• SumoMe

Into the Wild

This could have been a really bad movie. Overly-explained, out of touch, untruthful, and shallow. It would have been so easy to make this film into the usual Hollywood bastardization of someone’s life story and nonfiction book, but fortunately for us, Sean Penn didn’t direct it that way.

I recently got around to watching the 2007 film, “Into the Wild” and it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in total production. The acting, the writing, the directing, and especially the Kaki King/Eddie Vedder soundtrack all came together to create a brilliant depiction of the struggle, happiness, and independent spirit of Christopher McCandless. After his graduation from Emory University, Christopher gave away all his money, cut up his credit cards, ditched his car, and went into the unknown by himself, following in the spirit of his favorite writers.

The film tells his story in a nonlinear fashion, eventually giving insight into his motives and goals. Although the film is broken into parts (birth, adolescence, manhood, etc.), each part draws on the prior and future stages, aptly describing the journey of life and its intricacies. A turning point occurs when Christopher (now going by Alexander Supertramp) meets up with an older man who supports his quest, but asks him pointed questions about what exactly Christopher is doing, and why he is so set on going to Alaska. It’s in this instance of unconditional love from a stranger that you see Christopher’s true unwillingness to associate himself with people for any extended period of time, and you know his quest and motivation is true.

The entire film is wrought with sadness but maintains that freedom-loving vibe that is largely associated with post-college graduate males. The film is also full of curiosity and confusion, and without these aspects the film would fail for want of sincerity. “Into the Wild” is a must-see film for any 20-something-ish guy out there, regardless of his background. If you have been alive at some point, which is all of us, you can find something to love about this movie.

What did you find compelling about “Into the Wild?” Give your opinion in the comments.