It seems that there's two different perceptions of Christopher McCandless and his voyage of self-discovery that saw him end up in the wilds of Alaska.
The first suggests that McCandless was reckless to the point of stupidity, and that the hardship he endured was the unavoidable result of his naivety. The second argues that he is an inspiration, as he turned his back on materialism and the mundanity of life, and instead sought out a deeper meaning.
As always the truth is probably somewhere in between. The good thing though, is that the film Into the Wild - which charts McCandless's personal and physical journey - is not in the least judgmental. It doesn't hold back, and clearly shows the dangers of what McCandless subjected himself to, but the spirit of the film is very much one of adventure, discovery and self-develpment - and all the emotions that these things inspire.
Into the Wild is a deeply moving film. There are many touching moments, and it's inspiring (although of course is intimidating and tense at times). It's a real ode to adventure, to forging your own path, and to eschewing materialism and modern culture in favour of something deeper, something more timeless. Something more real.
Emile Hirsh turns in a deeply convincing portrayal of McCandless, while the soundtrack - much of which was provided by the inimitable Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam - fits the mood of the film perfectly.
In short, it's a great watch. Whichever perception you hold of McCandless, it's hard to deny how moving and inspiring this film is in its depiction of the triumph of the human spirit.
Speculative Horizons is a UK-based blog dedicated to discovering the best in speculative fiction. Here you'll find book reviews, author interviews, artwork for upcoming releases, and commentary on all aspects of the genre.
A child of the eighties, I was raised on a steady diet of Ghostbusters, Thundercats and Transformers. I eventually discovered fantasy books via the awesome Fighting Fantasy series, and my love of fantasy led me to create Speculative Horizons, a popular book review blog I ran for three years. In 2010 I joined Orbit to work as an editorial assistant.