Jungle (2017): A Film Review

Jungle2017posterForgive me if you cringe at my bizarre way of wishful thinking.

It occurs to me sometimes that I imagine myself being in the heart of the wild, the sole survivor of a plane crash or left behind ,out of my obstinacy, after a camping. I am confident that I would survive the jungle because somehow I once lived in a countryside at the bottom of the mountain ranges, surrounded by dense forest. Across  my grandfather’s backyard, there is one where  I used to enter with my childhood friends, where we could see many kinds of wild animals including ones I now irrationally fear: frogs. Yikes! I want to shatter their  images now.

Through my provincial upbringing, I learned to do the things city boys may not be able to do like making a fire, providing myself with food and water I can get from trees and plants and so on. I even learned how to sense the surroundings if there was a wild one, about to bear down on me while bushwhacking a tangled mass of overgrown shrubbery. Also, I was adroit for handling a bolo I could use in protecting myself from snakes slithering around. But wait, I am now a city boy. I have been living in the mega city for several years. It has been a long time since those skills infused in me ,and I might not be able to use them under any circumstances any longer. Thus, I am too pompous to believe in myself that I might swallow my words if I got into an actual situation. Besides, the provincial  life I experienced then is not synonymous with the other woods I could wind up in. After watching Jungle, I have come to realize that although one has enough basic knowledge of surviving a jungle, there is still the probability that one cannot get by such a dreadful place.

The movie is not as nail-biting as the other survival-themed movies I have watched. There are no cold killings scenes like in Saw in Texas, nor are there stomach- churning ones like in movies about cannibalism. It is not even a bit identical to the classic one Lord of the Flies where the sole survivors should outwit and outplay one another to withstand the human beastliness. Rather, it is just a true to life movie starred in by Daniel Radcliffe  , illustrating how Yossi  got lost in the darkness of the Amazon rain forest, somewhere in the vast ranges  of mountains in Bolivia for three days. Nevertheless, the movie shows the stark reality of what happens to you once you wind up in that actual situation, far from the ideal situations we watch in movies or TV programs, especially if you don’t have much basic survival skills. So, the scenes of what Yossi had gone through within three days are what make the movie worth watching; they somehow  chill you to the marrow although you don’t find them intriguing For example, he has to get rid of the living parasite in the lump swollen on his forehead with an unhygienic tweezers-like tool. It is bloodcurdling since I hate seeing blood drawing from flesh. Also, the scene might astound you when Yossi  has to let the colony of  fire ants bustling around a high plant bite his bare and drained body to energize it , so that he can reach the river bank assuming that someone can  discover him, or he can as well make and use a raft again. Notably, you might be surprised by the fact that you can experience hallucinations  and loss of direction when you are overcome with fear and loneliness. It must be the antithesis of a mirage experienced by anyone in a dessert. Admittedly, I was  fooled into believing that scene. I am gullible.

Ever since I watched the Harry Potter series ,I have noticed Daniel Radcliffe’s exceptional acting skills. His acting skills are so natural that I can even feel the deepest emotions he wants to convey to audience, except one thing : his crying style. ( laughs)  Truly, he has never made me get carried away by his sobbing. (laughs) Still, to his credit, the movie appears more realistic. Besides, I still find him hot in that bedraggled  and famished condition. (giggles)

What makes me really get to wondering is the  epilogue. It states that Karl and Marcus have not been seen even up this day. So, the scene when Karl and Marcus decide to quit the journey and return to La Paz leave me a clue and make me rest on some  assumptions:Karl must be a cannibal, he must be a human exploiter, and ridiculously speaking, he must  be a gay interested in Marcus. In fact, I am even growing more curious when the epilogue goes further that Karl was even wanted by authorities at that time. Uh-oh! It sounds like I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. Just call me a nut. (snickers)

The movie is based on Yosseph “Yossi” Ghinsberg’s autobiography Lost in the Jungle which will be re-released in 2017 in concurrence with the movie.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it.)




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