Director: Sean Penn
Writer: Sean Penn based on Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Brian Dierker, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook
Released: September 2007
WARNING: THIS FILM MAY GIVE A GIANT REALITY CHECK TO MANY ASPIRING TRAVELLERS. YOU MAY END UP CANCELLING YOUR ADVENTURE PLANS AND BECOME CONTENT WITH A SECURE, SAFE 9-5 JOB.
This took me soooo long to sit down, and watch successfully from beginning to end. I attempted watching it twice, about two years ago. But I found it slow-paced and uneventful.
Oh boy was I wrong.
Based on a true story, Into the Wild is about a privileged young man, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), who graduates from university. He has the world in his hands, from the outside he has a top-class education, and wealthy, supportive parents.
But his deepest desire is to distance himself from the material world of money and ‘things’. So he sets off on a journey in search of adventures in the Alaskan wilderness.
I’m gonna be all the way out there, all the way f*cking out there. Just on my own. You know, no f*cking watch, no map, no axe, no nothing. No nothing. Just be out there. Just be out there in it. You know, big mountains, rivers, sky, game. Just be out there in it, you know? In the wild.
A few months ago I took the time to watch it properly. I watched it just before my graduation from university, which was probably why I loved it so much; the story seemed to parallel my life at that point.
I think everyone’s had that desire to break away from the life they know and rough it out in East Jesus nowhere. And, just like every other ‘runaway’ film, Into the Wild lives out your secret fantasy.
Society, man! You know, society! Cause, you know what I don’t understand? I don’t understand why people, why every f*cking person is so bad to each other so f*cking often.
It’s certainly a sad story, and it bursts your idealistic bubble of living in the wilderness. As it turns out, being in the wild is a brutal place to be. Especially all alone.
But, in Christopher’s eyes, he did exactly what he wanted to do. He created his own challenges and hurdles, his own dreams and goals. I feel he was in complete control of his life for once. And despite the tragedies along the way, at least you can say he truly led a free life.
Check out Christopher’s real-life story, there’s a few interesting facts you’ll find out about him… But it’s probably best to read the true story after watching the film. Otherwise you’ll kill the magic in the film.
With this gorgeous song leaving you at the end of the film, I found myself to feel extremely humbled. Christopher’s story was an incredible one to say the least, but as I said, it will smash your travelling dreams with one heavy swing of reality.
This is a ‘quieter’ film to Wild, which is why the rating is a smidgen lower. I think the lack of dialogue and music works for this film, but I ultimately prefer Wild‘s soundtrack and use of dialogue more.
Jodie’s rating: 7.5/10
Please watch the trailer – the score and the editing just punches you in the face with awesomeness.