Jungle is a 2017 Australian biographical survival drama film, based on the true story of Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg's 1981 journey into the Amazon rainforest. Directed by Greg McLean and written by Justin Monjo, the film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Ghinsberg, with Alex Russell, Thomas Kretschmann, Yasmin Kassim, Joel Jackson, and Jacek Koman in supporting roles.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byGreg McLean
Screenplay byJustin Monjo
Based onJungle
by Yossi Ghinsberg
Produced byTodd Fellman
Mike Gabrawy
Gary Hamilton
Mark Lazarus
Dana Lustig
Greg McLean
StarringDaniel Radcliffe
Alex Russell
Thomas Kretschmann
Yasmin Kassim
Joel Jackson
Jacek Koman
CinematographyStefan Duscio
Edited bySean Lahiff
Music byJohnny Klimek
Babber Films
Cutting Edge Group
Screen Australia
Screen Queensland
Distributed byUmbrella Entertainment
Release dates
  • 3 August 2017 (2017-08-03) (MIFF)
  • 9 November 2017 (2017-11-09) (Australia)
Running time
115 minutes[1]
Box office$1.9 million[2]

It was filmed at Mount Tamborine on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.[3]

Plot edit

In the early 1980s, an Israeli adventurer named Yossi Ghinsberg travels to Bolivia planning to journey into the heart of the Amazon rainforest. There, he meets Marcus Stamm, a Swiss school teacher, and his friend Kevin Gale, an American hiker and avid photographer. The three are staying in La Paz, at an Israeli community hostel. Yossi is out in the market one day where a stranger asks if he is an American; Yossi replies ”no”.

During conversation the Austrian stranger, Karl Ruprechter, claims the existence of an indigenous tribe in the jungle that they should go see. Karl says he knows the jungle, and he is friends with the tribe.

Yossi, excited about the prospect of exploring the uncharted jungle and meeting undiscovered peoples like the Toromonas, chooses to believe him. He heads back to the apartment to convince Marcus and Kevin to come along. Skeptical of the stranger and his story, they refuse. Yossi continues to press them until they ultimately acquiesce.

The next day, the trio meets Karl in a shop while he is gathering supplies for the hike. All three men are surprised when Karl leaves with the supplies and tells them they will pay for everything.

Yossi, Marcus, Kevin, and Karl hike through the jungle for several days. They make it to a village called Asriamas where it is apparent Karl knows the villagers. They spend the day in the village and stay overnight, then head back into the jungle the next morning.

Marcus starts having trouble walking and discovers his feet are full of bloody sores. By now Kevin and Yossi are tired of Marcus' complaining.

Yossi, Kevin, and Karl discuss how they all should proceed. Karl wants to leave the three while he goes to get help, but Kevin and Yossi disagree with that plan. At this point Marcus walks up, and Kevin proposes building a raft to navigate downriver so all of them can stay together. (This differs from Ghinsberg's actual account, where the four return all the way to Asriamas before deciding to make the raft with the help of the villagers.)

They build the raft and set off down the river. They hit some rapids, barely making it through. Karl gets upset at Kevin for taking control on the raft, floats the raft to shore, and says he is going hunting. Kevin had noticed Karl's fear of water and deduces that Karl cannot swim. Yossi then goes to find Karl, so he will not abandon them.

Marcus and Karl decide to abandon the journey and make the three-day hike back to civilization where they can then return to La Paz. Meanwhile, Yossi and Kevin continue their journey downriver until their makeshift raft is destroyed in a rapids.

Yossi is washed away by the river, leaving Kevin behind. Without a knife, tools, or any kind of survival training, Yossi must improvise shelter and forage to survive. He begins to give up hope after losing all sense of direction, wondering if he will survive the jungle. He is alone for at least two weeks, during which time he has several hallucinations regarding his past.

Meanwhile, Kevin is rescued by people from a nearby town who take him to Rurrenabaque, 120 miles from Yossi's location, Curiplaya. At Rurrenabaque, Kevin calls for the help of the local authorities to find Yossi. They fail to find Yossi via a plane flyover, but Kevin believes that Yossi is alive. Kevin ropes in the help of the local boat pilot to search for Yossi, finally discovers his weakened friend, and takes him to Rurrenabaque.

The epilogue reveals that Karl lied about the hidden tribes, was known to rope backpackers into dangerous treks, and was wanted by the authorities. He and Marcus never returned to La Paz and were never seen again. The film was dedicated to Marcus' memory.

Cast edit

Production edit

On 10 February 2016, Daniel Radcliffe joined the cast.[4] On 21 March 2016, Thomas Kretschmann and Alex Russell also joined the cast.[5] Principal photography began on 19 March 2016 and ended on 13 April 2016.[7]

Release edit

The film premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival on 3 August 2017.[8] It was released in Australia on 9 November 2017, by Umbrella Entertainment.[9]

Reception edit

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 62%, based on 55 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Daniel Radcliffe does right by Jungle's fact-based story with a clearly committed performance, even if the film around him doesn't always match his efforts."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11]

Writing for The A.V. Club, Alex McLevy gave the film a B−, praising Radcliffe's acting commitment and the shock of some of the scenes but wrote, "Unfortunately, the movie too often can’t resist leaning into the melodrama of the situation. Rather than allowing the power to come from the raw intensity of what transpired, it occasionally turns Ghinsberg’s journey into a Hollywood spectacle, making the incredible seem a little less so in the process."[12] Dread Central's Jonathan Barkan gave the film 4.5 out of 5, saying that it was, "without a doubt, the most thrilling, exhilarating, and inspiring film I've seen this year."[13]

Accolades edit

Stefan Duscio was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 7th AACTA Awards.[14]

References edit

  1. ^ Windsor, Harry (8 August 2017). "'Jungle': Film Review | Melbourne 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Jungle (2017)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  3. ^ Selleck, Emily (18 October 2017). "Behind the scenes: First look at Daniel Radcliffe film Jungle". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 8 March 2024.
  4. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (10 February 2016). "Daniel Radcliffe-Starrer 'Jungle' to Shoot in Australia". Variety. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Galuppo, Mia (21 March 2016). "Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell Join Daniel Radcliffe in Thriller 'Jungle'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  6. ^ Katz, Isaac (14 March 2018). "Lost in the Jungle: The untold story of Kevin Gale". Ami Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Filming Wraps in Colombia on Adventure Drama Jungle, Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Supported by Law 1556". Proimágenes Colombia. Comisión Fílmica Colombiana. 3 June 2016. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  8. ^ Sharf, Zack (14 June 2017). "'Jungle' Trailer: Daniel Radcliffe Gets Sent to Wilderness Hell". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe survival thriller Jungle coming to cinemas in November". Flicks.com.au. Flicks.co.nz. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Jungle (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on 26 November 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Jungle Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  12. ^ McLevy, Alex (16 October 2017). "Jungle Pits Daniel Radcliffe Against Nature, with One of the Grossest Scenes of the Year". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  13. ^ Barkan, Jonathan (16 October 2017). "Jungle Telluride Horror Show Review: An Exhilarating, Tension-Fueled Tale of Survival". Dread Central. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Past Awards - 7th AACTA Awards". www.aacta.org. Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2019.

External links edit