Simple Verdicts


July 2019





In recent times when Disney runs out of ideas for a new script, they end up rebooting an evergreen classic that enjoys a glorious afterlife. Its a known fact that Disney has a set of classics which would never fail to impress. The “Lion King” wasn’t just a classic, it ended up being a world wide phenomenon and there is no doubt the same level of expectations would apply for the recent reboot. Did it meet the expectations?

Its important to understand  how Disney has used the concept “Circle of Life” to all their recent glorified remakes :- A thing is born, it lives (hopefully turning a nice profit for shareholders) and then it dies, but is never really gone. Instead, its carcass decomposes, to be plundered and ultimately serve as fuel for future generations. And yes the circle continues forever!


We all know that that the story should be familiar to anyone over the age of 8, especially anyone who was a young child and had a VCR back in the 1990s.Young cub Simba (Donald Glover) is cast out of his homeland after his power-hungry uncle (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has Simba’s father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones, reprising his role from the 1994 film), killed.


What is new is this film’s striking CGI animation style. Director Jon again used the same photo-realistic process used in his 2016 hit “The Jungle Book”and the results are amazing. The birds, the beasts, the sceneries, and frankly everything you see on screen has been conceived and crafted through advanced, sophisticated visual effects. It’s amazing how far cinema has come! The way in which the visuals are displayed on screen alone are enough to justify the remake. Although this version is around 30 minutes longer than the original (1994), anyone looking for new story twists or, say, an inspiring backstory for the antelope that gets eaten will probably leave disappointed.


However, in terms of storytelling, the film doesn’t offer anything new. The photorealistic animation does its best to portray a brooding picture, but somewhere it brought down the tone of the colourful 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.But what the CGI visuals offers in the way of lifelike characters, it lacks in emotional impact. How do you show sadness or excitement in an animal that’s designed to look, for want of a better term, real? There are moments when characters’ voices convey pain, joy or fear, but that’s rarely reflected in the animals’ facial expressions. A special mention to James Earl Jones, who lends his voice to Mufasa once again, is as commanding and powerful as in the original film, maintaining our understanding and admiration for his character(Mufasa).


Verdict: Disneys new “Lion King” certainly makes us feel the nostalgia. However, even though the new CGI animation is astonishing the film lacked something due to which the impact created by the Original 1994 “Lion King” was not felt.




Directed by Mani Ratnam
Produced by Mani Ratnam
Written by Mani Ratnam
Starring Karthi
Aditi Rao Hydari
Music by Original songs:
A. R. Rahman
Background Score
A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Ravi Varman
Edited by A. Sreekar Prasad
Madras Talkies


The story starts with the introduction of Varun known as VC (Karthi) with Girija ( a girl who we assume is dating), due to an unfortunate event Varun gets hospitalised. After which we are introduced to Leela (Aditi Rao), a doctor. Their very first meeting involves her treating him. Upon recovery, VC asks Leela out and they start to go on regular dates which eventually ends in the two getting truly and madly in love with each other, later on they realise that their relationship might not work because they are polar opposites. Does their relationship remain strong? You will have to watch the film to find out!

It’s the amazing visuals and cinematography  that makes the movie a bit special, a few beautiful and elegant sceneries make the scenes feel lovely. The special feature about classic Mani Ratnam films is the way he designs and creates his characters with detail and combines it with his  greatest asset story “narration”. Was this found in this movie? It was not.

It won’t be fair if I don’t mention the  two strong pillars of the film Ravi Varman and AR Rahman. In some scenes, this combo makes us understand why certain scenes are special.

It’s certainly a huge moment for Karthi playing such a powerful and complicated role, he really was convincing as an Air force officer and his performance in the climax is worth mentioning. Although I felt that the romance portion played by him didn’t have such an impact. A huge positive for this film was Aditi who played a role of a doctor who is independent. She just got everything perfect there were a lot of scenes where she stole the show just with her expressions. It was new and different to see the talkative and counter giving RJ Balaji playing a character who just had lines like “OH” and “oh” which was a relief. Another important person in the film was AR Rahman his background scores and songs added more life to various scenes and some scenes were special because of them.

To be honest at the end of the film after it was done I was confused. I really didn’t know if I liked it or not. The magic was certainly there but it wasn’t present throughout. Sometimes a movie might be loved by some and hated by some. Or is just the fact that our favourite person (Mani Ratnam) can give us something way better? It really depends on the individual.

The Verdict: –

 In Terms of Art due to THE EXCELLENT VISUALS COMBINED WITH SOULFUL MUSIC  the movie SCORES HIGH. However as a film IT CERTAINLY MISSES OUT ON SOMETHING through out which ends up to be tiresome.

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