Into the Wild: The film and Person

Stephanie T By Stephanie T, 16th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Biography

The story of the man Christopher McCandless for me is truely amazing, here is a review of the film, and how this man thought.

First Encounter of the Film

I honestly can't tell you how amazing I thought this film was, in every aspect it was superb. The acting was impecibal, especially from the lead character Christopher McCandless, played by Emile Hirsh.
I had never heard of it before until one night I was up late, I flicked onto a channel were the film was playing already half way through, I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen.

The Film

The film is based on a true story about a young adult called Christopher McCandless who decides at the age of 23 to donate all his money from his savings account to charity, and travel around, living off the land. He leaves his family, not telling them of what he intends to do and sets off.
His parents lies and betrayal, that were told to him and his sister throughout their childhood, were made out to be one of the reasons for his urge to remove himself from civilisation. Driving his car and then eventually abandoning it, cutting up and getting rid of his ID and social security card, he flees. Not wanting to be found, he decides to travel under the name Alexander Supertramp for the remainder of his travels.

It is evident that Christopher McCandless was very intelligent, he read many books and was influenced by authors such as Jack London and Leo Tolstoy. He believed materialism was empty and a career, a 20th Century invention.

On his journey he meets many different characters which shape his path, however his main goal is Alaska, living in the wild, himself alone, as if it were a place of deep meditation. Managing to find a few odd jobs along the way, he gains enough money to get him to his desired place.

He reaches Alaska by hitchhiking most of the way, and walks through the cold and snow filled trails to find where he will call home for a while. Spotting a deserted and empty camper van, he decides to make that his base. Unbeknown to him, he is yet to discover his fate. He lives off the land, hunting and eating rice from his own rice bag which slowly becomes empty.
It comes to the point where he is unable to hunt anymore due to the lack of animals venturing, so he becomes increasingly hungry and depressed.

Weeks go by and he begins to starve so he looks into eating berrys and plants, his book shows him which are edible and which aren't. Soon after he begins to feel terribly ill, loosing control of his body and unable to stand, he realises that the plant he ate was not the one he thought. Symptoms being paralysis of the limbs, nausea, and if this becomes untreated it leads to starvation and then death.

Not having the energy to walk to find someone, or some food, he has no choice but to wait to see what becomes of him. Trapped in the wild. His condition worsens, he looses a dramatic amount of weight, no-one there to help, he dies in the wild. His journals lives on, giving a good insight into what he felt and how he lived, especially in his last days, it seems that he knew he was going to die.

Review of the Film and the Mind of Christopher McCandless

The film isn't your usual adventure film, it is completely stripped of all the 'make-up' which clouds a lot of films today. All the stunts, the actors did themselves, and although the stunts aren't jumping off mountains, it is very impressive that they didn't have stuntmen for these.
Although the film may not be accurate, some occurrences are dramatised and exaggerated, it is evident that Christopher McCandless mind was on a different plane to many in todays world.
Today, people are obsessed with 'making it', whatever that may be and making money, being successful and living lavishly. McCandless brings home the truth, that material possessions are just 'things', that they hold no truth and they are empty. He didn't want to get swept away with this obsession to be rich, he wanted to be rich in other ways, living off the land, taking in the beauty off the world around him, and not just to pass through it.

Comments have been made about how telling this story, glorifiying him and his journey is pathetic. For many Alaskans and other hiking experts believe that he was just an idiot to plan to go to Alaska with little to no supplies, however I believe that they fail to actually see this mans view, yes this may have seemed like a suicide misson to some but understanding his need to completely isolate himself from society and to live of the land as we all once did.

What ever others may think of his story, you cannot deny that the film made is excellent in every aspect. The actors were outstanding, truely being the characters and not just merely playing. The layout of the scenes were enticing and interesting to the mind and eye. The story flowed however the line of the story and different scenes were not in order, adding to the suspense and raw direction the film was taking.
The whole film was layered with substance, and throughout the film the writings from the journal of Christopher McCandless were outlined and carried the story off taking the viewers with them.

To me, he seems like an amazing man, to be brave enough to leave society without the fear of lossing, an amazing mind, and although the choice of lifestyle he wanted is not for all, it certainly makes you think about your life and the future.


Film, Life, Meditation, Society, True Story, Wild

Meet the author

author avatar Stephanie T
I love to be creative by singing, acting, painting, making head pieces, swimming and writing. I love travelling and could do it forever. When I was younger I wanted to be a mermaid, and I still do. I love adventures, life should be one.

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author avatar rajaryanme
21st Feb 2011 (#)

A very well presented review and nice write up. Keep writing. :-)

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