When Christopher McCandless walked into the Wild more than 20 years ago, nobody could have predicted the reach of his story. It’s an incredible story (whether one agrees with his actions or not) and I recently went back to watch “Into the Wild” after idolising this movie during my mid twenties.
But what’s it about?
The movie begins with a college graduates disillusion for life and a series of adventures such as hitchhiking across America. Later, McCandless travels into the Alaskan wild on foot where he intends to “live off the land” and get rid of the “false being within”. He ends up living inside an abandoned bus and journaling about his experiences.
It’s quite obvious that Chris was saying no to materialism, while searching for the meaning of life. And it’s a fascinating movie to watch but while some find his story inspiring, I should say that just as many people are quick to criticise his “naive” actions for tramping into the wild without enough planning, equipment or experience. What’s more, wasn’t this selfish to risk his life and the prospect of causing so much heartache to his family? One can debate his actions and decisions all day – I’ve done exactly that in the past.
I really love this movie for the beautiful scenery and sense of adventure. I can also appreciate some of Chris’s thoughts or ideas. However, I can’t say that I feel the same way about his story or movie as I did in the past. For instance, I used to really admire his famous quote “happiness is only real once shared” – but now it seems less of a sage piece of advice and more like a desperate revelation/epiphany in the face of death. It’s still a beautiful story and movie with plenty of inspiration – and I’d still watch it again !
PS. The book is ten times better!