Monday, February 18, 2008
Recently, I discovered a critically-acclaimed film, based on an equally acclaimed book. Into The Wild is directed by Sean Penn and features Emile Hirsch playing the lead role of Chris McCandless, a Dean's List graduating student with tons of potential, coming from a well-to-do family. Unhappy with the criteria of living that his parents place on him and his sister, including an overwhelming importance placed on "things", Chris decides to leave, and leave it all behind him. When I say leave it all, I kid you not. Anywho, I shall not spoil any of the movie, but I highly recommend it. For those of you that know me well enough, I love sharing things I enjoyed and making recommendations to friends and family. I wouldn't go so far as to rave about a film in my blog, but this one warrants such praise.
The cinematography, acting, story, music (including original songs performed by Eddie Veder,) are all phenomenally put together. It is based on a true story, and one that isn't a far cry from other adventure stories we have read or witnessed on-screen in past years. I suppose what sets Into the Wild apart is its explicit philosophy. It is unapologetically anti-establishment and really sheds light (and darkness) on what it means to take a step back, away from the things that we imbue with meaning that was never there, and value instead the relationships formed with others who have done the same. To step back even further, away from social interaction, and be one with nature, is an adventure within itself.
Although I didn't begin packing my camping gear and non-perishable food supplies when I finished the movie, I did buy the book. The movie was an eye-opener for what exists when you strip away the superficial exterior that we have so often become accustomed to in our daily lives.