Here there is another live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s novel ‘The Jungle Book’. Watching The Jungle Book again would not be new to us as all of us would have seen it at a point of time in your life. Well, for me it was those cartoon series which ran for many seasons. In 2016, Disney had already made a live-action version of this with Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame directing it. Since it was a Disney movie, it tended to be in a lighter tone and colorful. But this version directed by Andy Serkis (best known for his motion capture acting in King Kong and Planet of the apes series) has a different perspective and a darker tone to it
The man world is attacked by the wild and Sher Khan (the tiger) kills most of the humans and hunts their cattle. He kills a woman and leave her baby abandoned. The baby gets taken up by Bhageera (Panther) and left to grow along a pack of wolves led by Akela (Wolf Pack leader). The baby grows to be Mowgli, the man-cub who becomes one among the pack and gets trained as one of them by the bear Baloo. Sher Khan knowing that Mowgli belongs to the man world is awaiting to kill him and threatens the pack.
Meanwhile the man village brings a hunter to hunt the tiger down. Bhageera hints Mowgli that it is not safe for him to be in the pack or in the jungle and that his real safety would be along with the humans. But Mowgli refuses to go and then at a point he is being casted out of the jungle by Akela. Mowgli now gets along with the village people and gains their trust by making friends and settling with them.
Sher Khan creates a problem among the pack and divides the jungle thus causing a chaos. Mowgli is asked to come back and fight for the pack which he refuses in the beginning. Later he joins the fight and destroys Sher Khan thus becoming the leader of the pack and the jungle.
First all, this movie is not for kids and they will definitely not like this version because of its bloody fight sequences and darker tone. All A-list actors have rendered voice and given life to their characters. Christian Bale as Bhageera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the mighty Sher Khan are my favourites.
The story is almost the same across all adaptations but there are some differences compared to the Disney’s version. But I would add this one to my favorite version of Jungle Book for its tone, and story telling. The CGI and special effects could have been better and Disney nailed it in that department already. Since this movie came after the Disney’s version, comparison could not be avoided by audiences and critics alike.
Jack’s Verdict : Andy Serkis had tried to bring in some maturity to this fantasy film, and almost succeeded. So this movie is a sure watch for all the Jungle Book fans, especially for the different take on this story and dark tone.