Into the Wild: A Tragic Compromise
Hey everyone! Welcome to this week’s movie club, where we are celebrating the spring/summer in full swing with Into the Wild.
INTO THE WILD
DIRECTED BY: Sean Penn
STARRING: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Brian Dierker, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Stewart Hal, Holbrook
GENRE: Biographical, Drama, Survival
COUNTRY: United States
A young man leaves his middle class existence in pursuit of freedom from relationships and obligation. Giving up his home, family, all possessions but the few he carried on his back, and donating all his savings to charity, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) embarks on a journey throughout America. His eventual aim is to travel into Alaska, into the wild, to spend time with nature, with ‘real’ existence, away from the trappings of the modern world.
In the 20 months leading up to his Great Alaskan Adventure, his travels lead him on a path of self-discovery, to examine and appreciate the world around him and to reflect on and heal from his troubled childhood and parents’ sordid and abusive relationship. When he reaches Alaska, he finds he is insufficiently prepared and despite making it through the winter he prepares to return home in spring, only to find the frozen stream he crossed in the snow has become an impassable, raging torrent, and that he is trapped. With no means of sustaining himself adequately, he eventually starves to death in his so-sought-after isolation.
I know it is a weird time for this, but road-trip, survival, and wilderness movies may be a theme this month, so deal with it. Anyway, I can easily sum up Into the Wild in just a few words: “Man vs Nature”. Drawing inspiration from Jack London, the film adaptation doesn’t stray too far from the source material, showing just how strong of a narrative it has. In any form Into the Wild’s message can get across, Nature is beautiful and strangely seductive, don’t be kept in one place for very long, as there is a whole world out there to discover.
Despite this, Into the Wild is not for the faint of heart. The film is tragic in structure as well as tone, setting up a tragic story with a premature death that doesn’t necessarily have to happen. You just have to look past this though, as through all of the dread and darkness lies a spirit that is untamed. I know it sounds corny and all, but that spirit is Into the Wild. A fantastic film of choices and compromises.
- Man vs Nature
- Jack London inspiration.
- Nature message.
- Untamed spirit.
- Tragic in structure.
- Tragic in tone.
SCORE: 6.5 / 10
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0 thoughts on “Into the Wild: A Tragic Compromise”
I really liked the film. I’m reading the book right now, which is really intriguing so far!