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Into the Wild (2007)

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  • Written by cosmobrown on 17.08.2009

    Some films can entertain, some can inform; some can move you and some can manipulate you into feeling a certain way. Some make you laugh, make you cry, make you feel anger or relief. Some films can inspire you. It's a rare film that can do all of the above, and cause you to run the full gauntlet of emotions over a 2 and a half hour timespan. Sean Penn's Into the Wild is that rare film. For his third directorial effot, Penn chose to adapt Jon Krakauer's bestselling book about Christopher McCandless who, after graduating college, leaves all his wordly positions behind, burns all his money and just travels all across America, literally "into the wild, with the ultimate goal being to reach Alaska. On this journey, he meets so many life-changing people, experiences so many incredible events and discovers so much more about himself and about life, nature and the human propensity for good. Emile Hirsch is stunning in the leading role. Essentially it is just him on screen alone for large chunks of this film and he holds us superbly. We are with him through the good and the bad times. He is our philosophical and intellectual guide through this strange new world. His journey does see him cross paths with a range of life-changing characters, from Catherine Keener's hippy surrogate mum figure, to Vince Vaughn's fun loving farmer, to Twilight's Kristen Stewart and many more in between. The real highlight is Hal Holbrook though. The relationship between him and Hirsch is a beautifully tender and touching thing. Penn's writing and direction is flawless. The photography is stunning, capturing the beauty of the natural world, and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder's original music is note perfect. Watching Into The Wild, I wanted to be Alexander Supertramp (McCandless renames himself this after he destroys his identification). His story inspired me. I wanted to get up and go. To leave this materialistic bullshit world behind and just go, disappear into the World, discover new things about people, about life, about the World, and most importantly about myself. Yes, this is a powerful and inspiring film indeed.

Into the Wild Reviews