Critique Column: Into the Wild

Into the Wild, released Sept. 21, 2007, is a brilliant film that focuses on the true story of Christopher McCandless’ (Emile Hirsch) internal battle to find himself in something more than society’s materials.

The movie starts out right after McCandless graduates. His parents desperately shower him in gifts and expensive items, only to, ultimately, distance him. Chris then decides to follow his obsession with freedom and cut all connections with his familiar life, changing his name to Alexander Supertramp and leaving his car in a desert.

Trying greatly to stay unfound, Chris sets out on foot. He finds himself meeting multiple extraordinary people, open to learning their ideas and values. From South Dakota, to California, Chris meets a free spirited family, Jan and Rainey, played by Brian H. Dierker and Catherine Keener, that he later returns to.

On the road to completing his goal of traveling to Alaska, Chris meets an old man, played by Jim Gallien, who changes his life. Chris promises that when returns back to civilization from the wild, he will come and live with him. Once in Alaska, Chris lives on the magic bus, an abandoned bus that he takes over. He is later faced with the harsh realities and conditions of nature such as hunting for food and staying warm. Chris eventually discovers his true being, surrounded by nothing but wild, and is content with the truth and reason of truly living.

This movie’s theme of being free of materialism and societal expectation is one that resonates well with a wide audience. It is something that everyone should take into mind while reflecting  on their own lives. It received an 8.1/10 rating and 80% on, and although the movie is fantastically made, there are some parental concerns. This movie includes nudity, social drinking and some language, and the main idea can be a bit heavy for children.

Overall, the acting was incredible, and you can’t help but be drawn in by the unfamiliarity and curiosity of the film.  After watching this movie, you will most likely find yourself  evaluating your own life and wondering if the pilgrimage Chris achieved truly is a better option.

If you’re up for an adventure, you will definitely want to watch this movie. If you resist change, instead preferring to cling to the safety of the familiar, rarely daring to step foot out of your bubble, you will definitely NEED to watch this movie.