• Emma

Into The Wild: A Review

Kia Ora!

I felt I needed to write this post because I don't think I've ever been so emotionally moved by a movie. I've been hesitant to share my thoughts of books and movies, but you know what, this is my corner of the internet and I can do what I like with it. 😉😜

This movie was based off of a book by Jon Krakauer, following the non fiction story of Christopher Johnson McCandless, or Alexander (Alex) Supertramp. If you didn't know already, Jon is also the same author that survived the 1969 Everest disaster, and wrote another story called 'Into Thin Air.' I also highly recommend that book, but that's for another post.

The movie follows Alex as he runs away from home and a hidden troubled family upbringing in the search I believe, for happiness.

I think his character stood out to me, as he had no desire for money, time, or a normal life. He called a career a 'twenty first century invention,' and he didn't want one. His outlook on life was so incredibly different to anyone I've ever know, he had no ties to anyone, and purely saw the world for it's beauty.

“I don’t want to know what time it is. I don’t want to know what day it is or where I am. None of that matters.”

He had a love for books as well, and they are a prominent part in the movie. He gets a lot

of his theories from them, and he quotes Thoreau a few times. I found a quote written by Jon about Alex's journey that I think really made sense to me, and confirmed my own feelings about his character.

“Unlike Muir and Thoreau, McCandless went into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature or the world at large but, rather, to explore the inner country of his own soul.”

Now, I had no idea who Thoreau was before this movie, but here is what google tells me about him:

Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience", an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

I can definitely see parts of Alex's thinking shining through the words 'simple living in natural surroundings,' can't you? Jon's quote also mentions John Muir. I knew who he was however, as in 2016 I visited Yosemite National Park in the United States, of which Muir helped found in the late 1800's.

Alexander's journey starts with his old Datsun, in which he drives to a deserted area and gets caught in a flash flood. From here he carries on by foot, and begins his long journey.

There's a second quote that I loved.

"The core of man's spirit comes from new experiences."

That hit me hard. And I thought to myself, at what point to I feel the most relaxed, the most joy or the most freedom? It's when I'm getting out there and doing it. There's something in life that I am sure I am yet to learn, or perhaps a feeling I have not come across yet, but I believe travelling in the next few years to come will show me what it is.

Throughout the movie, I noticed there is the use of shots of planes flying past in the sky about three times. I wondered why they would use this, but then I connected it with the idea of escape, and a journey to another place, which represented what Alex was going through himself.

I plan to travel next year as much as I can, first to America and then hopefully on to Europe. The movie captured so many amazing moments, and the illustration of the people he met, and the experiences Alex had just made me so much more excited for my own adventures.

“You will see things and meet people and there is so much to learn from them.”

He had a large impact on the people he met along the way as well. He brought one couple a happier marriage, and reduced one man to tears upon his departure. It's only once he has spent a few months in the wild, when he has spent all his morale that he realizes, and highlights in one of his books inside 'The Magic Bus' that happiness is only real when shared. Something I believe he did not know when he met all of those people along the way. He is so content with himself and his own company, it's sad as much as inspiring. I don't think he chose to feel that way, but the upbringing with his parents separated his mind from the idea of meaningful relationships and love.

At the end of the movie, he reflects on his parents and wonders whether if he had returned home, they may have the same outlook on life and happiness as he did. But I think that's the beauty of it, they never would. He was his own person and couldn't be defined into a world like his parents' lives.

I had another thought, about the title itself. I think that the title addresses the physical idea of the wild that he ventures into, but also the metaphorical way of life that not many people experience or choose to embark on.

I actually re-watched this movie with my family last night, partly because I was so inspired and didn't shut up about it... oops, and my Mum made a really interesting observation.

If you didn't know already, I'm a Christian and was brought up in a Christian family. The movie touches on the subject of God, especially towards the end of the movie. In a conversation with Ron, one of the people he meets, Alex is adamant that God has placed happiness in the things and experiences around us, not just in human relationships. Ron goes on to say,

"If you forgive, you love, and when you love, God's light shines through you."

After he says this, the sun comes out from behind the cloud and they both laugh at the timing. However, my Mum pointed out that towards the end of the movie in the final scenes, Alex is reflecting on him and his relationship with his parents and he stares up at the sky. The sun comes out from behind the cloud, perhaps symbolizing the fact that he had forgiven his parents for everything he had gone through.

All in all, this movie is such a wholesome watch, and puts you through a real roller-coaster of emotions. It touches on so many subjects in different ways, every time you think about an aspect of it you find out something new. I would recommend it for teenagers, but just keep in mind for younger viewers there's a few scenes that include a bit of language and a few nudists. 🙊 Like I said, he really meets a whole range of different people! I'd also recommend it for slightly older watchers, as it is a really great movie, but I think the messages behind it would go over younger heads. I really hope you'll go watch/read it and see for yourself what I mean! I'd love to hear what you think!

Click on the image for the Goodreads link!

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