Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

This is not the animated version of the All the Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling like the previous Disney movies. There are no songs and happy beasts dancing in the jungle. This live action film utilizes motion capture to bring the animals to life. Who knows better about motion capture than Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes) at the helm with a script by Callie Kloves. It's a dark and more adult version of the story of a young boy raised by wolves. Beautiful to behold, but definitely not recommended for younger children.

Rohan Chand was 10 years old at the time of filming as the young Mowgli. As a baby his parents were killed by Shere Khan the Bengal tiger (Benedict Cumberbatch) and left alone. He's rescued by Bagheera the Black panther (Christian Bale) who brings him to the wolf pack. The Indian wolf pack lead by Akela (Peter Mullan) agrees to keep the man cub sensing that there is something special about the young boy who shows no fear. Andy Serkis as Baloo the Himalayan brown bear teaches the young pups the rules of the jungle. They all have to be ready for the ultimate test that will make them hunting members of the pack. Mowgli suffers from the bullying from some of the young wolves except for Bhoots (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) who has a bad leg. Neither can be as fast since Mowgli is hampered by having to run on all fours. Fortunately Baloo shows him how to take advantage of his human form by climbing trees and jumping from branches. He discovers the scary monkey people and connects with the mythical elephant.

Mowgli often watches the human village. Bagheera knows that eventually the man cub may have to return to his own kind. Especially since Khan wants to take over the jungle and eat the boy. Khan has been killing the villagers cows thereby putting the pack in danger from human hunters. Khan is not the only one that becomes a threat to Mowgli. There is the giant python Kaa (Cate Blanchett), the hyena Tabaqui (Tom Hollander) and even a human hunter (Matthew Rhys). The young man cub has to grow up pretty quickly and find out how he fits into this world of humans and animals.

There are somewhat disturbing moments that may not be appropriate for the young ones. Like Mowgli under water holding his breath while watching Khan washing his bloody muzzle. The fighting of the wolves trying to dethrone Akela. The Monkey people attacking Bagheera and Baloo when Mowgli is captured. And the hunter's taxidermy table. Since this is on Netflix, one should preview the film before hand before letting the kids watch.

Rohan Chand breathes life into the young Mowgli. His eyes express the wonder of the world around him trying to understand the contradictions of the jungle rules and the human world. There should be a follow up to this story.
(Review by reesa)

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