After I read the book Into the Wild, I desired to learn more about the young man who traveled to Alaska. I never expected to like the movie less than the book. I did learn much more about Christopher McCandless and am glad for having watched the film of his journey. My problem with this film began almost from the beginning of it when they were making Chris seem clinically insane. I take issue with that. Anyone who watches and listens to the people who knew him can see this young man was intelligent, crafty, intuitive, calm, and very sane!
Also many of the people who knew Christopher McCandless personally were touched by him and were very lucky to have known him. He was so caring about everyone and always did the right thing. Maybe that is why some characterize him as crazy, just because he was not a party-let’s-get-it-on kind of guy. Most of us have some type of issue with our parents and can understand wanting to leave and never look back, especially in your 20’s when the world looks bright and new. Where Alaska seems the perfect destination for some alone time. Chris never expected anything bad could happen to him. He trusted life, strangers, and the universe.
This film of Into the Wild goes back and forth from Christopher McCandless’s past to the present where he is living by himself in Alaska. A little confusing for me to keep up with the timeline and when what happened to him. There is unnecessary nudity in the film and a very slow-motion shower scene which felt odd to me. Christopher McCandless trained his body for a life in Alaska, he learned about killing and cleaning animals so he could fend for himself, and so many new friends along the way gave him tools and clothing. He was prepared for living in Alaska by himself. He was a very smart guy, intent on fulfilling a dream. He made it to Alaska after working at odd jobs along the way and hitch hiking. Again the film seemed to take the viewpoint that Christopher McCandless had lost his mind with cursing, screaming, and talking to himself. I believe he was in heaven and proud of himself for making it, proud that he could fend for himself even in Alaska….alone! Along the way not only did people help him with knowledge and tools but Chris helped those people as well. All were sad to see him go and tried to stop him from going. Asking him to stay with them. If this young man had been insane, I do not feel that would have happened like that. He was so polite to everyone, no matter what.
Would I recommend this film? Sure. But you will come to care for Christopher McCandless and be upset at how he is portrayed at times. This was based on a true story and should have been told in truth. I doubt one person in real life ever saw Chris do anything close to insane. He was a responsible, intelligent person who was thinking clearly and wanted to go to Alaska. He planned as carefully for it as anyone else would plan for a vacation. Not only will you come to care about Christopher McCandless but also all of the people he meets along the way. Was it a tearjerker? For me, no. The book was more of a tearjerker for me. It did make me smile at some of Chris’s quotes on his philosophy of life and living life.
There were many instances of slow parts to the movie Into the Wild and I felt my mind wandering. The actors did a great job but many times there would be nothing going on but shots of the scenery.