Daniel Radcliffe is much more than Harry Potter and Jungle, finally, proves it. The movie tells the true story of Yossi Ghinsberg (Radcliffe) and his traveling companions as they trek through the Amazon in the early 1980s. Don’t let rather mundane description fool you, Jungle is intense and a slow burn by design.
The entire first half of Jungle plays it safe. Ghinsberg narrates how he ended up backpacking through the Andes and meeting up with his companions Kevin (Alex Russell) and Marcus (Joel Jackson), also fellow world travelers. Their travels eventually lead Yossi to Karl (Thomas Kretschmann) who approaches Yossi in a market and eyeing him for a hiker. It is Karl that propels the story forward into chaos.
Claiming to be a guide with detailed knowledge of the Amazon, Karl convinces Yossi and his reluctant friends to join him in the jungle for the experience of a lifetime. But from the start Karl seems more than a little unstable, rambling about revolutions and the plague of humanity. It is until conflict arises and the group gets separated that the movie really finds its groove. From there the entire experience becomes a wild ride.
Lost and alone Yossi must travel through the Amazon in search of civilization and his sanity. With each passing day he realizes just how unprepared he is in an environment where almost everything can kill you. There are moments that will make you gasp and moments that will make you squirm. Radcliffe sells every minute of it and deserves at least an Oscar nod for it. This is his Castaway and 127 Hours moment, he really makes it work. To give away any more would be a crime, this is a film that needs to be experienced.
Jungle is currently playing at select theaters nationwide.