Wednesday 22 September 2010

A few quick words on 'Into the Wild'

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.


Anonymous said...

A wonderful, wonderful film.

The book it's based on is even better.

logankstewart said...

I read the book a few years ago and felt a little of both sides. On one hand I felt sorry for Alexander Supertramp, but on the other he was certainly inspiring. I've not watched the film, but the book was quite good.

Bryce L. said...

Love this film. It makes me want to go on more adventures and really just get out there and live life.

Anonymous said...

The film is decent, Eddie Vedders music is very very good, but I felt that the book could have been better. I liked the story about Mccandles, but the last third where the author goes on and on about his own trip somewhere was excruciating.. Id recommend to stop reading after the Mccandles part.

Iain said...

I haven't read the book nor seen the film.

I have read another book by the author called Into Thin Air. It tells the story of several groups of mountaineers who are caught in the midst of a storm on Mt Everest. needless to say it doesn't end up well for many of the people Krakauer meets on his ascent of Everest. He also courts controversy by accusing one guide of cowardice. The guide more than answers this charge in his own book, The Climb.

Phew, got there. Two very good non Sci-Fantasy related books for your reading pile, James.

stephonix said...

I've yet to read the book, but enjoyed the movie immensely. The soundtrack only added to the performances and Eddie's broken voice was the perfect thread throughout.


The Fantasizer said...

I haven't read the book and for once am relieved that I did'nt read it prior to watching the movie. The movie is absolutely breathtaking, involving, inspiring and compelling, a true work of art.
It is immensely entertaining and one which will certainly be remembered as a classic by those who have the good fortune to watch it.