After much not getting around to it, I finally got around to it. Saturday night, after everyone went to bed, I popped the Blu-ray disc into my PS3, settled onto the couch to watch a quality movie in peace and quiet. Into the Wild is a 2007 film based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, a college graduate from a well-to-do East Coast family who gave up money and a regular life, changed his name to “Alexander Supertramp”, and hiked across America from 1990-1992.
Sean Penn directed it, and wrote it with American writer Jon Krakauer, the author of a 1996 book about McCandless’ life. While most audience members know of McCandless’ ultimate fate, knowing the ending didn’t take away from watching the journey this 22-year old kid took to find himself and experience life. The overall cast was excellent, but Emile Hirsch was fantastic as Christopher McCandless. Filmed in the same locations that McCandless travelled, the cinematography was phenomenal. The American West is a wonderous and beautiful place. The journey he took led him to meet interesting people, but I loved to see the panoramic vistas of his journey.
** MINOR SPOILERS **
During his journey, I think McCandless was running away from everything his family represented and came from. His father’s career. The intense fights between his parents. The family secrets and lies. He thought he would find happiness in isolation. In the end, I think he realized, ultimately too late, that having relationships was important after all.
I also think that, while he was a bright kid, he was ultimately unprepared for life in the Alaskan wilderness. Some critics have complained that he wasn’t that smart, but I think he just made mistakes due to his inexperience. It was a sad situation overall.
** END SPOILERS **
My review of this film? Certainly one of the best films that I’ve seen this year. The story was interesting, the soundtrack (many by Eddie Veder) fit the theme, and the cinematography was superb. I neglected to mention the cast, but the acting and casting were great as well.