woensdag 4 mei 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 59: The Jungle Book

Director: Jon Favreau
Genre: Adventure/ Drama/ Fantasy
Runtime: 105 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Garry Shandling, Giancarlo Esposito

Description: The man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba). Guided by Bagheera the panther (Ben Kingsley) and the bear Baloo (Bill Murray), Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don't have his best interests at heart.

Review: Director Jon Favreau believed that an animated classic could profit from the modern film techniques. And he was right. With “The Jungle Book” he made one of the most technological advanced remakes.
People were afraid that the animals would sound too human, but it doesn’t. Where the original Disney animation mixed the animals with human stereotypes, this version shows a much more realistic perspective. Elephants are seen as mighty creatures and all the animals kept their animalistic behavior. Fire, tools and people are seen as unnatural, which brings Shere Khan to hunting down Mowgli. The way Shere Khan, Kaa or King Louie respond to humanity, you don’t just see an animal that can talk. You seen actual characters.
The film has a very adult feel to it. The moments where Baloo and Bagheera collide as worried guardians, with complete different ideologies, are the best. Both life lessons aren’t forced. And along the way there are more animals that are trying to influence Mowgli.
The cast is perfect. Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken have fun supporting roles. Both impressive. Ben Kingsley voices Bagheera, who is perfect as the wise panther. But the best roles are for Bill Murray and Idris Elba. The tiger Shere Khan doesn’t only impress because of his calmth and arrogance, but his motivation and temper are also understandable. Bill Murray is the exact opposite as the somewhat laid back and nobel bear Baloo. These two character keep the film balanced.
The only human in the film is Mowgli, played by Neel Sethy. It’s his debut and he does a very good job.
If I were a kid and saw this version of “The Jungle Book”, I wouldn’t stop talking about it. But I’m an adult and I feel exactly the same. This is the best adaptation of the story I ever saw, even better then the animation. Jon Favreau managed to make it a perfect family film, without being to childish or to scary for kids. And it was great from beginning to end, it didn’t have a dull moment. I loved “The Jungle Book”!

Rating: 5/ 5

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