Jon Favreau is slowly becoming one of my favourite directors, his latest film The Jungle Book has convinced me even more. There were absolutely no faults whatsoever with the production of this film, the visuals were completely stunning, to the point where I had to remind myself that Kaa was not a real giant snake. The cinematography from Bill Pope was so clever, the way the camera followed the characters and caught every single emotion was genius.
The casting was probably 99% accurate for me, I have to admit (and this is hopefully going to be the only time I will ever say this) I didn’t like Idris Elba. I think for the character in question, Sher Khan, needed a much more menacing voice, he needed to be intimidating and passionate but also with a hint of crazy and unfortunately, for me, I think Idris’ voice is too smooth and velvety for that particular role.
I really loved all the other characters, I think Bagera is my favourite, Sir Ben Kingsley did a wonderful job in capturing the wisdom and age that comes with that character. Also, King Louis was fabulous, I loved the size they made him, I think that helped with making him seem like the secondary villain, which is how he is supposed to be. Christopher Walken was fantastic. The only thing I didn’t like about that particular scene was when he burst into song, yes ok I get that the audience wanted to hear the original songs from the original film which is fine (I too wanted to hear some links to the animated classic) however, I feel when the song started it took away from the seriousness of the scene and made it too comical which didn’t seem to flow. I think that song should have been kept for the credits to add a bit of comic relief to the end of the film.
I did, however, love when Baloo and Mowgli sang The Bare Necessities, that was beautiful and warming and funny, just like Baloo’s character.
Neel Sethi played a fantastic Mowgli, his childish behaviour and rawness was so clear and enjoyable to watch.
For me the absolute highlight of the film, what made it as perfect as it was, was the soundtrack. The music was absolutely stunning and the closing scene, when Mowgli is running like a man, not a wolf, has one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.
(Oh – and the wolf cubs are reaaaaaally cute!)
Overall I absolutely loved the film, when the opening credits started I felt myself becoming slightly nervous because I have been anticipating the release of this film for a really long time and I was pleasantly surprised. Disney have done it again, and no matter how much people (myself included) moan about the constant stream of live action remakes, they never fail to impress.
I can’t wait for many more to come!
Thank you Disney for doing what you do best.