JUNGLE is a Daniel Radcliffe’s CASTAWAY

I love a good survival movie, I have loved most of them over the years; the good ones, the not so good ones, but still can’t bring myself to like CASTAWAY haha. Loathed that movie. JUNGLE is Daniel Radcliffe’s CASTAWAY but I actually liked this one because he doesn’t have a basketball to talk to, he hallucinates and imagines tribespeople instead. JUNGLE is mostly filmed in Queensland Australia, which gets bonus love from me.

It is out now on, limited release in Australia, from Umbrella Entertainment, it is rated M and runs for 115mins – I have listed the participating cinemas in Australia at the bottom of the article. I do want to give a gross-out warning – there is one scene that is so gross I had to turn away and hold down the contents of my stomach. But it did make me love the movie more for it’s realism.


Jungle Movie image
Alex Russell, Daniel Radcliffe, Thomas Kretschmann, and Joel Jackson




Young Israeli Yossi Ghinsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) leaves a safe future behind to chase an improbable dream in the mysterious depths of the Amazon rainforest

For a year he journeys on the path well-travelled, but when he and two new fellow adventurers, Kevin Gale (Alex Russell) and Marcus Stamm (Joel Jackson), meet the darkly charismatic Karl Ruchprecter (Thomas Kretschmann), and follow him into the jungle, what begins as the realisation of a dream soon turns into a harrowing psychological test of faith and fortitude.

Based on the true-life international best-selling memoir by Yossi Ghinsberg.


The movie is split into two parts essentially, the first part is getting there and meeting a few characters and having a great journey. The second part is having that taken away and being left alone in the jungle with death a near certainty. It takes way too long in getting to the second part and I feel this would have been a better movie if we had more solo Radcliffe in Potter Vs The Wild. Ghinsberg’s story is one I will be reading ASAP, the movie merely touches the surface.

At times in the movie it appears Ghinsberg just goes from one disaster to the next and the film makers are trying to squash in as many incidents as they can for cinematic effect. What we all need reminding is that this movie is a true story – you can’t make this stuff up. While we see Daniel Radcliffe recreate so many scary freaky stuff what was kept out of the movie because there wasn’t enough time was…….

  • When Ghinsberg woke up covered in leeches
  • He slipped down a slope and impaled his rectum on a broken stick
  • When he woke up to find a swarm of termites eating patches of his skin where he’d urinated on himself

The mind boggles at what this man went through.


Jungle Movie image
Alex Russell and Daniel Radcliffe



The survival movies of 2017 so far appear to be THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US, THE LOST CITY OF Z and JUNGLE. The former two are way less then impressive and the latter is not without issues but overall brilliant. It will make my Top 20 movies of the year I enjoyed it so much. I expected it to be way less impressive than it was due to its lack of gaining major cinema chain endorsement but my mind was blown away at the realism of it all.

What made it even better for me was that I didn’t know the story – I need to read the book now. I am a little confused as to why major cinema chains wouldn’t pick this one up. OK, Event and Reading have it on a small run but I seriously expected more. Even if it was shit – it stars Daniel Radcliffe FFS, that’s enough to earn money on any movie.


WOLF CREEK maestro Greg McLean helms JUNGLE and he does an admirable job. The pacing was a little off in the first half and I failed to see the necessity of all the tension with the party prior to the group essentially splitting in two. It was probably me being incredibly tired when viewing the movie but was there motives behind the split or was this genuinely just a representation of the book. Realism can appear truly odd to the viewer if it doesn’t roll the way cinematic narrative wants.

Stefan Duscio’s cinematography deserves awards for his breathtaking lensing of the jungle. I am picturing an AFI coming his way sometime this year.

Overall a huge applause for the filmmakers – what they all went through to achieve this movie in this environment is remarkable. Well done!!!


Jungle Movie image
Daniel Radcliffe



There are other cast members and most notable out of them is Alex Russell but everyone is overshadowed by Radcliffe. His acting is just remarkable and his performances go from strength to strength and I love he takes on so many unique rolls. He literally starved himself on one chicken breast and one protein bar per day to get into the shape of Ghinsberg at the end of the movie. My mouth dropped open when I saw how thin he was. The realism in his delivery had me spellbound. Towards the end of the first half I thought this movie was slowing right down and was going to do my head in but then Radcliffe takes the screen on his own and totally dominates.


Jungle Movie image
Daniel Radcliffe



If you love survival movies, camping, and/ or Daniel Radcliffe then you will absolutely love JUNGLE. Push through the first half because when it’s all Radcliffe it’s a sublime and harrowing survival movie worthy of your attention.






 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.