Into The Wild (2007) movie synopsis from IMDb (the amazing, my bible equivalent – Internet Movie Database)
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
It turns out, it was directed by Sean Penn! Who I loved from the very start when he acted with Robert De Niro in We’re No Angels, then in I Am Sam, Mystic River and Milk.
My take on the movie?
I’m not exactly sure what I just watched, a lil’ stunned to be honest. I missed out on the first 15 minutes of the film so I had no idea it was based on a true story. There seems to be this genre of existential crisis movies involving being one with nature (or outer space), finding yourself through a self planned journey.
The first I watched was Tracks, 2013 (Mia Wasikowska aka Alice in Wonderland and Adam Driver aka Adam from Girls and future Star Wars lead character), then it was Wild, 2014 (Reese Witherspoon) and now Into The Wild which came out much earlier 2007.
After a lil’ research, the beginning of the movie started with these words.
The gist of it – the main character basically tested his physical and mental endurance and resolve to complete his mission of being free. Free of mundane day to day life. The rigmarole of completing a degree and pursue a career. How he had a rocky childhood. He felt trapped. He felt doomed to live life like the rest of us.
A few things he said in particular resonated in me.
He scribbled ‘happiness is only real when shared’ down in a book, and he was very alone, out in the wilderness, clearly at the brink of death, suffering at the time. The ending of the movie, the part where they update you on where they are now and how they eventually chose to live. He chose to live ‘wild’ till a ripe old age. I wonder if he got back in touch with his family.
He’s not around anymore. The movie was based in late 1980s to early 1990s. Uncanny how the real person and the actor (Emile Hirsch) chosen to play him, looked eerily alike. As journeys often lead you to surprising paths and pitfalls, he made plenty of life threatening mistakes (involving a moose!) but also met many people who eventually became family (which he saw and met now and again predominantly by chance). He liked living by chance. Nothing planned. If it was meant to be, it just would.
I am very anal with planning. Timing and schedules are VERY important to me. It gives me a sense of purpose to approach the week systematically. Definitely a thought provoking movie, how he and a handful of spirited people, choose the direct opposite.
It was sad how his parents felt lost and despair losing their son to ‘the wild’. There were flashbacks of how as a child, he felt traumatised by the violent fights his parents had. I’m not sure if it warrants leaving, disappearing and dropping off the grid BUT it was HIS journey, his own reasons and how he processed things personally. Perhaps going into the wild WAS his way of processing things.
Equivalent to a walkabout aborigines in Australia do? A right of passage. Into manhood. Into maturity.
But he never came back from it. It continued till the very end. There’s this saying that you should respect loneliness, because only then you will get to know yourself better.
Overall, good movie. Done very well. The scenes, they had put a lot of heart and thought into it. No special CGI or sound effects in play. Those movies usually have a greater impact, if not on your mind, in your soul.
If slightly slow moving movies with deep story lines isn’t your thing, I don’t recommend it. It’s not for everyone. Apart from it being a little draggy, still pretty good – level of awesomeness? 2.5/5