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Comments 1 - 15 of 71

danisanna's avatar

danisanna

What is supposed to be an inspiring and brave tale of a young adventurer who travels to find himself, turns out to be a story of a pompous kid who runs away from what he imagines is wrong with his life. I wasn't impressed, although the images of the land were pretty.
8 years 7 months ago
mbkeene's avatar

mbkeene

Great film, but I unfortunately can't help but side with those who dismiss McCandless as an arrogant, uninformed kid. I've read the book as well, and I've come away simply feeling bad for those he encountered. His is an interesting story, but more cautionary than inspirational.
13 years 3 months ago
Marazmatique's avatar

Marazmatique

I only enjoyed the cinematography. The rest felt like it came out of the head of an opinionated, idealistic, 'holier than thau' 15 year old, angry with society and his own family.
11 years 7 months ago
fonz's avatar

fonz

After many years of considering this a favorite, I have finally read the book, rewatched the movie and now have revised my opinion. While it is well acted and shot, I am less impressed with the story than before I knew more about the life of Christopher McCandless as depicted in the non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer.

Like myself at that age, yet still similar as I get on in years, McCandless was an idealist enraged by the world he inhabited and the straight paths it offered him and enthralled by the world of days-gone-by as depicted by his literary heroes, Jack London and Henry David Thoreau. As a naive young college student, I was warned by a close friend to avoid seeing this as it would put dangerous ideas in my head. And he was right. For the next few years I was itching to set upon my own personal journey through the world, choosing to reject the safe straight paths through life, opting for more interesting indirect routes that lead to unique experiences that sound fictional when shared with others. When relating my adventures to others, I always preface that one should not attempt to repeat them as my continued survival is bewildering even to me after intense rumination.

Much like McCandless looked to London and Thoreau to inspire him on his journey, I looked to McCandless as filtered through the vision of Sean Penn with auditory assistance from Eddie Vedder and after my experiences, only now do I realize just how fortunate I am to be able to write this. Watching this and then attempting to recreate McCandless' trip with the belief of a different outcome is wildly reckless and completely irresponsible. Reading the source material really frames the film in a different perspective. For instance, just as some people view Christopher McCandless as some sort of folk hero, others believe him to be nothing more than an ignorant fool who got what he deserved. As we live in a society that tends to settle for the quick and easily digestible wisdom, I understand that many might view this movie more as an inspirational rather than a cautionary tale. For those that do not yet view it as both, I urge you to read the book and look for other ways to grow up and receive your enlightenment.
8 years 12 months ago
rainy's avatar

rainy

Well done, good acts, brilliant soundtrack by Eddie Vadder, sad end... But actually I don't know much either I love it or not. It's a beautiful story anyway, just think the message was not so good. We can't runaway from things that bother us; we have to face it. The old guy Ron thou worth the whole movie.
12 years 8 months ago
JCL's avatar

JCL

Completely overrated!
13 years 3 months ago
Cristiandelicia's avatar

Cristiandelicia

Overrated.
11 years 8 months ago
demagogo's avatar

demagogo

I think everyone is somehow right about this movie, because, yes, the kid is naïve, but it also raises the more important questions about one's own life. It's not necessary to read the comments here to deduce people draw different conclusions from the film: most take a conservative approach and just dismiss the message just saying the kid was irresponsible and assuming there's no options for a shitty life in capitalism (sorry Americans, had to say it) where everybody is alienated from one another. But I have to say people who can get emotional with the idea of throwing everything to the trashcan and just be free, even in spite of that "you should be grateful with your life as it is" thing, still have the most important fucking point.

