as the original version. While the few small changes are a welcome addition in my opinion, I do miss some of the musical numbers. Do not be disheartened altogether; the director Jon Favreau still manages to seamlessly weave in the two iconic songs (Bare necessities and I wanna be like you) into the story. My only other little gripe is that some character decisions seemed out of place at times. However, the several laugh out loud moments sprinkled through the movie keep you engaged.
Technically speaking, it was a marvel unfolding on the screen. I watched it on a 3D IMAX screen. The IMAX was worth it but the 3D wasn’t. Generally speaking I wouldn’t recommend watching any film in 3D but good luck finding a cinema showing a 2D IMAX showing in your area.
In short, if you’re a fan of the original Disney classic or a fan of Disney films in general, this film is definitely for you. My score – 8/10 and a definite recommendation on the big screen.