Film Review: The Jungle Book

Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba and Christopher Walken, The Jungle Book is both a beautiful visual experience and a fun, all-star action and fantasy adventure.
Favreau (of Iron Man fame) is great at directing action, with some spectacular sequences with Mowgli being thrown around the jungle by apes, and running along treetops, with this being perhaps the most impressive visual effects movie to date. Every creature is CGI and is intricately and realistically animated, even if it is a little surreal seeing these realistic creatures speak English. While all of the voice acting is good, the film is held up by the acting limitations of Neel Sethi. It can be attributed to his very young age but unfortunately, his delivery is not up to the standards of his far more experienced peers, and with so much focus on him and his dialogue, it does bring the film down.
Favreau has never before directed a musical sequence, sadly the lack of experience shows as the constant pace of the film is brought to a halt, and the constantly moving camera stops to watch King Louis sing. It feels totally out of place and doesn’t really fit the otherwise serious tone of the scene, and as fun as it is to hear Christopher Walken sing it’s not necessary.
What music does deserve a mention is the terrific score by John Debney. His composing takes classic tunes and turns them into big orchestral numbers, so much so that seeing this in a cinema really enhances the escapism. This applies for the whole film, as enjoyable as it would be at home, it really is an experience in the cinema.
Special mentions must also be made to the performances from Walken, who is a wonderful King Louis, both threatening and funny, Johansson, whose appearance though brief is memorable, sinister but nicely manipulative and Elba, who is a joy to hear as always.
To round up, The Jungle Book is a technical marvel, an all-star acting showcase and ultimately a fun, action-packed and enjoyable movie.
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Interview: Lucy Rose

Carley Pieterse was lucky enough to chat with Lucy Rose on OMG’s behalf, ahead of her support set for City and Colour in Manchester!

So how does it feel to be on tour with city and colour?

It feels great. They’re a great band, a great bunch of people and you don’t really know how you’re going to interact when you’re supporting someone, whether it’s going to be quite separate and the odd hello, but they’re very welcoming and invite us to play darts and it’s really cool.

Do you find that their music is influential?

Oh 100% yeah, really inspiring, really influential, I guess the reason people fall in love with Dallas Green’s music is because it’s honest and it’s saying things where you’re like “I feel exactly the same thing, and you’re describing it better than I could’ve”. And for me that’s exactly what I’d like to achieve with my song writing.

Going off that, it’s safe to assume that you yourself feel that the lyrics and connecting with the audience is extremely important?

I think I find them the hardest in many ways. Like the music part is quite fun when you’re just sort of coming up with ideas and jamming out chords and stuff. That can be really fun and inspiring, and for me it’s the thing I worry about the most is lyrics, because I want them to be simple and relevant so people understand what I’m saying, but then you kind of want to be describing it in a different way that’s not been heard before and that’s what I find really difficult.

So for a woman doing indie/folk/acoustic do you find it more difficult to get your music more out there compared to “poppier” artists?

I think for me, the problem is that if someone sees a picture of me and it says Lucy Rose, I think for some reason they have a pre-judgement of what sort of music it’s going to be. And I find it quite difficult to put forward the type of music I do.
It’s like a single, when people listen to a single people generally have listened to the poppier ones, and they’re not a true reflection of me as that’s just what Radio 1 want to play, the poppier side of me. But I don’t feel like they’re a true representation of exactly what I’m like as an artist, it’s like a big shade to the record.
I think artists like City and Colour prove that it’s not how much air play you get, many people look for their music now and that’s how City and Colour got where they are. I guess that route is more inspiring, having people find me more than relying on radio air play.

You have a theme for each album, would you say that your singles were only a snippet of your sound?

Yeah, definitely. I think it’s one of those things, it’s quite dangerous with singles. Someone could buy a record based off a single and think “hang on, that doesn’t sound like the single, I want the same thing”. So it is a dangerous thing in what you decide to be your single and your representation. I think I’m still learning, like with the second album, I’m learning more on how to go about it.
For me the singles are little snippets of part of the record, but generally the other part is the darker part, or the more sensitive part, or the more emotive part and then sometimes that isn’t displayed, so I’m putting out a single soon next month which is called Nebraska and I’m hoping that it shows a different side of my record.

A year ago you released Work it out, on Columbia records are you just riding out the album to see how it goes off with an audience or are you not wanting to be bombarding fans with new music all the time, or perhaps would you rather do that and be constantly making new music?

I don’t know really, I think most of it’s out of my control in all honesty. It just comes down to writing the best music you can and putting it out. What will be will be. Don’t feel like there’s any point in trying to get people to like me or my music, or trying to get exposure, because it’s totally out of my control and that can drive you crazy! Thinking that it is something you can deal with yourself, but it’s not.
I’m still writing now and I’ve got lots of ideas for album three, but I find for me, for my survival method in this, is just concentrating on what I’ve got going on at this present moment.
Touring with City and Colour, hopefully some people in the crowd who’ve never heard of me before like it and that’s a positive thing. Like “I didn’t know about this girl and her music” and that’s kind of what I want to achieve with this and that’s all I can really concentrate on.

Do you think being with such a big label, that over time the more people who look up to you the more your music would change or the way you are?

Probably, I think the problem is for me I’m very grateful for this situation I’m in so I’m like “wow this is amazing, I’m doing this cool stuff and I’m actually able to do music as a living” and I think sometimes when you’re on a bigger label what is deemed to be good for me, may not be deemed good for them. So that’s a weird relationship for anybody where you feel happy with where your life is and not this overshadowing thing where you kind of wish you’d done more and done better, but then that makes you doubt yourself or what you’ve achieved like is it good enough? And that’s a dangerous place to put anybody, because it’s impossible just to say I wanna be the best ever, I wanna be the most successful.
You try your best and you enjoy the way you are and I think it’s just weird for some musicians in other places, you’d have someone who says they’re unhappy with your performance. And who knows, that’s the difficult place you find yourself in if you’re with a major label.

After this tour you’re going to India, are you excited for that and experiencing that culture?

Again, I’m very lucky. I’m being taking to India and showed around and I’m going to be playing these gigs. I’m playing a gig in Bangalore on International Women’s Day and all of the acts that are playing on that Saturday are all going to be female musicians from Bangalore and different places in India and that’s for me what it’s all about. Like that’s a really amazing day and I really can’t wait, so yeah it’s as exciting as you can imagine. I’m very chuffed to be going.

Do you think your experiences will influence some of your writing for this next album?

Yeah, I’m sure it will. It’ll be a lot of having perspective on things a bit better, and meeting people with a different culture can give you that perspective. I guess we all have our ups and downs about things that are actually probably a bit silly and its good not to focus on that, so I guess I’m hoping all of this ya know, if I do some travelling I get to see and meet some really inspiring people who will inspire me to lead a good life.

Out of your experiences which has been the best venue or festival you have ever played?

Probably Manilla in the Philippines or just the Philippines, cause we all went on holiday together on a little island called Boracay and for me that was heavenly. That’s the furthest I’d ever been away from home, as well as Singapore.
It’s very different cause that was lovely it was like a beach holiday and I’d never done anything like it, so it was the closest to paradise id ever been but we’re really lucky we’ve done a couple acoustic shows in Shanghai and Beijing and going to China was definitely totally different to anything I’ve ever done.
Europe is amazing, but we’ve done Europe a few times and it’s quite similar to the UK in many ways some with America, it’s really great, but China was totally different to anything I’d ever experienced, which I guess was what was really inspiring about it.

Staffordshire University’s Student-Run Media Outlet