What really shines through Into the Wild is how much the people involved in making it cared that they did the story justice. This might be down to the film at least in part memorializing one mans physical and emotional journey, but also because it is a story with a lot to say. Ultimately what Into the Wild is about cannot be distilled into a few sentences, but as we follow Christopher McCandless (AKA Alexander Supertramp) on his journey down America then back up again, and meet the people he meets, we are asked again and again to question the meaning of family, friendship, aspirations and happiness as well as what modern society means to the people who inhabit it. What is nice about the story is that everyone can take from it what they will. What begins for Alexander as an almost aesthetic goal of a life without all the trappings of modern society – I mean all of the trappings – ends with achievement of that goal, but more importantly with the realization of what it really means to be happy, or more specifically what the requirements for happiness to flourish are. There are some moments in the film which could have degenerated into horrific cheesiness, or plain painfulness, but the acting is absolutely spot on and the film finds poignance all the right places. Its quite refreshing to find a film which doesn’t dwell upon itself, given that it is based on a true story, and one supposes sticks to it relatively rigidly (though quite large chunks can not be anything more than conjecture) there is no hanging around. Into the Wild spoke to the part of me which enjoys wandering off and seeing what parts of the world are like which I have not been to before, and the part of me which at the end of a long day at work would dearly like to turn my back on the city and return only when I am ready, I think that it should be watched with an open mind as to the possibilities it presents – and maybe a phone call to a family member you have not spoken to for a while at the end.
Into the Wild