Pick This Flick 7- Into The Wild  

Posted by Praveen in ,

Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. - Alexander Supertramp May 1992 "
-from 'Into the wild'

I decided to see the movie 'Into the wild' after hearing its rousing soundtrack by 'Pearl Jam' frontman Eddie Vedder. Filled with gems like 'Hard Sun', it was enough to make me see this movie somehow. Still I didn't expect much great things from it. Written and Directed by Sean Penn, 'Into the Wild' is based on a book written by Jon Krakauer about the real life adventures of Christopher McCandles, who embarked on a journey of self discovery after his graduation. Christopher, played brilliantly by Emile Hirsch, was an idealist who alongwith his sister, had a troubled childhood owing to the constant fighting of their parents. He hated his parents' materialistic ways most evident in the scene where he rejects their offer to buy him a new car as a gift for his graduation. The film is shot from the point of view of two persons, the first hand account of Chris and the narration by his loving sister Carine.

After graduation, Chris donates the $24000 in his account to charity and sets off in his car to the edge of America, the wilderness of Alaska. He loses his car to a flash flood. The rest of his journey is a series of hitchhikes when he meets with different people who influences him a lot and he inturn influences their lives also. He has destroyed all his personal identity informations, credit cards etc and travels under the name of Alexander Supertramp. He meets a farm owner Wayne(Vince Vaughn) , the hippies Rainey and Jan and old and lonely leather worker Ron(Hal Holbrook). On the course of his journey, he canoes down the Colorado river to Mexico. And this without any prior experience in manouevering such dangerous waters that too without any protective headgear. This single incident reveals the amount of craziness in him. Ron teaches him leatherwork and tries to dissuade him from going to Alaska. He even offers to adopy him as his grandson. But, in the end, no one can prevent Chris from reaching Alaska after a 2 year journey. There he lives in an abandoned bus which he calls as "The magic Bus".
The real Chris McCandles

In Alaska, he puts to use all the things he learned in his life changing journey. He hunts with his rifle but his inexperience in preserving the flesh causes him to starve. When he decides to go back, he finds that the river which he had easily crossed while coming there has now turned dangerous. He is trapped. He tries to survive by eating plants but he accidently eats a poisonous plant which causes problems in his digestive system and he starves to death. Its when the end title card flashed that I was in for a shock,'In memory / Christopher Johnson McCandless / February 12, 1968 - August 18, 1992'. Thats when I realised this was a true story. Imagine a man going on such a journey. This film will make you think with some of the best dialogues that I've seen in recent times. Some are truely poetic and some really inspiring. At the end of the movie, a self-portrait of the original chris, which was found undeveloped in his camera, is shown. His body was found only 2 weeks after his death by moose hunters. According to Wikipedia, Chris himself welcomed his death by going to such wilderness without a proper compass or map. There was a hand operated tram near the place where he died, using which he could've easily crossed the river. Anyway, one has to salute the spirit of this man. Truely awesome! And kudos to the cast, especially Emile for his fairly accurate portrayal of Chris.

Following are some of my favorite lines from the movie(courtesy-IMDB)

"I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong. "

"If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed."

"The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences."

"Mr. Franz I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one." (I agree a 1000 times)

"Happiness only real when shared. "

Also lookout for some of the best visuals that you'll ever see in a movie. Another one to add to my list of favourite road movies headed by the classic "Motorcycle diaries". After I watched the movie, I checked the IMDB rating of the movie and yes, it was there in the top 250 list of all time great movies at #137.

Sources-Additional info on Christopher courtesy Wikipedia.

PS- Don't forget to checkout Eddie Vedder's soundtrack which led me to this movie, rather than the other way around.

Unrelated PS- Morrow am going home for Diwali. So taking a brief hiatus till next Tuesday. Wish you all a Happy Diwali. Will miss your blogs.

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at Tuesday, October 21, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


It is probably named so for the reason it parallels, generally speaking, the tale that Jack London wrote decades ago, about a dog named Buck "Call of the Wild". Somehow it seemed appropriate to mention that here:)

Great reviewing. Makes me want to see for the experience of letting go, even it be a voyeuristic one! More inspiring is the story of Christopher; the way he thought, and the way he went about translating it quietly into action!

And Happy Diwali! Hope you have a great holiday!

9:33 PM

yeah..its unbelievable tht a person will set out to do such things.

Just checked out "call of the wild" in wikipedia. Very apt mention. Part of the story is even set in Alaska

10:39 PM

Good review... The setting of the tale seems vaguely familiar, but cant recollect which one.

Probably will get remade to the bollywood pretty soon.. lol..

11:08 PM

wow - never thought it is a true story... this is a must watch.. thnx for the info, man :)

9:35 AM

Very graphically described. It's almost like I am living that life. Good review! I will catch up on this movie soon....sounds really interesting.

It's always been my dream to do something like that....just escape...but I doubt if I'd ever have the guts to do it! I have planned, that once I start earning and I buy a car, I'll keep a packed bag in it always. So, every time, I just feel like running away, I can easily! :)

12:20 PM
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12:21 PM

Hope bollywood doesn't spoil it:D

@ xh
yeah...must watch indeed

hehhee...even I nurse such dreams..But am sure one day I'll go:D

7:24 PM

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