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After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
OSCAR NOMINEE for Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor (Holbrook)
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This is a film that was a bit too close to home for me. I'm sure everyone has a film like this where the world they present you seems like a home video of your own life. This is what Into the Wild felt like to me. I was that young idealistic 22 year old out of school who thought he knew it all. But of course he doesn't in the film and I certainly didn't in my own life.
In all seriousness there is a scene from Good Will Hunting (WATCH THIS SCENE) that got me out of this funk. I am no genius like Will Hunting is in the film, but the scene where Robin William's character gives him the you don't know shit because you haven't experienced shit speeach really got to me personally. Eventhough I had a lot of thoughts and ideas of the ways of the world, I was still a punk kid who really hadn't experienced enough yet to really have a complete absolute truth about anything.
In the end we learn that the real reason Chris is on his life roadtrip was because the same thing I was dealing with. Hence why this film was much too personal for me to really watch. Even after 2 weeks seeing this film it has still stayed with me like a great song does. It's there in your conscious mind because it's made you think about a lot of things. And after awhile it becomes annoying because the memories become too painful. But that's what great art is all about because the feeling of the art doesn't go away until you deal with the issues it brings up inside of yourself. Art a lot of the time is the great therapy in your life.
Chris will die in the end. Most of us know that before watching Into the Wild as this is a true story of his journey. So during the film we look for insights as to why he will die.
We get that answer in the final chapter of Chris' journey to Alaska. He meets an older man named Ron (played briliantly by Hal Holbrook. Perhaps the best performance of the decade). Ron give him a giant life lesson in the end that would of saved Chris' life, but Chris was in that stage of idealism and therefore wasn't really listening eventhough all the signs were there for him to. The dangerous stage most of us go through (or never get out of) where our beliefs are locked in and no one can ever change it no matter how intelligent it is. Ron has learned how to forgive and tries to teach Chris that valuable life lesson. But he doesn't and this will cause him to die.
For myself personally, it's a miracle I'm still alive after all of the stuff that's happened to me. And I easily could of been Chris if it wasn't for some very lucky moments.
Into the Wild has taught me that I need to learn to forgive in order for me to live a proper life of happiness. If not, we end up like Chris.
This is one of the best films of the decade. It touches your heart and soul without you even realizing it. A film that in my opinion everyone should see. It's brilliant filmmaking and storytelling.