The Jungle Book Review by Bollywood Hungama
One would expect a sweet fun filled adventure, especially with Disney remaking everyone’s favourite childhood story. But THE JUNGLE BOOK is far from it. In fact the film that combines live action with impeccable CGI animation is quite literally a visual masterpiece. Faverau does a brilliant job of interweaving the gags that we remember from the TV show and the darkness that hides within the lines of the book. This coupled with spot on voiceovers and life like animation takes the audience on a roller coaster ride while following the adventures of Mowgli. Neel Sethi, the 12 year old who was chosen for the part of Mowgli after auditioning over 2000 kids, fits the role perfectly. Not once does he underplay or over emote in any sequence, given the fact that the lad most probably shot major parts of the film against a green screen, a feat that even the most experienced actors might find hard to pull off.
The Jungle Book Review by Shalini Langer on Indian Express
This is The Jungle Book reinvented for 2016 by a director who knows just how to mix the heavy blows with the light touch. It’s a little more reminiscent of the jungle and the book than the 1967 Disney classic, a lot, lot darker, and yet, ultimately as exuberant, with a surprisingly strong and novel message at the heart of it, in a story that already didn’t lack for them.
The Jungle Book Review by Reagan Gavin Rasquinha on The Times Of India
If you go to the cinema to watch a movie that will draw you into a fantasy world of wonder, Favreau’s retelling of this story – which so many of us remember from childhood – manages to weave that magic. We all know how the story plays out. With the panther Bagheera’s (Kingsley) help, Mowgli (Sethi) tries to stay away from Shere Khan. He also encounters the devious python Kaa (Johansson), a super-sized orangutan with a soul-singer’s baritone named King Louie (Walken) desperate to obtain the ‘red flower'( which is fire) and of course, Baloo the grizzly bear (Murray). These are the key characters, but you’ll also be delighted to discover a few new entrants along the way as well. It all builds on the charm of the 1967 film, which by itself is a must watch for any child.
The Jungle Book Review by Aseem Chhabra on Rediff
The film is realistic looking so it is very believable that we are somewhere in a jungle in India and not in a studio in California. The plot of the film is more or less the same as that of the animated work, with a minor change to the ending.
The Jungle Book Review by Jyoti Sharma Bawa on Hindustan Times
Just like the animals, the director turns jungle into a place of fear and, yet, home. From a burst of sunlight and colour in its happy moments, it seamlessly turns into a mist-filled horror with predators lurking at every corner when the mood takes it. Every little detail in this film is rendered with such precision and love that though dangerous, it has enough joie de vivre to carry you along.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
The Jungle Book is a classic genre film that harnesses the inherent strengths of the source material to rustle up a captivating drama that is both epic and intimate. Is it scary, as Pahlaj Nihalani would have us believe? Not the least bit, if one discounts a scene in which Shere Khan lunges at Mowgli. For sure, there isn’t a dull moment in The Jungle Book.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
At less than two hours, editor Mark Livolsi has tried to keep the film crisp, but he hasn’t been able to eliminate the drops in pace, especially in the first half. The narrative picks up steam post interval. The encounters with Shere Khan and their anticipation keep one hooked to the screen. John Debney’s versions of the songs from the 1967 Jungle Book blend into the story seamlessly. Bare Necessities, I Wanna Be Like You and Trust In Me are all reminiscent of their respective originals.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Among the voice-overs, Nana Patekar packs the precise amount of grunt in his dialogues to intimidate and Om Puri’s crackling vocal chords lend him the ability to assume a stern yet amiable uncle image. But the popular favourite will be Irrfan Khan as the lovable, lazy lump of a bear, Baloo. Even his whines and worries score high on cute quotient. Jasleen Singh offers an excited and enthusiastic Mowgli and Shefali Shah as his wolf mother, Raksha Ma, furnishes much concern, care and affection. Priyanka Chopra as the slithering sultry voice of Kaa does little to make the python seem any more sinister and getting Bugs Bhargava Krishna to make a mawali don of King Louie backfires, as it strips the mighty monkey of authority and caricatures him. At a time when works of Blyton, Keene and Kipling fail to interest children — who’d rather swipe away mindlessly on their tablets — this one is a pleasant reminder of what worked once. While the original story has little mystery and would even seem like a lame fantasy today, this adaptation, thanks to its visual bravado, makes it a contemporary classic.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
The story still has the power to make you smile as well as cry and little Neel Sethi as Mowgli will charm you once again. This new Disney is all grown up and very, very welcome.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
The Jungle Book is not just about special effects and technical wizardry. Jon Favreau deserves a pat on his back for infusing the film with scenes that provoke strong emotions. The scenes where Mowgli and his wolf-mother Raksha part ways is sure to bring a lump to your throat while Mowgli’s wolf brother Grey, who pines for his human sibling will make you want to reach out and hug the little tyke. Shere Khan’s hatred for Mowgli is the stuff of nightmares while the final David versus Goliath battle between Mowgli and Khan is simply breath-taking. In conclusion, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book is a treat for viewers of all ages!
