After defeating Voldemort, Daniel Radcliffe battles nature in ‘Jungle’

Published: September 12, 2017
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Ask any aspiring actor around to spell out a sure shot way of becoming famous overnight and they would invariably answer that landing a memorable character is the key to unlock this particular treasure chest.

Starring in a major role, however, is also a potential double-edged sword, where actors and actresses when trying to move on have found themselves trapped in the success of these very characters.

Mark Hamill was, at one point in time, the ultimate example of an actor who was solely known for one single character. So much so, that you might not even notice who this guy that I am speaking of is unless I say ‘Luke Skywalker’.

There are numerous other examples of actors ironically being held back by a powerful character, but in modern times, none more so than Daniel Radcliffe. It might have taken you a couple of seconds to realise that we are talking about Harry Potter and that is precisely what I am talking about.

Ever since the fantasy series ended, our bespectacled boy wizard has failed to recreate the magic with any of his subsequent characters. A major reason for it, one can argue, is the fact that audience simply fails to accept him in any setting other than Hogwarts.

But a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, and Mr Radcliffe simply won’t give up trying to change people’s hardwired perception of him. Replacing Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Radcliffe’s next acting venture is the Amazon jungle. He plays Yossi Ghinsberg, a real life Israeli backpacker who, together with two friends, heads out from the Bolivian city of La Paz on an adventure that was supposed to be a life-altering event.

Set in the 80s, the trailer of the film Jungle, based on Ghinsberg’s book, has recently hit the internet. The true story shows Radcliffe being lured into the unexplored Amazon by an Austrian expat named Karl Ruprechter.

Ruprechter claims to know the region quite well, and after meeting this group of friends for the first time, he subsequently offers his services as the group’s guide. This journey of a lifetime soon turns into a hellish nightmare when Ruprechter abandons the group and thus leaves them all alone at the mercy of the Amazon jungle.

The plot seems simple enough with typical survival genre conventions driving the narrative forward. Judging by the trailer, the movie might look like a jungle version of Danny Boyle’s The Beach mixed with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. But to Radcliffe’s relief, his character does look a lot different than his turn as the little wizard.

To be perfectly honest, we also need to commend the fact that unlike his Harry Potter co-star Emma Watson, Radcliffe hasn’t decided to simply rest on his laurels and sign up for commercial fares. Following his daring indie role as a flatulent corpse in Swiss Army Man last year, Radcliffe, with Jungle has once again opted for a bold character to develop his career as an actor rather than a movie star or a celebrity.

We just hope, for his sake, that all these offbeat characters help Radcliffe escape the clutches of Harry Potter once and for all.

Currently, Jungle does not have a wide release date.

All photos: Screenshots

Hassan Sardar

Hassan Sardar

The author is an aspiring filmmaker and a diehard Liverpool fan. He also teaches Screenwriting and Cinematography, and loves tattoos and flip-flops. He tweets as @CineSardar (twitter.com/CineSardar)

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