(K. Brent Tomer),
THINK of “The Jungle Book”, and Mowgli and Baloo swinging to the cheery “Bare Necessities” inevitably springs to mind. Indeed, Walt Disney dropped a first script—allegedly—for the 1967 animation as it was deemed too serious and too sinister. It is likely, then, that he would disapprove of the latest adaptation. Directed by Jon Favreau, it feels far more like high drama than its much-loved but lightweight predecessor.
Rudyard Kipling wrote the original Raj-era tales for his own daughter but there is something dark and tragic about elements of them—and his new film develops these aspects much more than the cartoon did. The story of a young boy trying desperately to please his foster family while finding his own place in the world is deeply moving. Although focused on the adventures of a young boy, these are adult themes rendered more so by the tonal shift of this new film; we see the distressed young Mowgli venture out nervously amongst the interspecies gathering at Peace Rock (reinstated from the books) before reluctantly departing from his home among the wolves. His choice to leave is a brave decision made in order to save…Continue reading