Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Corner - Week 6 - Heather Reviews The Lion King


I would like to begin by saying: anybody who has not seen The Lion King is deprived. Since a rather young age (we’re talking two or three years old), The Lion King has been my all-time, most-magnificent, favourite film. So, excuse me if this review is a little biased- although, in retrospect, all reviews are opinionated articles, are they not? I digress…

The story is set on the prosperous African land: Pride Rock. Enter a young lion cub, Simba, future king of Pride Rock and its surrounding lands, son to the revered current king, Mufasa. The story is essentially, a “coming-of-age adventure” (as says the blurb of the Diamond Edition box, which, for the record, sits proudly at the forefront of my DVD collection). An assortment of likeable friends, joviality and seriousness, and never-ending hilarity help Simba come to terms with his destiny, and, more importantly, himself.

I could waffle on about how amazing and encapsulating The Lion King is, and win a prize for it-or if there was no existing prize for waffling, I could invent one and win that. However, I doubt a siege of paragraphs hailing this movie would interest anybody except myself, and possibly my fellow A113-ers. Therefore, I am going to have to try and back-off and gain a moral high-ground. Says the person who was given a badge with a picture of Simba, and her own name on it, for Christmas. Nobody said reviewing was easy.

Character-wise, The Lion King thrives. There is, and of course there would be, a certain glee to be had from the friendship between a meerkat and a warthog. Timon (aforementioned meerkat), and Pumbaa (warthog) make quite a pair of comedians, who show themselves to be quite the help when Simba loses his way. Beneath all the jokes and witty comments, the two show what it is to be a friend: loyalty and the willingness to help each other. Soppy? No, they make all their help quite the opposite. Of course, as, in my opinion, there should be in every good film, there is a budding romance. From the start, the naivetĂ© of a young king’s attitude to love is clear: what can be no more than a minute’s dialogue between Zazu (the king's right-hand hornbill-a bird. Yes, you would have thought he'd be eaten, yet apparently his annoying demeanour is a quality Mufasa admires) and Simba outlines how Simba is too young to even consider falling for his best friend, Nala. Cute.

The music, too, is something to behold. Written by the duo of Tim Rice and Elton John, the songs are catchy and quirky. Download them to your iPod or MP3 Player, for example, and you’ll have them on loop (yes, I am guilty of this). The score, likewise, is brilliant – written by acclaimed Hans Zimmer (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Inception, Gladiator). To pick out one particular instance: Timon and Pumbaa are being “live bait” at their future king’s insistence, and Timon performs a hula-dance. It’s rather hilarious, and one of the funniest bits of the film, in my opinion. However, I did show it to my younger sister the other night and I was almost lying on the floor laughing, yet she just stood there with one eyebrow raised… she just didn’t get it.

So: The Lion King. Now, to reign my enthusiasm in, and to sign off. The Lion King is a five-star film, for me. Full of music (so, if you don’t like music, perhaps not five-star, and more like three and a half- I really can’t go any lower), and jokes, and loveable characters, and a moral. Yes, a moral. It is impossible not to watch this film without cracking a smile, and once you have seen it a couple of times, it also becomes an obligation to sing along to the songs. Watching it more than once will not bore you, it will only become more enrapturing to you than the last time you watch it. I recommend it to all, with my highest endorsements.

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