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YMMV / Mowgli

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  • Awesome Music: Nitin Sawhney's score is this all the way. Kaa's Lair is a particularly memorable melody.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • As with her previous incarnations, Kaa is proven to be popular with the viewers. Especially because this version is supremely badass and terrifying yet a heroic ally to Mowgli, more faithful to the book (not to mention having much more screen time instead of being a One-Scene Wonder as in the 2016 film).
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    • Bhoot, despite being a Canon Foreigner, is generally well-liked by the audience, for being a cheerful and optimistic character who genuinely loves Mowgli, and for having a truly heart-wrenching death.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Has one with fans of Disney's 2016 adaptation. Fans of the 2016 film criticise Mowgli for having a slower paced plot and inferior visual effects note , while others prefer Mowgli due to having better acting and more interesting characters, as well as being its own adaptation of the source material rather than a remake of the original Disney film.
  • He Really Can Act: Even the film's detractors have praised the actors portraying the animals, as they fully embrace their more bestial personalities rather than simply sounding like they're recording from a studio. Cate Blanchett as Kaa has been especially lauded.
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  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: One of the characters is named John Lockwood, named after Rudyard Kipling's father. If he is meant to be the same person, it implies John survived his encounter with Hathi and will tell the stories of Mowgli to his son Rudyard who went on to write the Mowgli stories.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Shere Khan's crossed it ever since the film began, wantonly killing a human family (Mowgli's parents) and breaking the Law of the jungle, which kickstarts the main conflict of the story. He later recalls the attack with unsettling relish. He truly hates mankind more than anything.
    • For Mowgli, Lockwood crossed the line when it was found that he shot and killed Bhoot.
  • Narm:
    • The film gives Shere Khan the seldom seen crippled forepaw of his original counterpart. This looks unintentionally silly when he uses this paw to point and gesture like a human hand, which is only accentuated by the more grounded and natural movements the rest of the animal characters have.
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    • In the climax, Mowgli lures Shere Khan to face him by screaming "KHAAAAAAAAAN!" While this may not have been an intentional Actor Allusion to another character played by Benedict Cumberbatch, it can still be distracting.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Baloo and Bagheera crashing through the ceiling of the monkey temple to come to Mowgli's rescue may be funny, but it doesn't stick jarringly out from the rest of the scene.
    • Shere Khan stresses and emphasizes the word "man" every time he speaks it. This can come off as a little ridiculous, but it's fitting, because he's expressing his unbridled hatred of humans that way.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Many people think it's a case of Follow the Leader after Disney released its own Jungle Book film, but this adaptation was first announced in 2012 actually, about a year before Disney's remake was announced.
    • Mowgli getting his knife from a hunter? That comes from the 1942 film adaptation titled Jungle Book where he got it from Buldeo... whom Lockwood is essentially a British version of.
    • Tabaqui as a hyena first occurred in the anime adaptation, Raksha's name change also originates with that series as does Father Wolf actually having a name where it is not a case of Composite Character where he is combined with Akela or just given the name of a completely different character. The anime adaptation also has the Bandar-Log being allies of Shere Khan and Mowgli killing Shere Khan with a knife.
    • While Bhoot is a Canon Foreigner, one story in The Jungle Book does feature a young albino animal that gets bullied for its color and gets threatened by a human hunter: Kotick, the main character of "The White Seal".
  • Tear Jerker:
    • After Mowgli failed his survival test, Bhoot tries to comfort his best friend. Then Mowgli hurt his feelings to get him to stop. Mowgli tried to apologize and say he didn’t mean it, but Bhoot was already gone.
    • Then here comes the big one: When Mowgli sneaks into his caretaker's tent, he sees Bhoot's decapitated head on a stick - and it's smiling! What's worse than that? The last words Mowgli said to Bhoot was that "he came out wrong". Ouch. Lockwood's utterly chilling description of how "beautiful" Bhoot is, and showing pride in catching him does not help, as he is utterly twisting the knife due to Mowgli's intense guilt. The second Lockwood leaves, Mowgli descends into a flood of tears.
    • Bagheera's entire backstory, and the scene where he lays it out to Mowgli. What makes it even sadder is that Mowgli calls out to him, saying that he loves him; this is enough to bring the panther to tears by the end of their conversation.
    • The scene where Akela exiles Mowgli after the latter saves his life with fire.
  • Ugly Cute: The first monkey Mowgli interacts with is a young bonnet macaque, who has the typical bald, wrinkly forehead of its species, but looks cute nonetheless. Unfortunately, it's also allied to Shere Khan, and later gets smacked and presumably killed by him.
  • Uncanny Valley: Since the movie uses performance capture to create the animals rather than making them fully animated, most of the CGI animal designs ended up with rather disturbing human-like qualities, such as human eyes rather than animal ones and vaguely humanoid facial structures.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Bagheera acting Cruel to Be Kind by intentionally targeting Mowgli so that the boy fails the Running comes off as unnecessarily harsh, especially since the Pack, under Akela's leadership, is easily able to protect Mowgli from Shere Khan. Baloo even points this out when they fight over the matter.
    • Akela's Honor Before Reason action when he exiles Mowgli. Even though it's understandable that he's upset about Mowgli breaking the Law of the Jungle by using man's weapon, he doesn't acknowledge that the boy saved his life.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Rohan Chand has long black hair and somewhat feminine facial features; so while everyone knows that Mowgli is a boy, many people watching the trailer did not recognize him immediately, especially in the man-village scenes, thinking he looked like a girl.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: It goes without saying that this movie features truly wonderful special effects, almost on par with the 2016 version. The backgrounds look beautiful, and while the animals don't look realistic, it's an artistic choice rather than Special Effects Failure.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Despite being a movie featuring a child protagonist and talking animals, based on a story that's best known as an animated musical by Disney, this movie is violent, scary and often downright depressing. The Wham Shot of Bhoot's taxidermied head can be particularly traumatizing. It got rated PG-13 for "intense violence and bloody images" in the USA; whether it keeps a similar rating in other countries will remain to be seen.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The trailer makes solid use of showing off several book elements are present in the film (such as Bagheera's backstory, Shere Khan's limp, etc) more than likely to alleviate fear from Book-fans that those elements wouldn't be there.
  • The Woobie:
    • Bhoot is the most cheerful and friendly wolf, despite being bullied by the rest of the pack. Then, when he's trying to cheer up Mowgli, the boy gets fed up with this naive optimism and yells at him, calling him a "freak" who "came out wrong". The sad Bhoot runs off before he could hear Mowgli's apology. And before they could reconcile, Bhoot gets killed and taxidermied by Lockwood.
    • Mowgli, oh good mercy, Mowgli. He lost his parents to Shere Khan, he is teased and belittled by his wolf brothers, he fails the survival test thanks to the actions of Bagheera, and is cruelly tortured by the humans. And unlike the 2016 version which got a happy ending, Mowgli in this film gets a borderline Downer Ending in that his best friend Bhoot dies before they can reconcile and he loses his pack leader and friend Akela by taking a bullet for him.


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