By Priyarupa Sinha ( L&T-MHPS)
The Lion King is a ‘live action remake of the 1994 original animation flick which went on to become an exemplary film for all ages. Those who have watched the original Lion King will affirm for its strong emotional connect, heart-rendering moments that left a lasting impression and of course the venerable soundtrack and background score.
The story itself varies little from the original in the film’s 2019 version. When the royal lion cub, Simba is born to Queen Sarabi and King Mufasa, animals in the forest rejoice at having a new heir. But their joy is short-lived when Mufasa dies trying to save little Simba’s life. Feeling guilty for being the cause of his father’s death Simba runs away from the forest. His evil uncle Scar then takes over the throne.
The director and writer has done a fine job in recreating ‘The Lion King’ with photo-realistic animals and environments”. All the familiar beats and moments are there. The exultant presentation of Simba to the pride, the powerful rendition of ‘The Circle of Life’, Scar’s growling lyrics to ‘Be Prepared’ and the heart-wrenching moment when Simba sees his dead father in the sky that beseech him to remember who he is. Every scene in the movie looks utterly gorgeous and it is probably the best-looking of the live-action remakes so far. It’s all there, and yet the remake doesn’t have any of the same impact. It’s painted and traced over, but for whatever reason, the soul of it is missing.
The Lion King’ has its moments and if you never saw the original, this would beyond doubt mean a lot to you. However, the fact remains that it’s not an original effort, and it will always be compared to the original and eventually comes up short against it because nothing can replace the original – not even an great star cast, worthy soundtracks , or pioneering computer graphics. It suffers by virtue of being a remake when the original was perfect on its own.