Into the Wild


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!

5 thoughts on “Into the Wild

  1. first you hack on the JB3 and Waifs outdoor belvoir concert experience and now you downplay the significance of this film – arghhhhhhhhh – you’re killing everything that is good in this world!!! 😉

    I think about 2/3 of the way through this film there is a moment of pure genius – in fact it is a nugget of Truth that makes the entire movie worth every cent and then some. It is where he reflects in his diary that for all that is worth experiencing in this world, it all boils into insignificance outside of experiencing it with others. That’s the point right before he decides to leave to return home – but ironically, he can’t cross the river.

    (Oh and the quote “she’s ready to launch herself onto a fence post” was one of the funniest things I’d heard in a long time.)

    Go watch it again…. and this time, relax and enjoy it 😉

    I loved this film.

  2. Hehe!

    Not your week on ‘backyard’ is it!? 🙂

    i enjoyed it, but I think I expected more. There were some great moments, but didn’t light my fire.

    Have you seen Kite Runner?…

    Now that was a great movie – my review is coming…

  3. I havent got around to seeing this one yet, or kite runner for that matter, so appreciate the review. If you want a great, thoughtful and hilarious movie, check out Juno, it is a ripper on teen pregnancy, but it’s not a mainstream teen flick i assure you, far too clever for that. more in the vain of Saved!.

  4. just finished putting SAVED on my ipod today – definitely one of the best movies ever made subverting evangelical fundamentalism and the hypocrisy that surrounds such institutions.

    will see kite runner in the next couple of weeks with my missus down at luna once the kids are all back at school full-time.

  5. I have to agree with otherendup on this matter – but also have to agree that while what Chris did was courageous it was a little self indugent, but I too thought he redeemed himself with his thoughts and realisations, as well as the inspiration he gave others.

    The Alaskan’s all think he was an unexperienced fool who stayed out in the wild too long – and ironically a large part of everyone else thinks he was onto something and go camping at the bus site.

    I think it echoes so much with alot of folk who pine for that affluenza freedom without understanding it.

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