Into The Wild

I have been looking forward to seeing this film for over a year.  I first heard about it in the weeks leading up to last year’s Oscars, 2008.  Sean Penn directed it, and it is based on the true story of Chris McCandless, who “ran away” from home, leaving everything behind and tramping across the country, eventually ending up in Alaska – his dream adventure.  It had some cameos from some pretty big actors, but nothing special.  Really, it was the coming out party for actor Emile Hirsch, who I knew from The Girl Next Door – and he was fantastic.  The soundtrack featured original songs by Eddie Vedder, and if you don’t know who that is, you’ve been living in a cave.  Anyway, it always seemed like something always got in the way of me watching this movie:  other new releases, having babies, etc.  It’s very difficult when you wake up early every morning to watch a 2 and a half hour movie at night, and that was part of the problem.  But we finally took it in last night, and it was well worth it.  A slow-moving film, it was much like the kid’s life, one small stage at a time.  I call him a kid, because he had just graduated from college, which was ten years ago for an old man like me.

The movie is absolutely gorgeous, shot on location all over the country – Alaska, Arizona, California, Utah, etc.  And the soundtrack, cinematography, acting, etc. are all excellent.  The peripherals make it an extremely well-done film, but the story at the heart of Chris’s journey is particularly heartbreaking.  I can’t lie, there is something at the core of me that would love to leave everything behind, take off on the open road with no cares, and as he calls it, absolute freedom.  I think there is that feeling in all men.  But as he realizes (too late), “Happiness is only real when shared”.  He goes throughout the movie thinking that personal relationships are overrated, and ultimate freedom is where it’s at, but in the end, he realizes that this is incorrect.  The heart of his journey of recognition is Christianity.  We all know that The Church is our only recourse in this world, because it is Christ’s Bride.  Without those personal relationships intimate in our lives, we are dead.  We need fellowship.  We need accountability.  And these are the conclusions that the movie ultimately arrives at.  However, I think that on the way, Chris does make some good points about the materialism of our culture, and parent-child relationships, so he didn’t have it all wrong.  Overall, I thought that the movie was quite great.  It wasn’t as good as some have made it out to be, because at times (specifically in some of the monologues) I felt it got a little “too big for its britches”.  But it got me really thinking, and intrigued, and I very much enjoyed it.  It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while.

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One Response to “Into The Wild”

  1. timmyjimi Says:

    Congratulations on finally watching this movie, and glad you liked it.

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