Into the Wild
A friend of mine let me borrow a screener of the movie Into the Wild starring Emile Hirsch. I remember when the movie was in theaters and wasn’t really motivated to see it. After watching it, I’m a little sad that more people didn’t see this movie.
Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, who leaves his affluent East Coast family and decides to live off the land a few months. A few months turns into a few years and lifing off the land turns into trekking across all of North America. He takes the pseudonym of Alexander Supertramp as he runs from all he finds detestable… materialism, inauthentic relationships, and seeks truth. At least that’s what he tells himself. Watching the film, I couldn’t help but think that he was looking for eveything he didn’t have at home. And that’s the irony of the movie for me.
Although McCandless sought Truth, more so than money, faith, fame and fairness, I think he was really needing real relationships. In his travels, you seem his experience this kind of real community with a hippie couple, a kind boss, a sweet girl and an old man; and sadly, he never realizes what he has because he is preoccupied with his dream of reaching Alaska. How many people do we know that chase dreams without realizing on the goodness of the reality they already have and all the pursuits that come with it?
My favorite part of the movie is the old man, the part of Supertramp’s life called The Getting of Wisdom. The old man is alone, the only son of an only son who finds McCandless a challenge and an intriguing soul. McCandless challenges the old man to come see the view at the tent where he lives, but the old man is content to look at things from only half way up. I like the view from here, he says… mirroring the thing McCandless fights against, limited perspective. Later the old man climbs a differnt hill to meet McCandless at the top and imparts a profound wisdom that nature applauds in its way.
The movie is beautifully shot, has really pretty shots of the country that look like moving postcards and does justice to one man’s story. If you want to see acting that goes beyond anger and stomping around, watch Hirsch’s portrayal of McCandless’ realization of his fatal mistake.
I’ll close my review with this quote from the author:
Jon Krakauer: It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough , it is your God-given right to have it. . . I was a raw youth who mistook passion for insight and acted according to an obscure, gap-ridden logic. I thought climbing the Devils Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. And I lived to tell my tale.
If you haven’t seen it yet, see the movie and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and listen to your thoughts on it.