Exploring the Past – Into the Wild (2007)

TL;DR –.A really frustrating film that nevertheless sucks you in and leaves you heartbroken. 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Into the Wild. Image Credit: Paramount.

Review

Well, last night I noticed Into the Wild had come onto Netflix. I had heard some good things about it a couple of years ago and I thought it would be a nice relaxing film to put on before going to bed. Oh wow, did I ever get that wrong.

So to set the scene, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) gets dropped off on an Alaskan trail and walks into the wilderness a lot less prepared than maybe he should have. Ignoring the concerns from the guy that dropped him off he begins the march into the wilds of the north until he finds an abandoned bus and uses that as a base of operation. When then jump two years into the past and see why it is Christopher set off on this journey.

Into the Wild. Image Credit: Paramount.
It is a deeply moving story. Image Credit: Paramount.

I honestly did not know what to expect when I sat down to watch this film. I for one did not know it was based on a true story, nor did I know how the film was going to end. If I did, I maybe would not have picked it for a light watch after a long day’s work. But that being said, while it was nothing I expected, it was a deeply moving film at times, which often caught me off guard.

To start with you see Christopher as almost a pretentious prat, someone who could live a very comfortable life but chooses to be homeless. He is wrapped up in his books and trying to emulate the authors of the past all because his parent were a bit strict. However, as Chris/Alexander Supertramp’s story is revealed bit by bit you start to see the toxic environment that he was living in and trying to escape. As the film, builds more and more of his life he goes from this frustrating character to this deeply relatable one, and that turn happens right around the point where things start going wrong.

Into the Wild. Image Credit: Paramount.
It brings you along for the highs and lows. Image Credit: Paramount.

Structurally this is quite an odd film, with many different often competing forms of narration spurring the film along. At times it is Alex’s journal, with his words often jumping off the page, at times it is his voice, and at times it is his sister Carine (Jena Malone). This creates a complicated web of voices that complicates the narrative but also give it the shades of nuance that it needs. None of this would have worked if Emile Hirsch was not willing to throw everything he had into this role. So you want to see his eclectic journey across America and the people he met like Leonard Knight at Salvation Mountain.

In the end, do we recommend Into the Wild? Yes and No. Look I found this film to be a deeply moving journey into one man’s life. But it is a bit of a slog at the start before it starts to reveal itself, also if you know his story, you know the gut punch at the end. This is not going to be a film for everyone, but if it captures you as it did me, it will leave a lasting mark.      

Trailer

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Into the Wild?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Into the Wild
Directed by
– Sean Penn
Screenplay by – Sean Penn
Based onInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Music by – Michael Brook, Kaki King & Eddie Vedder
Cinematography by – Eric Gautier
Edited by – Jay Cassidy
Production/Distrabution Companies – Paramount Vantage, River Road Entertainment, Square One & Linson Film
Starring
– Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Brian Dierker, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook, Zach Galifianakis, Thure Lindhardt, Signe Egholm Olsen, Merritt Wever, Jim Gallien, Leonard Knight, R. D. Call & Cheryl Harrington       
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: 14A; Germany: 12; New Zealand: na; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R

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2 thoughts on “Exploring the Past – Into the Wild (2007)

  1. This is one of my favorite movies of 2007, a year so filled to the brim with great independent movies that “Into the Wild” manages to standout nonetheless.

    You are correct to highlight Hirsch’s performance. This is still his best role and performance to date as the doomed McCandless. The movie inspired me to read the novel. And I’m glad it did.

    Liked by 1 person

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