Amazing visuals, cute characters, and great voice acting.
Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is a human boy who was found by Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley) a panther, who then brought him to live with the wolf pack. Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) adopted him as one of her own cubs. However, one day Shere Khan (Idris Elba) a tiger who was scarred by a human, appears and makes it clear that he resents Mowgli’s intrusion of the jungle. Shere Khan will stop at nothing to hunt Mowgli down, and while running from him, Mowgli meets Baloo (Bill Murray) who teaches him the good life. Directed by Jon Favreau.
Sethi does a great job at carrying the whole film by himself. The visual imaging of the film reminds me of Life of Pi, as the film was mostly made in CGI. However, in this case, there is absolutely no other human being other than Mowgli, and this makes his performance all the more exceptional. Adding to that, this is his first movie, and for such a young and (mostly) inexperienced child actor, he does an amazing job. His innocence shines through, and though a little awkward at times, he delivers his lines well. The other voice actors did a great job with their characters too. I especially liked Murray, Kingsley, and Elba’s performance. They really embodied and contributed convincingly in portraying their characters. Basically, everyone did a great job.
The main props goes to the visual effects department for being able to create such real, and detailed images of the jungle and the animals in it. The colour on screen is so vivid and make landscapes great to look at. However, there are some instances during action scenes where the point of view shot moves too much. Though I guess it could actually be a camera that films Mowgli, the constant switching and shaking of the camera is too much.
While the story was interesting (though not sure if it followed the older version), the names and obvious accents of some characters make me question what the film is trying to suggest to audiences. Also, only Sethi is of Indian descent, and the rest of the cast is not, which isn’t uncommon for Hollywood, but the film is (I’m guessing) based in an Indian jungle. Therefore, should have a majority of an Indian cast, if not, change the name of the animals.
Overall, this was an engaging and visually stunning film depicting the moral of being true to oneself.
PROS: Visuals, acting, characters
CONS: Shaky camera work, stereotypes
I give this an 8/10.
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