Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Randomness: Lena Headey and The Jungle Book

I don’t pay close attention to the user ratings on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) or Rotten Tomatoes, even but sometimes the disparity between the two does offer me minor amusement. For example, my favourite 2012 release, thus far – The Deep Blue Sea earns a mere 6.2 rating on IMDB but an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The disparity there is not as pronounced as that which befalls the 1994 live action incarnation of Mowgli and friends – officially titled Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book which measures in at an impressive 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average 5.8 on IMDB. If pushed, I’d wager that the poor showing on IMDB has something to do with the way that this incarnation of Kipling’s tale seemed to have faded out of existence, or at least memory.

Still, that didn’t stop it from being on TV this past week (dug up from where, I don’t know) and I couldn’t help but watch it because it’s one of the films which reminds me so potently of childhood. The title itself is somewhat erroneous since only a sliver of Kipling’s actual tale is present in this manifestation. Like the legend Mowgli grows up with the animals, but the crux of the story happens after when Colonel Brydon and his daughter journey back to India and happen upon the fully grown Mowgli who they attempt to civilise. Therein the film presents us with a cross between an action film, a fantasy quasi-epic and a love story with the requisite questions raised about the legitimacy of “civilisation”.
I bring up The Jungle Book today, though, because of the wonderful Lena Headey. Headey is noted today for her excellent (albeit, not as oft celebrated) work on Game of Thrones, where she’s my series MVP. As the object of Mowgli’s affection in The Jungle Book (think Jane in Tarzan) there’s not significantly much for her to do but only because the film isn’t meant to be an actors’ showcase. (Though, if we get into a discussion on the performances in the film Sam Neill wins.) If anything, The Jungle Book is evidence that even when inessential to the fabric of the film Headey has enough charm and forethought to make her performances nuanced even when the role itself isn’t particularly so.

Re-watching The Jungle Book also reminded me that we need Keira Knightley and Lena Headey to play sisters in a film pronto.

Lena Headey (generally): B+
Lena Headey in The Jungle Book: B-
(Lena Headey in Game of Thrones: A-)
The Jungle Book: B

1 comment:

Runs Like A Gay said...

As you say, Random, but I would really like to see Lena and Keira as sisters.

We only need one more and we can mount a Chekhov play.