The Lion King Review
Hollywood, and Jon Favreau in particular, has got the idea of bringing back our childhood classics with full force. With Jungle Book happening some time ago, the director brings back one of the most memorable films ever to a live action twin, with the end result being something that is likable, though it could have been a lot more likable.
From the very beginning, The Lion King sticks to the original template without anything being changed in the skeleton. The animals are livelier, the visuals are finer but the backdrop of the film stays the same in addition to the characters and their names. We are quickly led to the proceedings, as the presentation leaves no grey areas and is always busy in hopping from one scene to the other. This works in both ways – good because it does not turn into a failed experiment, and bad because it is a little too simple to catch up with. Take the example of the scene where little Simba gets lost in the woods, only to be saved by his dad. We know that things are coming to a happy ending, so the suspense here isn’t as great as it would actually be. In addition to that, we are also expecting a big splash when dad Mufasa arrives, but when it doesn’t quite live up to the excitement, there’s a nah here as well. But despite taking the safe route, Lion King comes out with a smile because it keeps its technicalities right, and leaves no stone unturned in its intent to provide us great visuals and a good score.
Films dubbed into the regional languages have gone more haywire than pleasant, but The Lion King is a strong example on how the whole process has to be carried out. When it comes to the Tamil dubbing, everything falls into place beautifully. There’s a strong baritone in Arvind Swami’s voice which makes it the best thing about the film, overtaking Siddharth who is especially very good in the songs that he sings on his own. The trio of Manobala, Robo Shankar and Singam Puli simply bring the roof down with their excellent antics which are fantastically translated resulting in genuine laughs. There are easily at least ten moments where these three would tickle you up, which proves the importance that has been given to the changeover.
On the whole, the Lion King is a great watch for those who haven’t seen the superior original, and a decent watch for those who have. It will definitely not end up spoiling your childhood, but the kids of this generation could do with something better.