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Tag: Ben Kingsley

The Jungle Book Review (2016)

Adorable and adhering to the tale.

HISTORICAL IMPORT

The Jungle Book has a special place in our hearts. Some fail to fathom the hype in our heads. We have waited impatiently for this movie to release and jog us down the forgotten memory lane ever since the news broke loose. The sole reason: 1989 show Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli! The dubbed TV show used to be our all-time favourite. Its outspread wings covered more than 20 languages all across the globe, a commendable feat to score even during that span. The acclaim was such that its song would be on every child’s lips. That explains our inane fandom behind it.

Coming across the Rudyard Kipling excerpt was enthralling too as images from the anime would come running down to fill the voids. Every character had a face. Every word had a voice. My fanatic knew no bound when I heard it was going big screen.

THE JUNGLE BOOK DIRECTION

Now that we have finally arrived at a juncture where Jon Favreau has successfully helmed the gorgeous telling story to justify the awesome Kipling book, it is hard not to give him an ovation. With a superb CGI that walks hand in hand with realistic looking animals and endearing voiceovers, The Jungle Book era seems to have finally met a new high. The kind we, as diehard fans, were looking for. Whilst little has been done to mould the plot, which is by the way just perfect, we are racing down to meet exceptional twists and turns in its impending installments. Way to go Favreau!

CHARACTERS BROUGHT TO LIFE

Shere Khan is simply a badass. He carries a demonic mien that will give you the chills looking at him. Idris Elba takes him to fearsome heights. Baloo’s entry is well thought of and perfected by Bill Murray. Ben Kingsley imparts a thoughtful grim demeanour to Bagheera. You cannot ignore Christopher Walken’s perfect voice for King Louie. He puts life into that animal. Lupita as Raksha is magnificent. Adorable wolf-cubs in the movie will fill your heart up with delight.

Screenplay is kind of average, sticking to origins at times, sometimes swaying, but not really that powerful.

DOWNSIDES TO THE JUNGLE BOOK

The parts that I didn’t like much were these trivial insignificant things which I choose to ignore:

Starting off with Neel Sethi, we could have done better. The lad, although great in resemblance, doesn’t really fit the bill. He looks absent emotionally as he if knew he was surrounded by CGI and not the real deal. Favreau fails to milk his emotions enough. Sentient things seemed aloof. Sometimes the CGI would dwindle when showing movements of animals and things would awkwardly move into the animated horizon. But still it all held up pretty fine. The end result we get is The Jungle Book we have always wanted as a kid.

Now that we have a darker version under the anvils (The Andy Serkis version) it would be intriguing to see towards which abyss this tale steers toward.

Exodus Gods and Kings Review (2014) | A bland depiction of the Moses tale

Exodus Gods and Kings is insipid, bland and weak but carries all along that Ridley flair that we all adore. We all know the Moses story, right? Now take that and start abruptly with a war no one cares for, a prophecy that isn’t theatrical and the crucial intricate past that gets narrated via the narration of Ben Kingsley. Disaster huh? Okay, so Exodus Gods and Kings stood quite next to it.

The fact that Ridley Scott was making this epic saga into a movie was a big adrenaline rush per se. So hitting the theatres with mighty expectations was only customary.

Breaking Down Exodus Gods and Kings

The tale starts out of the blue from a mere conversation about Hittite wars and a prophecy that comes from Seti entailing a man saving another who would become the leader. A weird way to start the movie actually. Nothing theatrical about it too.

The flick lacks focus. Where story building was important, frames are clearly skipped as we caper around on to different screens without finding proper closure.

Still of Joel Edgerton and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings

Plot Spoilers Ahead

There are some crucial elements in Ridley’s direction that simply cannot be shaken off:

Plagues that plagued Egypt were subtly shown. We find a guy who endeavours to reason everything happening with a logical explanation. Scott as an atheist does try his best to manifest Malak, the messenger of God, subtly after a blow on Moses’s head knocks him out. A couple of shots of Joshua sneaking in to find Moses talking to nobody, depicts that Malak could only be a figment in his head and that everything happened without a Godly venture. The practicality of the low tides, the sea drying out and cyclones seemed to usher in a new age thinking that Ridley perfected. Yet, there was a subconscious Hebrew-helper that seemed to work in Moses’s favor all the time.

Still of Joel Edgerton as Ramses in Exodus Gods and Kings movie

You sleep well because you’re loved. I’ve never slept that well.

Climactic bits of Exodus: Gods and Kings were great to watch. The ending wraps up with ‘For my brother Tony’ that takes you some years back to the unfortunate death of Tony Scott. It was a warm gesture. And Respect!

You can order Exodus Gods and Kings from here:


Other Characters in Exodus: Gods and Kings

Even though the visuals were great, most of the movie ran dark. Aaron Paul is simply there. A mere observer. He has the most limited lines and gawks at Moses madness for hours. Falling for Zipporah is sour. It lacked drama. Joel Edgerton being a great actor ends up moderating perversion. Christian Bale looks great as Moses but doesn’t impress much.

There are so many minute details in the Exodus story that has simply gone unnoticed owing to the compact tale Scott wove. My advice: Make it a TV Series instead and justice shall be done!

Haven’t watched The Ten Commandments but from what I gather it was still better.

If you want to watch a good Exodus story, just watch the animated flick ‘The Prince of Egypt’. Way better than this one!

Check out the trailer of Exodus Gods and Kings movie here: