Never, I mean, never have I had this urge to immediately write about a movie (or a book) just one scene into it (or one line into it)! The Jungle Book managed to do it! Pheeewwww! What a movie! Before going into my thoughts on the movie, I must thank Jon Favreau for taking a wonderful decision to resurrect The Jungle Book, and for doing an amazing job at it! There couldn’t have been a better way of bringing the story alive for the present generation of kids, nor could there have been a better way of taking us adults back into the Jungle of our childhood.
So, for those of you who are new to the world of The Jungle Book– it is a collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling, that came out in 1894. The most notable of this revolves around a “man-cub” named Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in the Jungle. Raksha is the she-wolf who nurtures him as one of her own while Akela is the pack leader, the alpha male. Baloo, the bear, Bagheera, the panther, are also an integral part of Mowgli’s life in the Jungle. Everything goes fine till Shere Khan, the tiger, decides to kill Mowgli. What happens after that forms the crux of the story.
Right from the time word got around that there is going to be a movie on The Jungle Book, it got me excited. I bet I wouldn’t have been the only one. And from there, it only got better. The trailer was magnificent. Full of promises. And the cast seemed even more promising. When Ben Kingsley lends his voice for Bagheera, little else can go wrong. Not to be left far behind, Gulzar and Vishal Bharadwaj recreated the magic of the jungle by breathing some fresh air into the nostalgic “Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai” classic from the 90s show.
With all this happening, I was excited about going for the movie, and what better way to celebrate the jungle than watching the magic unleash before your eyes on IMAX. From the word go, I was enthralled and transported to a different world, a different dimension- a dimension where animals spoke! I was left wondering if the animals on screen were indeed actually, just animation! The effects were too good! The background score was perfect. And full credits to Neel Sethi. He brought Mowgli alive on the screen. Must have been tough for a little kid to bring out all those emotions standing in front of a green screen. But he was just brilliant. That too, for a debutant. Credits are also due to the entire cast. Their voices brought each of the characters alive, on the screen. Ben Kingsley (as Bagheera), Bill Murray (as Baloo), Scarlett Johansson (as Kaa), Idris Elba (as Shere Khan).. wow.. that sure is power-packed. Every single one of them did a good job! My personal vote goes to Bill Murray.. he definitely made Baloo funnier than he already is! 😀
Now, do you need even more reasons to watch this movie? If you are looking for some kind of a message, then the movie has that as well- No matter who you are or where you are, sometimes you just have to be yourself to get past that hurdle. Where you come from doesn’t define you. It’s what you do that defines you!
Just go watch the movie people!! Trust me, totally worth every single penny! 🙂