The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is one of the most famous and read book worldwide. If you are a kid from the 90’s then you will remember the cartoon series that used to come on Doordarshan with the same name and who can forget the all time hit song from the series composed by Vishal Bhardwaj and written by Gulzar – Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hai, which is still a hit among kids.
This week Disney released the movie adaptation of the much-loved book directed by Jon Favreau laden with VFX and 3D starring Neel Sethi. The movie literally follows the book telling the story of Mowgli (Neel Sethi) a human boy raised by the wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) ever since he was a baby and brought to them by Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), the black panther. When the fearsome scarred Bengal Tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens his life since man isn’t allowed in the jungle, Mowgli leaves his jungle home. Guided by Bagheera and Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), he sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the man-hunting Shere Khan. Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who do not exactly have his best interests at heart including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) the python and the smooth-talking Bornean orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower. Will Mowgli succumb to King Louie’s wishes and assist him in attaining the red flower, will he defeat Shere Khan, or will he forsake the jungle for the safety of the human village is what the rest of the film is all about.
The film that combines live action with flawless CGI animation is a visual masterpiece. Neel Sethi the 12-year-old child debutant does a wonderful job. I would highly recommend him for all the major awards for the best actor category as he has given a performance that can put most of the experienced actors to shame. The voices of popular actors like Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley etc., used for the various animals does justice to their characters.
The technical team from the cinematographer Bill Pope, to the entire VFX team and editor Mark Livolsi needs to be given a standing ovation. They have come up with a technical masterpiece. The animals in the movie for not even a frail second makes you think are artificial. The 3D as well as the sound design further adds to the charm of the movie.
Overall this is a wonderful movie that offers spectacular visual treat and one should definitely go and watch! Highly Recommended!!
My Verdict: ****