THE LION KING MOVIE REVIEW

Review By : Movie Run Time : 1 hour 58 minutes Censor Rating : U

THE LION KING CAST & CREW
Production: Fairview Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen Direction: Jon Favreau Screenplay: Jeff Nathanson Music: Hans Zimmer Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel

Whenever Disney runs out of ideas for a script, they end up rehashing a yesteryear classic that enjoys a glorious afterlife (thanks to the repeated television premieres). The recent addition to this list is 'The Lion King', a reboot of a 1994 classic of the same name. The new version directed by Jon Favreau presents a photorealistic world of animals talking and hierarchy within the animal kingdom.

Set in a picturesque jungle, 'The Lion King' tells the story of Simba, a young lion, and his ascend to the top of the forest's food chain by becoming the king, whilst battling the reign of Scar, who is responsible for the death of his father, the then king Mufasa. The Lion King starts with a rousing moment, a ceremony where Mufasa reveals his newborn cub to the creatures. The scene's impact is heightened by the song 'The circle of life'. With that, one can gauge that the film does a neat job of being completely faithful to the original.

A young Simba is eager to follow his father's gigantic footsteps. In that quest, he ends up, along with his friend Nala, in a forbidden graveyard populated by Hyenas. Mufasa rescues him for the first time, but still, the young cub becomes prey to the evil uncle Zod's manipulation, which leads to a turn of events that scars Simba to life. As a result, the terrified scion retreats to a paradise-like place that is populated by beings that normally falls prey to his species.

The tragic tone dissolves for a moment as Simba meets the warthog Pumba and a meerkat named Timon on the way. There are plenty of moments that act as a throwback to the original, which has occupied a 'lion's share' of our pop-culture universe. Simba's fatherly bonding with Mufasa is one of the most endearing moments of the film.

However, in terms of storytelling, the film doesn't offer anything new. The retelling fails to present a new perspective. The photorealistic animation does its best to portray a brooding picture, but it really nullifies the whimsical nature of the film's song sequences, an aspect that made the original more special. The visuals, to a greater extent, achieve a lending personality to the characters. Their facial expressions do not feel restricted and convey their underlying emotion in a palpable way.

The climactic moments has the required amount of turbulence. Simba's journey from a reluctant heir to a confident saviour is well-portrayed, despite relying heavily on the usual tropes and archetypes. One wishes that Nala's character could've been more powerful. Despite the overbearing familiarity, 'The Lion King' carries some imaginative flourishes, one such instance includes the wonderful scene where Rafiki, the soothsaying monkey, finds out about Simba's existence. Overall, The Lion King is a line-by-line adaptation that engages the one who is less familiar with the original.

THE LION KING VIDEO REVIEW

Verdict: 'The Lion King' is a faithful and engaging retelling of a classic, that has nothing new to offer!

BEHINDWOODS REVIEW BOARD RATING

2.75
2.75 5 ( 2.75 / 5.0 )

PUBLIC REVIEW BOARD RATING

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