Now, what the movie wants us to think about is so bigger than the movie itself that one can be fooled easily by the idea that the very only price to pay to be free is getting fucked like the protagonist. And it's not, because an "individual rebellion," "spiritual revolution," or whatever enlightenment a middle first world class kid should crave for is an option. I may be wrong, but I don't think you would escape from alienation leaving everything behind when you barely have shit. Anyway, I'm not saying you don't have the right to suffer if you're first world middle class blah blah, but trying to do the same thing the kid did is, and that most people don't do that is the proof that that escapism is at least impractical. So, some people do yoga, try to eat healthy shit, consume less unnecessary crap, and that's ok, but you know it won't help extinguishing that angst. So far, I try not to talk about "first world" gratuitously, you know, people in the US and Europe tend to think more often than the rest of the world that a the way their society is organized (capitalism) works better than anything tried and to try in the future, and that any other possibility is "utopian" or fucking Pol Pot's Cambodia, and the fault of improving our lives through improving society is human nature (lol) instead of a product of historical needs.

Also I wouldn't shit on this movie because of its naïveté, because it's one of the most sincere I've watched in a while, and the way it approaches to its subject is really fucking sensible, thus beautiful. The nice shots, score, color pallet and so on work always subordinate to the message, and that's a good thing. I almost ended liking Eddie Veder. So yet again, mixed feelings.

There are also genuinely dumb moments tho, i.e., the radical change of theme music when the kid reaches black/Latino ghettos, like what the fuck, etc., etc. But still a beautiful movie.

Just remember there's more to life than living a shitty fucking unfulfilling life or "dying into the wild." Heros die heros because they didn't have enough time to get their hands dirty with reality.
8 years ago
Typically Thomas's avatar

Typically Thomas

Great cinematography, the story bored me to sleep and I can honestly say I've had more sympathy with a fly I swatted than the main character
4 years 4 months ago
jmars's avatar

jmars

America’s obsession with youth and freedom carried to its conclusion.
3 years ago
sdreich's avatar

sdreich

I have a lot of thoughts about this film. Firstly, wow, that was sad. Moreover, it is a sensitive film that does well at balancing the protagonist's subjectivity, wherein his ideals are paramount and righteous, with the world of clashing values and ways of life around him, ultimately critiquing his actions whilst allowing room for his thoughts to breathe and have a space of their own. This allows the audience to understand him without a cult-like gaze that he is the 'folk hero' that does no wrong. He has both right and wrong ideas of how the world works, and I think that the story structure does a good job of sharing his growth with the audience, making him sympathetic overall, even though he is highly privileged in a way that can be alienating at times. It is at once a road movie, a coming-of-age story, a tale of survival, a family drama, and a personal and philosophical exploration. It is a story of man vs nature, man vs himself, man vs man, and so on until one begins to understand that these conflicts are ultimately all the same.
3 years 5 months ago
Unfortunate Synopsis's avatar

Unfortunate Synopsis

Ron Franz was dope. He was the best part of the film.
7 years 6 months ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

Sean Penn directs this meandering biopic (though I didn't realize it was based on a true story until the end) about a college graduate who burns his money and chooses a life of transience so he can connect to nature, though he keeps missing the point that you should also connect to other people. The so-called "free spirits" like this I've known were all "people-connectors", so I'm not sure who this guy was, even after seeing the film. And I'm not sure the film knows either. The way it is shot, it glorifies the protagonist's lifestyle, even though the strict plot would seem to condemn it. Worse, it's pretentious in all the ways I hate (as opposed to my own brand of pretentiousness, which I delight in), and the main character is never anything to me but a thoughtless intellectual who was, one day, inspired by the wrong university lecture and never reexamined it. He never really goes through a character arc, never learns anything, never changes, until it's perhaps too late and then it doesn't matter. His sister's voice-over is pretentiously poetic and stands as the only criticism of his selfish actions, but it also breaks from the movie's focus. Over-long at 148 minutes, and filled to the brim with a distracting parade of guest stars, Into the Wild didn't make me think so much as rage.
8 years 10 months ago
mathiasa's avatar

mathiasa

sean penn tries hard to be meaningful but he remains shallow and rather pathetic.
11 years ago
stefenemie's avatar

stefenemie

Brilliant movie. I came away feeling tha he was arrogant but also not a bad guy. Just a young guy who wanted an adventure but forgot about the price that may cost. Sean Penn does a brilliant job directing and the cinematography is beautiful.
12 years 12 months ago

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