This review will include spoilers.
I have so many thoughts when it comes to this movie. My first is that I believed it to be better than Disney’s version of The Jungle Book. The second is that, this is gritty…and sad.
Sometimes I think it’s hard for people to view stories like this as they exist in their own universe. Somehow Disney monopolized these stories so that any other adaption is just seen as a remake of their version; when in reality, the story was never theirs to tell.
I will say that I read a few other reviews of this movie that say some pretty interesting things. For instance, one critic said that the addition of Bhoot to the storyline was unnecessary.
The opposite of that is true.
BHOOT WAS NECESSARY! HE WILL ALWAYS BE NECESSARY.
I feel a little way about Bhoot because he reminds me of my puppy, Domino, who was poisoned. You can read more about the sweet memory of my baby here. But, he was needed in a way that I think many people may have missed.
He was essential to explain deeper motives and served as such a call to action that the remainder of the movie hung on. Aside from him being the spirit of all good dogs, who just seek love and acceptance, Bhoot proved a point, even in death.
You can not survive in the world alone.
This is going to bring me to tears all over again.
No one can survive on their own. Despite how many social media influencers and celebrities make you believe the world is self-made, because of a me-first attitude.
Some of the loneliest people have an entourage.
That’s where Bhoot’s lesson comes in. He was bullied relentlessly for being born albino. His only friend was Mowgli, but once Mowgli disassociated himself and cast Bhoot away, in a very heartbreaking scene, the next time we see that sweet puppy is stuffed and mounted on a spike.
That scene itself may just be a little too much for younger viewers because I sat with my mouth gapped wide open in full shock. Trauma definitely started to set in right there.
Let this movie exist in it’s own world. Not the Disney Universe. There’s a scene when Shere Khan, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, finally catches up with Mowgli with the help of the Monkey People and leaves him this scratch that’s so nasty it made me shudder. For the rest of the movie after that scratch, my eyes always caught it and as soon as I did, I would have to say: “Gah, that is such a nasty scratch…”
I like the deviation from what I’ve known The Jungle Book to be about. This provided a much more realistic retelling of what life with a wolf mother, uncle panther and grandpa bear would essentially look like in a fantasy world.
The world is dangerous out there. Hunt or be hunted.