Review by Sreeju Sudhakaran on Bollywood Life
Now for the acting part. If any Oscar jury is reading this, it’s my humble request to nominate Neel Sethi in the acting category. The kid’s performance is mind-blowing! It’s not easy to act with nothing but reference points and green screens, but Neel’s performance is what makes everything so believable.Not only is the kid cute, his performance can even give takkar to acting legends. Even the rest of the voice cast, including an affable Bill Murray and a hypnotic Scarlett Johansson is so spot on. Special mention must be given to Idris Elba and Christopher Walken’s casting (they so remind us of their characters in Beasts of No Nations and True Romance respectively). However, forget the top class visual effects…forget the brilliant motion capture technology used here…the real hero of the film is the director Jon Favreau. The man who is the reason why Marvel Cinematic Universe exists in the first place (He directed Iron Man 1 and 2), has taken so much painstaking efforts to bring your childhood back to you. And when I say childhood, I mean not the Shinchan and Pokemon one, but the era before that – the ’90s one! More than the kids, it’s the parents who will enjoy this movie more. And we have to thank Jon Favreau for making us relive our childhood.
Review by Raghav Jaitly on Zeenews
Director Jon Favreau has successfully managed to portray animal emotions and make the audience connect with them. Mowgli’s internal battle to find identity among foreign species will keep you looking for answers. Also, the movie reflects how humans are potentially capable of destroying natural habitat of animals. This is one of the major reasons why the wolfpack wants Mowgli to be raised as one of them and not the humans. ‘The Jungle Book’ is a visual masterpiece that will entice the audiences of all groups. If you are looking for a break from the modern film culture, then don’t waste a moment and grab tickets immediately!
Review by Samrat Choudhury on Deccan Chronicle
The film is very well produced. The effects are spectacular and the performances are good. It is entirely worth watching, but its implicit politics is as troubling as Kipling’s was. Favreau’s version is a story of man versus beast, and perhaps even of man versus nature. It is a story where apes want desperately to become humans – an old colonial way of laughing at natives who want to become sahibs. It is a place where razing people’s home to the ground to win the fight is collateral damage that someone else can fix. It is, in other words, a recognizably real story that perpetuates the colonial and Orientalist worldviews in an unbroken tradition through the centuries from Kipling to Disney to now.
Review by Bryan Durham on DNA India
The good thing about Neel Sethi as jungle boy/man-cub Mowgli is an endearing smile and a face filled with wonderment. For all we know, he must’ve worked only with green screens, making him the only actor we see, the animals are mostly CGI, using the latest photorealistic animation techniques and motion capture technology. It speaks volumes of the boy’s maturity and acting skill in the face of ‘tricks’ that serve to create the illusion of reality. And that’s where we imagine Jon Favreau’s experience comes handy. Not only does he ensure that Neel doesn’t go over-the-top with expressions or articulation. And that’s a blessing. Most child actors sacrifice innocence in emotions for a more worked-on performance.
Review by Johnson Thomas on Mid-Day India
Favreau’s treatment eschews kid friendly conventions and stays clear of sweetened ingratiation. The attempt is to make the coming-of-age experience as grittily thematic, realistic and conscionable as possible. The photo-realism is breathtakingly original and the CGI rendering of the animal fold is exceptionally credible. The drama and treatment may border on conventional but the animal renditions are definitely not. Cinematographer Bill Pope and the VFX team led by Robert Legato and Adam Valdez integrate real time sequences with animation so brilliantly that it’s difficult to pinpoint the differences. It’s seamless, proportionate and way above anything that has come before. A must-see for all – irrespective of species, age or gender!
Review by Rajeev Masand on IBNLive
How do you remake a film that has meant so much to so many people? Good thing director Jon Favreau has the answer. In refashioning Disney’s seminal hit in live action, using the latest computer effects and a whole ensemble of Hollywood A-listers to provide voice-work, Favreau creates an entirely immersive world and a visually stunning film that brings something new to an old story.
The Jungle Book Review by Indiaglitz
In the process, the film considers the literal problems that mankind can leave upon nature, the true meaning of family and the journey of self-discovery that all children must eventually realize and start upon, all put together with breath taking visuals and insight that’s never too sentimental or obvious. Newcomer Sethi, in his first feature appearance, is as instrumental as the movie’s artistic and technical achievements, considering the fact that he’s still a kid put into test with so much of motion capture around.
Review by Subhash K Jha on Bollyspice
The magic of this adaptation is that the animals who appear more humane than human beings, never look down at mankind as sub-human species the way they did in Kipling’s novel. Lurking somewhere in the folds of this enrapturing tale of jungle etiquette are unspoken homilies on the complex relationship between Man and Beast, beautifully and fluently bridged by director Jon Favreau as he sets out to create a world that yokes Man and Nature in a clasp so captivating it makes you gasp. Don’t wait. Just go out this weekend with the kids and re-live one of the most cherished children’s stories told from an adult perspective and yet miraculously maintaining an artless innocence that makes this film entirely winsome experience. And so what if Priyanka doesn’t sing in the Hind version. The film is suffused in the music of the soul.
Review by meeta on Wogma
The film flows along smoothly from one scene to another. But, in some of the fast-paced chase sequences, a few edits – a fall from one rock to another; a swing from one branch to another – are rather badly done. Yes, yes, they are few and far between; and they pass by too quickly to leave a mark. The Jungle Book enthralls with its technical expertise and with its story-telling too. One of those films that takes you back to your childhood and becomes a lovely memory for today’s children.
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