‘Jungle Book’ swings into theaters

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The originaly version of the movie ‘The Jungle Book’ was released on October 18, 1967 and will always be loved for its kindred spirit that reminds many of us of our childhood. “The Jungle Book” was then remade and released on April 15, 2016. The film falls into the genres of adventure, drama, and fantasy.

Jon Faveau directed the film and Justin Marks wrote the screenplay. “The Jungle Book” movie is also based on “The Jungle Book,” a work of fiction by Rudyard Kipling written in 1894. The film received an eight out of 10 on IMDb, a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and worldwide on opening day grossed $59 million.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Jungle Book” became India’s highest-grossing Hollywood film [because of] nostalgia for Mowgli and local language versions lead to more than $24 million in ticket sales.” Even though the beautiful CGI created for “The Jungle Book” makes the viewer feel that the movie was filmed in India, it was actually filmed in a soundstage in Los Angeles, Calif.

On set was 12 year old Neel Sethi, who did an outstanding job playing the role of Mowgli. Sethi should be recognized for his ability to perform well alone on set, without the cues from other actors, because it was not till after filming that his furry friends would be created and added to the film.

Each of the voices for the animals were recorded in recording studios, since the characters would be made with CGI later . Some of the cast for the voices in “The Jungle Book” included: Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha and Scarlette Johansson as Kaa. The whole cast was perfectly selected.

The film was beautifully made. Each scene was breathtaking; the digital effects and graphics did not provide an artificial or a cheesy aesthetic, rather, they effectively constructed a magical jungle-universe. A scene that particulary stuck out was the one in which   the magnificant and devious serpent, Kaa, ensares Mowgli by playing on his naivete and innocence. The way in which her voice echoed all around the theater coupled with the thick fog that bathed the forest effectively produced a sense of spookiness that left any viewer waiting to take another bite of their popcorn.

Yes, part of this movie’s success is the wondrous digital effects that enthrall the viewer deep into the forest, but what truly makes this movie so grand is actually the various deeper meanings that are neatly embedded between the adventure and songs.

“The Jungle Book” highlights much larger themes, that is, man’s ever-growing fascination with destruction of mother nature as epitomized by the use and misuse of the red flower, the unwavering and powerful care that family and friends provide as seen through the lens of Raksha, Baloo and Bagheera and the obvious relentless but neverthless understandable sensation of revenge as embodied by Shere Khan.

Thus the movie exquisitely intertwines the pomp and splendor of this beloved childhood story while also commenting on many larger, important themes.

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