Starring: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener
Director: Sean Penn
Running Time: 148 mins
Into The Wild is an American film about the true story of Christopher McCandless, a top university graduate who decides to abandon all of his money and possessions in favour of a venture into the wild to live a simple life and find himself.
Even with all the people who may have dispelled McCandless’ story as idiotic and poorly thought out, this film is really inspiring. It takes a fascinating approach to a fascinating tale, that not only brings you close with the main character, but teaches you a whole lot about life, bringing a very personal note to it.
The representation of this man’s ordeal in venturing out into the wilderness is very romanticised in this film. This does have its benefits, but there are also some downfalls with it.
Firstly, it’s an absolutely delightful film to look at for the majority of its duration. Seeing as you have this romantic image of the wild, there’s little in the way of serious hardship for our main man, and this does allow you to sit back and watch in awe at the amazing landscapes that he travels through, making for a beautiful spectacle.
Also, the messages that the film brings across make it all the more positive. As well as inspiring a sense of adventure within you as you watch this, there are some brilliant life lessons that can be learnt from the characters within this film.
Luckily, it’s not only twenty-something McCandless talking to you about how to live your life, rather it’s McCandless meeting different people during his travels who educate him about the potential consequences of his actions, while also giving inspiring messages to him, and in turn you, the viewer, and that makes for a beautifully rounded outlook on life rather than one sole view, which, in my opinion, makes it all the more inspiring.
Although this isn’t your generic survival film, and it’s not a story of solitude, but of learning from others and living life to the max, there are some big hardships that McCandless has to undergo throughout.
As this is a true story, and not Hollywood fiction, there is an opportunity for the film to be pretty brutal with its main character, and although it does do that in many places where it’s necessary in order to keep up with the real story, I felt that a lot of the representation of this man’s story was just a little too easy for what it actually was.
Again, with the romantic style of the majority of the film, this can be largely excused, but it did just feel a little preposterous and overly romanticised for what it should have been at points.
Having said that, I’ll give this an 8.0, because it was a fascinating, emotional and inspiring tale that grabbed me from start to finish.