The Jungle Book (2016)

The Jungle Book is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed by Jon Favreau, written by Justin Marks, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s eponymous collective works, the film is a live-action/CGI reimagining of Walt Disney’s 1967 animated film of the same name. The film stars and introduces Neel Sethi as Mowgli and features the voices of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken.

Story wise it’s almost the same as the original film and stayed true to the story. What we learn is that Mowgli was orphaned as a toddler when his father was killed while fighting off the ferocious tiger Sher Khan. Sher Khan was scarred by the fire that Mowgli’s dad used to ward him off and holds a grudge. Mowgli was found by the black panther Bagheera who kept him safe and took him to a pack of wolves led by Akela. The wolves took him in and he was raised just like a son by Akela and his mate Raksha along with their other pups. However Sher Khan threatens his life since man isn’t allowed in the jungle, Mowgli is forced to leave his jungle home guided by Bagheera. But the duo are split up when Sher Khan attacks them and Mowgli finds himself alone. Before a hypnotized Mowgli can he devoured by Kaa the python, he is rescued by Baloo the bear. As a return favour Mowgli helps Baloo get all the honey he wants before Bagheera catches up with them. Bagheera wants Mowgli to move on to safety and reach a human village where he will be cared for but Baloo wants the boy to stay.

After Mowgli saves a young elephant from a pit using his skills and making ropes outta vines, Baloo is forced to pretend he doesn’t want the boy to stay and a hurt Mowgli runs away only to be abducted by monkeys. Mowgli is taken to the smooth-talking Bornean orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus, King Louie, who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly “red flower”(fire). When Bagheera and Baloor intervene there is a fight against the monkeys and Mowgli is able to escape as the temple comes crashing down on Louie. When Mowgli learns that Sher Khan killed Akela and is bossing his old pack, he goes to the village and steals a wooden torch and runs to confront him. Unfortunately the falling embers from the fire causes a forest fire in some areas, which has some animals fearing Mowgli and he is taunted by Sher Khan. The animals attack Sher Khan but he is able to break free and chase Mowgli who lures the tiger to a dying tree and Sher Khan falls to his death into the fires as a branch he is on breaks. Mowgli is hailed as a hero and he returns to his pack and spends his days with his two best friends Bagheera and Baloo.

Scared that this movie would trample upon the loving memory of my childhood I was pleasantly surprised as the movie is indeed a mighty homage to a wonderful story. Everything was good. Full praise to the kid actor in his debut and the actors who voiced and brought life to the animals. 8.5 outta 10!

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