I hate to think of myself as someone who fits in with the crowd; I like to be different. Consequently I find myself asking ‘what if’ very often - what if I did this? What if I changed that? Anything to create a purpose for my insignificant existence. I think the above encapsulates exactly why I can relate so closely to Into the Wild. I don't think the director (Sean Penn) was trying to communicate this message of uniqueness, but that's how I liked to receive it all the same!
Having been brought up in a rich family where mum and dad seemed to believe that providing everything on a plate is synonymous to loving a child, Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) grew frustrated by the lack of truth and principle in modern day society. His parents were the major perpetrators, living the lie as a married couple and hiding secrets that Chris would later found out about. As with most parents - they were oblivious that they had anything to do with his frustration.
Having graduated from university, Christopher sends his life savings of $24,000 to a local charity, cuts in half all of his ID cards, burns his money and takes to the roads in an enviable adventure that seamlessly fulfils the two hours of film that follows.
For me the destination is never really an important factor in a journey - this film solidifies my belief. Chris voyages from place to place, touching the lives of people, successfully demonstrating that happiness and money have don’t need to be intertwined as we are led to believe.
Sean Penn adds a touching storyline that constantly challenged my way of thinking. At certain points in the film, I could relate to the protaganist so closely that I felt like driving to heathrow and jumping on the next flight to anywhere.
I really love an ending to be the climax - the summit of the mountain - but here the ending is far from spectacular....But I like it - it fits well and brings a very warm closure to the movie and life of this fine young adventurer. I must be getting soppy in my old age.
Emile puts in a great performance as Christopher - you can really imagine him as a nomad and the supporting cast do a great job of filling the edges.
What makes this film rather more fascinating is that it is based on a true story, hats off to the late Christopher McCandless for having the balls to live life the way I believe life should be lived.
Whilst I don’t have a bad thing to say about the film, I should warn viewers that the storyline wouldn’t be anywhere near as heartfelt if you are unable to relate to the feelings and emotions of a natural born adventurer. Like Christopher, allbeit to a lesser extent, I have always had an adventurous streak so it works for me. I would, however, be very interested to hear the opinions of what Mr Joe Bloggs think about this movie.
For now, though, Joe Bloggs can take a back seat - this is my review and so I’m giving it a whopping 9/10.
This film will certainly have a place towards the top of my DVD rack.