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INTO THE WILD, 2007
Movie Reviews!

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INTO THE WILD MOVIE POSTER
INTO THE WILD, 2007
Movie Reviews

Directed by Sean Penn
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stuart, Hal Halbrook, Zach Galifianaki
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

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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REVIEW:

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.

The character of Chris McCandless is someone who sets out to live and get away from the 'insanity' of life. Through his travels he becomes very hard, perhaps too hard. He's obviously a very smart and capable person, but I kept asking the question of WHY is he doing this throughout. And because I was 22 years old and basically did the same thing as him after school (I went to Europe and kind of missed capitalism much to my shock and headed back home much earlier than Chris), I knew that it wasn't because of what he was preaching. There was a lot of truth to his ideals of travelling and getting rid of all of his posessions and money, but there is always a more profound reason that is buried deep inside of our subconscious for doing radical things.

My reasons was beause I was running away from all of my anger and angsts towards my parents and the way I was raised. I was pissed off by a lot of things and I wasn't smart or mature enough to learn how to forgive. Forgiveness is a key word in life because if we don't forgive the people who've done us wrong, then we're going to live a very empty life.

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.

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