‘The Jungle Book’ makes a wild debut

By Jasmin Faisal
On April 19, 2016

Disney released its live-action remake of “The Jungle Book” on Friday, much to the delight of fans everywhere.

In its opening weekend, the film has already made $103.6 million in North America alone, according to CNN Money. It received high acclaim as well, scoring an A on CinemaScore and a earning a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Although darker than the original movie, “The Jungle Book” has much to offer for both old and new fans.

Ben Kingsley voiced Bagheera in this production, giving a regal tone to the protective panther. Kingsley gave a quality performance as he portrayed the stern, yet caring Bagheera and his willingness to defend the man-cub Mowgli, no matter the personal cost.

Idris Elba’s gave a chilling take on Shere Khan as he ruthlessly pursues Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi.

Lupita Nyong'o commanded the audience’s attention with her presence as Raksha, the mother wolf, and invoked a powerful emotional response from as she protected her family.

Bill Murray’s performance as Baloo was just as funny as the original, as he cracked jokes all while looking out for Mowgli’s best interest.

Some may question why Scarlett Johansson was cast as Kaa, giving so much star power such little screen time. However, her performance as the hypnotic Indian python was memorable.

Christopher Walken’s performance as King Louie, whose character was changed from an orangutan to a gigantopithecus, could also be viewed as a misstep in the eyes of some critics.

Singing was scarce throughout the movie, unlike in the original Disney film, but certain fan favorites such as “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan’na Be Like You” were included. However, their effectiveness is a topic of some debate.

The cinematography and special effects were breathtaking. The CGI effects were masterfully done, and the look and feel of the characters created an almost seamless image of Rudyard Kipling’s original story.

This journey of self-discovery will grip audience’s hearts, with a shock that will leave them gasping for air.

Although the film is more faithful to the book than the 1967 animated Disney movie, taking direct quotes, the movie ignited nostalgia in fans of the original film. Both old and new fans introduced to Disney will love this modern take on a classic tale, making this film one for the ages.

 

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