On the weekend of Feb. 2nd, Radford University’s very own R-SPaCE welcomed The Jungle Book into the Bonnie Auditorium. The live action rendition of the Disney classic was met with open arms and nostalgic emotions as students filed into the auditorium to witness the film. Famous celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Idris Elba and Christopher Walken lent their voices to the project and crowds were astonished by the acting by upcoming star Neel Sethi who portrayed Mowgli.
For those like myself who had never seen the Disney original, it was a delightfully emotional film to witness. The overall start of the movie goes over how a small feral child, Mowgli was raised amongst wolves after his father was killed by the tiger Shere Khan. After being attacked by the human and scared, Shere Khan had made it his life mission to harm man and to destroy the ‘red flower’. Mowgli grew up with his wolf family, as well as his guardian, a panther named Bagheera.
Subsequently following a drought, the entire jungle called upon a water truce and for a moment all was peaceful in the land. Eagles alerted the animals of Shere Khan’s presence and they all bared witness to his true hatred of the man-cub. Mowgli sees the serious nature of the threat and decides to leave the pack and the jungle to join his own kind, to save the animals from Shere Khan’s wrath. Going off on his journey alongside Bagheera, he finds himself having to use his tricks and his whit to survive when he and Bagheera are forced apart.
The climax of the movie erupts when Mowgli leaves the grasps of the deathly python, Kaa to the cold cave of none other than the free-spirited Baloo. Known to the jungle as a con-artist Baloo uses Mowgli’s tricks to get a vast amount of honey and finds himself growing close to the man-cub. The two unlikely friends grow a strong relationship as Mowgli is given the option of joining the humans at the village. Choosing to stay with Baloo until winter, they run into trouble when Bagheera returns and then Mowgli is kidnapped be a hoard of monkeys.
Following his abduction, King Louie tries to convince Mowgli into providing him with the one thing that the King does not have, the red flower. Baloo and Bagheera try to save Mowgli from the army of monkeys and end up sharing a secret of the fate of Akela, Mowgli’s old pack leader. Hearing about his old leader and father figure, he runs away and towards the human village. Deciding he had enough running away, Mowgli steals the red flower and runs back into the jungle to fight Shere Khan himself. The Fight drew on into the trees where Mowgli was comfortable and alas Shere Khan was killed with the one thing he feared, the red flower.
We see Mowgli arrive on the back of the jungles most prided animals, the elephants as they changed the flow of the waters tides to put out the fire on the jungle floor. Overall the entire movie was a wonderful journey and I found myself being entranced by the CGI and the voice acting so much that I felt like I was there. The film was entrancing, almost hauntingly so. 5/5.