Posted by: ara0062 | April 24, 2008

“Into the Wild”

This is the plot synopsis on Into the Wild as stated by imbd (Contains Spoilers):

“A young man leaves his middle class existence in pursuit of freedom from relationships and obligation. Giving up his home, family, all possessions but the few he carried on his back and donating all his savings to charity Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) embarks on a journey throughout America. His eventual aim is to travel into Alaska, into the wild, to spend time with nature, with ‘real’ existence, away from the trappings of the modern world. In the 20 months leading up to his Great Alaskan Adventure his travels lead him on a path of self-discovery, to examine and appreciate the world around him and to reflect on and heal from his troubled childhood and parents’ sordid and abusive relationship. When he reaches Alaska he finds he has been insufficiently prepared for the hardships to come. Despite making it through the winter his plan is ill-judged and prepares to return home in spring, only to find the stream he crossed in the snow has become an impassable raging torrent and that he is trapped. With no means of sustaining himself adequately he eventually starves to death in his so sought after isolation. Throughout his epic journey the people he meets both influence and are influenced by the person he is and bring him to the eventual and tragic realisation that “Happiness is only real when shared”.

This movie is actually based on the real-life story of Chris McCandless back in the early 1990’s. Apparently, he kept a journal that chronicled his ill-fated journey into the wilderness. I never read the book version, but I am sure it had to be better than the movie one. The movie in itself had a lot of potential, but just was not that great. It dragged out entirely too long. I could have summarized my own synopsis of the movie, but since imdb did such a wonderful job, I thought I would give them the credit they deserved.

At times, I have wondered what it would be like to just abandon everything to live such a simple life. But then, I realize how rude and selfish that would be. Personally, I did not enjoy this movie, and although what Chris did was for good reasons, it was also for very selfish reasons. Just dropping a postcard in the mail would not have hurt him just to give his family some peace of mind. I felt like this was his form of rebellion and punishment to his parents, and in the end, it bit him back. He was very ill-prepared for someone who just wanted to drop off the face of the planet and disappear. I could say I felt sorry for him, but I don’t because IMO, it was quite cruel. I really would NOT recommend this movie to anyone unless they are really bored with plenty of time on their hands. Wait for it to come out on cable.

 MPAA Rating: R (for language and some nudity)



  1. That whole story reminds me of this recent one:

    anyway, sounds like a Henry David Thoreau type who was a little bit stupid. I can’t get up much interest to delve into the philisophical meanderings of people doing these kinds of “experiments”. Why don’t you just turn off your cable TV and go help out in a soup kitchen, for crying out loud?


    (Thought you needed some bitchy commentary on this one.)

  2. HAHAHA that is funny. I wanted to see this movie because of the main actor but after Ara’s review I do not think I will or I will wait for it to come to dvd and then I will wait for a free rental code from Redbox!

  3. THERE ya go WmWB. Wait until it is free! haha CA, definitely… you’re right, if he wanted to make a difference, then do something that isn’t selfish LOL 🙂
    I see CA has came over to the dark side..muahahah 🙂

  4. “Into the Wild”

    I think you missed the “Idea”.

    He was 23 years old. He was selfish (“he should have dropped a postcard to his family”), but the argument is that he would have given up, if he had “dropped the postcard.” He knew that if he picked up the phone, his quest was over.

    If you would have watched the movie, you would have noticed the relationships that he built, along the way. He bonded with an older character that suggested forgiveness, but it was his journey, and in the end… [edited out because of spoilers -WMWB] The relationships and experience of living outside of his pond is the true meaning, behind the film.

    If you remember, he was ready to go back home… [edited out because of spoilers -WMWB]

    Give the kid some credit, he had the balls to at least try and look behind the curtain and find his truth.


  5. Jay I am sorry for editing some of your comment. I did it because of spoilers but then I looked back over the post and saw in the synopsis it had spoilers I just did not want to ruin it for people who hadn’t seen it so very sorry about that.

    Since I have not seen the movie I am pretty neutral but I see both sides. I think it takes courage to do something like that I feel it would be a very hard journey prepared or not. I think at 23 doing what he did he probably was selfish and rebellious so he would not have thought about “dropping a postcard” but I think that would have been a nice thing to do…but then again he left a journal…maybe he said his goodbyes and asked for forgiveness in there?

  6. Well Jay,

    I am not saying the kid didn’t have guts, and I actually DID watch the movie. I did see what he did later and all throughout the movie bonding with strangers. Obviously he was just looking for something he wasn’t getting in his relationships at home. I did understand what he was trying to prove, but as WmWB said, at that age …I’ll just keep to my viewpoints that I already stated, but thank you for your opinions Jay

  7. It was tragic that McCandless died out there in the wilderness; but then again, so many people have benefited from his story… a couple of years of hitchhiking led to his story challenging thousands (millions?) of people to reexamine their lives

  8. What I did like about it was that it showed that material things really are worthless… it’s the real relationships that count 🙂

  9. I suggest that you all read the book by Jon Krakauer and skip the Sean Penn movie. Although somewhat worthy, the movie pales in comparison to the book which is an accurate chronical of McCandless’ entire life including his last 2 years. You will all have a new appreciation for what he was and why he did what he did.

  10. Keith thank you for your comment. I only read certain types of books and that is not one of them but I will take your word for it!

  11. Hey Keith,
    Thanks for the recommendation. I will probably do that because I am one of those who like to compare to see how close the movie was to the book version. I can say Lord of the Rings is one of the closest likeness to the movie made that I have seen so far. 🙂

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