He in in London today where it is cold and damp too.
From the get-go The Jungle Book is a stunning experience. With GCI animals, beautiful locations and a confident child actor, actor/director Jon Favreau has crafted a much darker and faithful looking-to- the-original adventure story, that at times literally transports you into the India, you just know Kipling would have filmed if he had computer software back in 1894)
It is, quite simply, magnificent to look at with several set pieces- a buffalo stampede (stolen shamelessly from The Lion King) and the opening chase sequence being standouts.
Early on in the movie, even though he follows the 1967 cartoon plot, it is clear that Favreau wanted to be faithful to the original stories which relied heavily on the animal folklore and emphasis on drama and language but when the slightly more comic character of Balooi arrives (The bear being played by Bill Murray), he looses his nerve and brings in a more Americanised feel to the whole movie. The standout set piece songs from the cartoon (The Bare Necessities & I wanna be like you) are reprised albeit briefly, and Mowgli (a delightful Neel Sethi) noticeably starts using words like "Buddy" and phrases like "let's get on with it!"
Even one of the minor animal characters refer to being "exfoliated" after being licked by Baloo, a fact which I am sure would have had Kipling crying into his cup of chai
|Shere Khan attacks an unsuspecting Mowgli|
Ben Kingsley gives the panther Bagheera a suitable dignity, Lupita Nyong'o's Wolf mother is surprisingly moving in most of her scenes and Idris Elba is quite superb in his role of Shere Khan, his voice skills mating the stunning CGI version of the damaged Tiger.
Favreau has crafted a fine film here. Rich and satisfying and a total treat for the senses, I truly loved it.
However, if he had held his nerve and returned the entire script to Kipling's historic Raj language this good movie would have been in my opinion, a great one.