Surviving the Jungle Out There

May 18, 2016

Last Monday evening, Robert and I went to see the new Jungle Book movie.  Pam, who usually comes on Mondays, was sick so I tried to replace her and provide some excitement  That is why we went to movies. It was a Disney movie.  The movie  retold the same story that old Disney cartoon Jungle Book had told before. It should be a children movie.  But it wasn’t.  At least not for Robert.  For Robert it was a jungle and he was being immersed in it by his mother.

Moreover, I thought that the  3D version of the movie would be  more entertaining than the regular one.  For better effects I chose seats very close to the screen.  Everything was fine at the beginning. Robert watched all the ads and all the previews.  He watched the beginning of the story and calmly consummated  his Swedish Fish candies.

Then, as soon as the candies were gone, Robert said, “Home, home.”  I didn’t expect that. I didn’t make a connection between the appearance of the Shere Khan and Robert’s  demand to leave the theater.  I didn’t make a connection between rather dark and gloomy setting of the movie and Robert’s raising anxiety.  Because, sadly, his anxiety kept raising as did the volume of his demands to go home.  With the appearance of the herd of elephants and then the gigantic serpent Kaa, Robert was getting more and more upset.  So, I decided to leave the theater.  Except Robert didn’t want to.  He protested even louder when I took off the 3D glasses and got up.

I didn’t know what to do.  Luckily, there were very few people watching the movie and they were seated at the very end of the auditorium.  Still, Robert was disruptive and I didn’t know how to remedy that. .   There were hardly lighter moments in this version of the story.  The screen reminded mostly dark and gloomy.  Yes, it was a jungle there.  Even Baloo, when he first showed up, seemed slightly threatening.  And then there was immense King Louie, the jungle fire, and helpful but still threatening elephants. Robert was petrified.  The characters were so real and so close. Every few minutes, I tried to entice Robert to leave.  But although he had difficulties being immersed in the jungle,  he didn’t want to leave without final resolution. He had to stay. At some point Robert began to move my arm toward the screen.  It took me a while to understand that Robert wanted me to get into action and save Mowgli from Shere Khan or even better take him home.  Only then I realized how petrified Robert was and only then I started to reassure him by letting  him know that it was only a movie, a make-believe story, and that it would end well.  That helped a little.  Robert and I survived to the end, but as soon as the credits showed up on the screen with great relief we both left.

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