Monday, April 18, 2016

The Jungle Book - Oo-oo-oo I want to be like you-ou-ou!

Not sure if you heard but The Jungle Book came out this last weekend and it is making more than a distant drumbeat among movie-goers. Opening weekend receipts topped out at over $100 million and with 94% of critics and 92% of audiences giving it a thumbs up on Rotten Tomatoes you can be sure word of mouth will spread quicker than a jungle fire and the money will keep rolling in for some time with this one. 
So the obvious question is whether it matches the opening hype and whether it's worth the trip to the big screen. And let me just come right out and tell you - if you have seen the original (you know, the classic from 1967?) - well this is just about every way.
The beautiful, rich and stunning imagery is awesome and I know that the word "awesome" seems like a bit of a modern and casual word but it truly is...awesome!
The cast is perfect and I am going to say cast because while someone told me that this was a film full of computer generated imagery (CGI) I didn't see it and I don't believe it. I was watching the real Mowgli with real animals that somehow talked and I understood them and they were real! It was all so real. You will be terrified by Idris Elba's Shere Khan because he is a real tiger and he is standing snarling and scheming in front of you. You will fall in love with Bill Murray's older, wiser but still bumbling Baloo. You will be bowled over by Christopher Walken's King Louie and hypnotized by Scarlett Johansson's entrancing Kaa and impressed with the smooth, serene sleekness of Ben Kingsley's Bagheera. But still the star of the show is Neel Seethi's Mowgli. He somehow just is Mowgli - young and naive and scared and brave and clumsy but clever as he makes his journey through the jungle from man-cub to man.
Award season is a long way away, with many contenders to come but Jon Favreau and his team just outdid a classic by recreating just enough familiar imagery from the original and mixing it with the best technology and craftsmanship and imagination Hollywood has to offer today.
I'm just imagining, somewhere in the old archives, the original can be heard playing on an old projector. And there in the dark, in the flickering frames, deep in the jungle, the faint echoes of old King Louie can be heard singing homage to this masterpiece of a movie, "Oo-oo-oo want to be like you-ou-ou"...

Go see this movie, go see it in all its glorious colour and 3D, go and enjoy what movies were made for! This is a family experience, a movie experience, an experience no-one should miss.

No comments: