An orphan boy is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther.
Cast: Neel Sethi & voices by Nana Patekar, Irrfan Khan, Om Puri, Priyanka Chopra, Shefali Shah
Director: Jon Favreau
“How old are you?” asked my Mom when I told her I was going to watch The Jungle Book. 😛
Every 90’s kid knows why we went to watch this movie. Nostalgia! We relived our childhood in that hour & a half when we were in the theater with our favourite childhood besties, Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo, Shere Khan, etc. My Sundays used to start with Mowgli. The one reason I used to wake up early, wash my hair & sit with my breakfast in front of the TV. Even today the “jungle jungle baat chali hai” jingle makes me tear up as I am transported to that wonderful childhood.
What I liked:
- Mowgli, Baloo & Bagheera: No movie on The Jungle Book can be perfect till you have got these three characters right! Neel Sethi is perfect as Mowgli. Baloo as the Punjabi munda with his dry humour is different from the one we know from our Doordarshan days but still equally endearing & cute. Bagheera as the reticent guardian completes the trio.
- Kaa: How fabulous was Priyanka Chopra as Kaa?! Her voice was mesmerizing as she hissed & slithered & trapped Mowgli in her seductive voice.
- CGI: The CGI was so good that the movie has been given a U/A certificate (parental supervision necessary). The animals seem to leap out of the screen at the audience & make for a thrilling watch.
- The climax: The climax was brilliantly shot. Inspite of knowing how it all ends one cannot help but feel a little apprehensive, so terrifying was Shere Khan in the last scene.
- Perfect Voice over artist selection: Many a times when English movies are dubbed in Hindi the effect is lost due to bad voice overs. Fortunately that wasn’t the case here & the voices were so good that I never missed the originals. Priyanka Chopra deserves a special mention here as she was outstanding in her role as Kaa. How I wish she had more screen time.
What I did not like:
- Shere Khan: I won’t say I disliked Nana Patekar’s voice for Shere Khan completely but sometimes in some scenes I felt he could have done much better. Like in the introduction scene Shere Khan just lacked the punch which was so much needed. He more than makes up for it in his final confrontation with Mowgli but I had gone in expecting a voice over with the rich baritone of Amitabh Bacchan or Amrish Puri (yes I know he is dead) & then Nana Patekar…it just fell short of my expectations.
- King Louie: What was that? Why was he even there? It was the only boring part in the whole movie.
- The songs: Not a single song was worth remembering, let alone humming after leaving the theater.
To make up for the bad songs, here is the one true Jungle Book song 🙂 No post on the Jungle Book can be complete without listening to this gem