Movie review – Travelling as an escape in Into the Wild

To some, travelling means more than getting to know a different place. Travelling means escaping from a disturbing and upsetting reality to rebuild a new life, out of the blue, with no strings attached. Going somewhere else is a restart, a process of self-discovering to many people, as it was to Alexander Supertramp, the alter ego of Christopher McCandless, a real-life character made into the big screen in the movie Into the Wild (2007).

Directed by the actor Sean Penn, Into the Wild reached the screens bringing the amazing adventures of a young man who was sick of living the life of his upper middle class parents. The idea of having a mediocre life surrounded by the desire of accumulating money and material goods was Chris’s worst idea of happiness. Upon graduating with honors in a great North American university in the state of Georgia, Christopher decided that it was time to flee.

He then more than travelled. He escaped, ran away, vanished without saying goodbye to his sister or parents. He simply did what a lot of people today want to do: he disappeared.

His disappearance was an act of defiance against his parents’ hypocritical lives, of which Chris deeply disapproved. Not at all worried about the consequences of going missing to his family and the police, he started a new life by hitch-hiking all over the United States, all alone, with “no phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road.”

What sounds like a typical road trip movie is actually one of the most poetic and meaningful films ever made. Based on the biographical book written by John Krakauer released in 1996, the movie translated masterfully the deep feelings Chris lived throughout his experience across the United States.

With quotes from the great North American writer Thoreau, Chris made many real friends who got touched by his bravery, his loneliness and his deep rage against society’s way of living.

“I’m going to paraphrase Thoreau here… rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth.” – Christopher McCandless

While travelling, Chris decided that his goal was to reach Alaska, the distant northern state of the U.S., known for being incredibly cold and hostile. And that amazing place became Chris’s perfect life, as well as his biggest nightmare.


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The amazing images of the American nature alongside Chris’s deep philosophical questions were magically brought to life by the soundtrack by Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam.

Performed by the actor Emile Hirsch, who masterfully got into the complex soul of Chris, the movie undoubtedly is a unique masterpiece that combines an amazing real life story of rage against an hypocritical society and passion for simple living. A movie worth watching because it brings us amazing performances of all actors involved, a poetic vision and direction by Sean Penn and a cinematography really rare to find.


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