Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Jungle 2 Jungle (3½ Stars)

This is the third film starring Leelee Sobieski, made in 1997. I use the word "starring" very cautiously, because she only has a minor role. She was 13 at the time. It's a remake of the French film "Un indien dans la ville".

Michael Cromwell is a commodities trader who lives in New York City and works in the World Trade Center. He's planning to marry his fiancée Charlotte next month, a glamorous fashion model, but there's a problem: he's still married to his first wife Patricia, who left him 13 years ago. She was sick of big city life and went to work as a doctor in a remote village in Venezuela. There are no telephones in her village, so Michael has to travel there in person to get her to sign the divorce papers.

On arrival he gets a big shock. Unknown to him, Patricia was pregnant when she left, and she now has a 13-year-old son called Mimi-Siku, who has been brought up as an Indian. Michael is proud to have a son and takes him back to visit New York. But things aren't so easy. Mimi-Siku is rooted in his Indian culture. He walks around the city barefoot, armed with his bow and arrows and his blowpipe and poisoned arrows. Boys will be boys.

So how does Leelee Sobieski fit in? She plays the role of Karen, the daughter of Michael's best friend. Mimi-Siku falls in love with her at first sight. He gives her the new name Ukume, which means beautiful in his language. Very appropriate. What 13-year-old boy could resist her?

As I said, Leelee only plays a small role in the film. Mostly she just stands gazing lovestruck at Mimi-Siku. She plays bigger roles in her following films, which I'll review over the next few weeks.

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