15 – 148mins – Adventure/Biography/Drama – 9th November 2007

Into The Wild is a movie about one man, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) and his voyage into the unknown. This movie is based on the true story (which was first adapted into a book by Jon Krakauer) of Christopher who one day after graduating with top marks from Emory University, gave all of his $24,000 savings to charity and up and left his family to go and live in the wilds of Alaska. He did this without telling anyone where he was going and when, if ever, he would return.

This story is told from several different perspectives. There is the story of Christopher as he voyages across America meeting a plethora of different people along the way- this takes precedent, the story of him when he finally makes it to Alaska where he finds an old empty bus that he turns into his home and finally the story as told from the perspective of his sister who fills us in on the family background and the emotions that they were feeling during his journey. They are all interwoven and skip from one to another during the movie.

It is beautifully shot, especially with so many different locations and scenes to film. Sean Penn is the director and despite not voyaging into this directorial role often you would be hard pushed to realize. My only slight issue is that Penn sought to glamorize his journey when at times, he could be considered a bit of an idiot… ignoring flash flood warning signs, canoeing without a helmet, preparing for Alaska by reading a few books rather than getting the necessary equipment etc.

The acting of Hirsch is excellent and the thoughts and emotions, most likely gleaned from the actual Christopher, have been portrayed well. Christopher believes that he can get by without the need for relationships with other people but because of his charisma, people seek him out. (think Franco from 127 hours) Some might find parts of his monologues a bit preachy but I felt they gave depth to his character and helped to explain the reasoning behind his journey. The movie is well written and has it all- adventure, action, some comedy, sadness and most importantly it feels real- in my experience it is not often that a movie captures reality successfully without lacking at some point.

I have to say that this movie hit a chord with me for some reason and I found it to be excellent. You can just get lost with Christopher’s beliefs and his ethos. He has done what so many of us would like to do but will never have the courage to. He disregards his money and possessions through choice and sets off on an adventure without a worry in the world. The fact that it is based on a true story only adds to the exceptional story that is told.

This movie will leave you remembering it for several days after and is one that will get you wanting to change the way you think and do things.

Rating: 8.9/10

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