After hearing about it a few months back, I finally got to see this movie today, quite an intriguing case study of a person’s life.
The synopis says:
“Into the Wild” is based on a true story and the bestselling book by Jon Krakauer. After graduating from Emory University in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness.
Its a great adventure but ends with Chris dying alone in an old bus from starvation. He was a middle class kid whow grew up in a messy family and who didn’t want to buy into all the trappings of suburban life.
From his own journal he writes:
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
Its an interesting story, but probably not a brilliant film. I didn’t find myself warming to Chris. He was a little too self righteous at times and self indulgent at others. To reject money and the norm of suburban life is one thing, but to then hitch your way around the country using someone else’s car/bus/truck just seems a tad hypocritical to me. If you’re going to criticise the system that harshly then make sure you have no part of it at all!
He was obviously a very smart young guy, but was both pursuing an ideal and running from a dysfunctional family. As I ponder my own quest for adventure it raises two significant questions: what’s driving me?… what are the consequences of my choices?…
It was pretty tragic to see the pain Chris’ family experienced as he went along his merry way and in many ways he could be seen as something of a selfish brat. It wouldn’t rate as one of my top 10 movies but its worth a look if for no other reason than to stir your spirit of adventure and your questioning of this current world!