This is a wonderful film, which is an updated version of the original Disney animated feature released in 1967. Both films are based on some Rudyard Kipling works, including his poem, “The Law of the Jungle.” The cinematography and special effects are superb, allowing the viewer to become immersed in the compelling story and the beautiful jungle where it takes place. The film was directed with TLC by Jon Favreau.
Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is a young boy living in the jungle. He is being looked after by his original guardian, a black panther, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), who has also entrusted him to a wolf, Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o), and her pack. However, a vicious Bengal tiger, Shere Kahn (Idris Elba), wants Mowgli “out-of-the-picture,” so he must flee his jungle home. During his odyssey, Mowgli meets Baloo the Bear (Bill Murray), an anaconda, Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), and a mafioso-like orangutan, King Louie (Christopher Walken). The film has a couple of good songs, plenty of humor, and ample suspense. Robin and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Although I usually don’t add a psychodynamic perspective to my reviews, the film will resonate with almost everyone. Within the jungle of our unconscious lurks primitive rage (symbolized by the tiger and fire), usually at one or more nuclear family members. This rage must be faced and integrated into our psyches, in order for us to be relatively-free from anxiety and have fulfilling interpersonal relationships.