Once there was a lion cub who accidentally got dropped amid sheep and grew up believing and bawling like sheep. One day when a group of lions waylaid him and asked what a lion was doing amid sheep, he shivered for his life and said he was a sheep. They told him he was a lion and asked him to roar, but to no avail.
Dejected, the lions left. Till later that day, looking at his reflection, he realised who he truly was and roared and found his true place in the circle of life. It is this story that inspired Swami Vivekananda to say: 'O lions, shake of the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal.'
And it is perhaps this fable and this saying that gave birth to a little animation film that with its impeccable dialogues, life-altering lyrics, perfectly-etched characters and a truthful demeanour, waltzed itself into the hearts and minds of millions.
The circle of life has brought that classic back to the theatres, over a decade and half later -- this time in 3D.
It is never too late to revisit an eternal classic, no reason small enough, no excuse untenable in this pursuit. Hence, even though "Lion King" comes draped in the excuse of 3D, it deserves a revisit in theatres.
After falsely considering himself to be the reason for his father's death, the heir to the throne, lion prince Simba, runs away. In the meantime, his uncle Scar takes over the kingdom while his pals - the hyenas, ransack everything. One day, the prodigal son returns to take his rightful place.
With a film like "Lion King" that is strong on all elements that make for good, enduring cinema, its visual dimension - 2D or 3D - does not matter.
Still, being restored in new 3D version becomes good enough reason for lovers of this classic to pay a reverent visit to the theatres to glimpse this spectacle. Also it is time, that those who grew up on this film, share its pleasure with their children.
"Lion King" is as perfect a children's film as there ever was or perhaps can be. It is simple in its story line, yet has depth and lessons that ring true for young and old. And it delivers these without being pedagogical.
Add to it the songs of Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice and Music by Hans Zimmer and you have yourself a one in a million film.
"Lion King", in its 90 minutes duration, teaches children more about love of life on earth than a year of National Geographic or Animal Kingdom can. It also teaches more about courage, dignity, valour and honour than any number of years of school teaching can.
These are two of the greatest strengths of this magnificently imagined and directed film that satisfies at the cinematic, emotional and intellectual level at the same time.
The reason for it -- ageless spirit is also because it is a metaphor against fear telling us that it is only by conquering our fears, no matter what they are, can we take our rightful place in the circle of life.
A song in the film rightly says, "There's more to be seen, than could ever be seen." Make sure that "Lion King" in theatres is one of those things that you do not fail to see in this lifetime.
Critic: Satyen K. Bordoloi
(4.5 / 5) : Extraordinary