The Jungle Book.

I went to see the new ‘Jungle Book’ last weekend, at the Curzon Cinema in Sheffield. It is a great film that honoured the original plot, bringing back some great memories from my childhood. It really does justice to the animated classic. The only real difference was that it was live action!  I can’t really fault anything about the film, I can say I experienced every emotion whilst watching it! Overall, I would give the film a solid 9/10. It was a real easy-going film that was a really enjoyable watch!

The Jungle Book (2016) is a live- action adaptation of The Jungle Book (1967). It follows the journey of a man cub named Mowgli (Neel Sethi) in the jungle. He has been raised by a pack of wolves and has lived in the jungle for as long as he can remember. His stand in parents are Akela (Giancarlo Esposito), the head of the pack and Raksha (Lupita Nyongo’o), who is the only mother he has ever known. Shere Khan (Idris Elba) hunts down the man cub and declares that he does not belong in the jungle, resulting in Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), a good friend of Mowglis to take action and return him to the man village. Mowgli also has the help from a friendly bear Baloo (Bill Murray) and also meets many other animals along the way.

I was overly surprised to find out that the whole of the film was made with CGI: absolutely fantastic CGI as it happens! It all looked so realistic. Huge congratulations to the visual effects team for creating such a breathtaking, lifelike and realistic film, in live action, that replicates the cherished animated original perfectly! The CGI animals are also outstanding and unbelievably life like. The impressive environment created the sense that you were in the jungle yourself, with the added spectacular sounds of a real jungle complimenting the setting wonderfully. Although the film follows the original, Director Jon Favreau has installed some surprises along the way which enhance the film greatly. So your not just going to watch a complete live action replica of the original, you will experience even more detail surrounding such a treasured story.

The casting is spectacular, with every voice matching each character to perfection. Young Sethi plays an outstanding performance for a newcomer, fitting into the role of Mowgli superbly. He has a lot of talent that will take him far within the industry. Ben Kingsley plays the assertive and captivating companion Bagheera fantastically. His strong and manipulative tone of voice fit the role magnificently. Murray also played a blinding performance as Baloo, really bringing so much fun and enjoyment to the film. His happy and fulfilling persona really made Baloo stand out as the comical character in this film. Christopher Walken stood out to me, with his performance as King Louie. It was absolutely brilliant and there’s not much more I can say about it, other than it really was my highlight of the film when he arrived. He really made me laugh out loud! I was quite disappointed at how small of a part Scarlett Johansson had, playing Kaa. She was only on our screens for five minutes but again played a great part as the manipulative snake! I would have liked to have seen more of that character throughout the film.

Although I love the songs the original displays, I’m glad that Favreau decided not to include them all, turning the film into more of a musical. The film used two of the most popular songs ‘The Bare Neccessities’ and ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ in a great and enjoyable way. The Bare Neccessities stood out to me as a brilliant replica of the original song played down a river, between Mowgli and Baloo.

In my eyes The Jungle Book is something you must go and see, for an really enjoyable watch with family and friends. The setting, characters and familiar story all combined, make what I think is an outstanding film!

Have you seen the film yet? What did you think of it?
Let me know,
Emily Jane

*image is not my own.