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Movie Review: The Lion King

2019-08-02  Staff Reporter

Movie Review: The Lion King

 Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK - If this movie does not evoke fond memories of your childhood, then I do not know what will. Watching the new version of ‘The Lion King’, a big-screen musical with celebrity voice overs, tries its best to look like a television nature documentary and this is not new to the film industry. Producers and executive directors do it all the time. 

What is also obvious is the expectation that this ‘Lion King’ remake, which highlights the advancement in digital technology, will enhance the gleam of the movie-going experience.  
There are countless impressive moments in this film and a few that might provoke amazement or an appreciative burst of laughter from even a tired and exhausted viewer. 

If you have seen the original, you will notice a few changes in the remake, which is not a big issue. The plot is the same, there are not many surprises or twists in the remake, hoping this will not be a spoiler to anyone: Simba’s father is Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones) and he rules the prairie with a calm paw and along with his loyal queen, Sarabi (voiced by Alfre Woodard). Mufasa’s brother, Scar (voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor) is considered and seen as the snake in this garden, conniving first to kill Simba, the rightful heir to the throne, and then to get rid of Mufasa. Scar has the help of Shenzi (Florence Kasumba) and her army of hyenas, whose closed-up, predatory faces are genuinely scary, especially when they appear for the first time.

The scene that will remain on people’s minds is when Mufasa dies - that moment when Simba tries to lift his father’s paw and it just falls to the ground  has broken many hearts, and will forever break many more. Unfortunately, Disney did not recapture that magical moment with its latest live-action version. 
There are important life lessons one can draw from not only the remake but the entire film: Never turn your back on family, respect your elders and most importantly, do away with sibling rivalry as it is toxic to healthy relationships.

The remake is no doubt a beautiful nature documentary, however, the photo-realism created is a serious concern as there is a seeming disconnect between the voice and the animal that cannot be ignored. One somehow struggles to emotionally connect with Simba’s loss despite already having that foundation from the original.

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Question: Based on the review above, what are the three notable lessons being portrayed in the film?

2019-08-02  Staff Reporter

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