Getting Into the Wild for self-discovery

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February 25, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

into the wildInto the Wild to discover yourself
Review by Matt R.


Into the Wild
Directed by Sean Penn
Released September 21, 2007

“Into the Wild” rediscovers that side of adventure in all of us, where we are free to explore who we truly are.
The movie “Into the Wild” is based on a true story, it is about the story of Christopher McCandless.


After graduating as top student in his class, McCandless gives up his family, all of his possessions, and donates all 24,000 dollars in his savings account to charity, to embark on a journey across America with the aim of traveling into the wild, and into his “Great Alaskan Adventure”. The main character is Christopher McCandless who is played by Emile Hirsch. Hirsch does an amazing job as Christopher McCandless. The movie is directed by Sean Penn, who has directed other movies such as “September 11” and “The Pledge”. Sean Penn has also starred in many movies such as “Gangster Squad” and “Mystic River”. Into the Wild has many different settings. On McCandless’ journey, he finds himself in all across America, from northern California, to South Dakota, to the Grand Canyon, to Mexico, and all the way to the remote location of Denali National Park in Alaska. This movie in my opinion is under rated. The story of this young man is incredible. The movie begins with him in Alaska and proceeds to tell the story of how he got there and what he does afterward.
hirschEmile Hirsch does a phenomenal job of portraying Christopher McCandless. The actions that Hirsch does to make the character more memorable are huge. Hirsch truly discovered himself with this role. This movie is full of memorable lines that I feel are more memorable because they were said be Emile Hirsch.

One of my favourite lines from this movie is “I read somewhere…how important it is not only to be strong…but to feel strong.” And the way that Hirsch reads this line just really makes it stick out there. Emile Hirsch makes you feel that he is so believable because of the way he delivers his performance.

For this movie, I believe that every little effect had a major part in putting this movie together. With the lighting, most of the movie is shot during the day, but, how the light enters the camera and how dark or light everything is, is very well done. For the music, all of the music for the movie fits the part. If the moment were sad then softer acoustic guitar may play or if the scene was a more rushed scene like when he is kayaking down the Colorado River, then more rushed music is playing. I feel that this movie has very important camera shots. The angles that the camera shoots at aren’t always traditional, which is right in front of the actors, but they are sometimes more to the side showing both the actors and more. When McCandless is talking to his friend, it shows them both on a stage talking, but the camera angle is shot from the side, but you can see both actors’ faces. This helps convey the story because it shows that not everything has to be traditional.
For this movie, no special effects were added. This movie is the kind of film that is filmed to be a true story, so if it did not happen in real life, it shouldn’t happen in the film. Obviously the movie was edited, and edited very well, but there were no CG’s added (computer graphics). The soundtrack to this movie was incredibly breathtaking. When I watch this movie and hear the music playing in the background, I cannot help but to want to discover the wilderness and go on an adventure. The main song of the movie is “Hard Sun” by Eddie Vedder. This song captures the theme of the film. When I listen to this song, it instantly reminds me of the amazing sights and experiences I have encountered, as well as “Into the Wild”. The part of the movie that this song reminds me of is when he is in Denali National Park. The soundtrack defiantly adds to the story.

As the story progresses, the music becomes more and more old style, from mainstream songs to soft acoustic guitar playing. The soundtrack does not detract from the movie.
This movie is worth every penny and every minute. When you watch this movie, you can learn a lot of things about life, love, and living. Many of the things in this movie are things you can apply during your own life, such as feeling strong instead of just being strong. There are a lot of positive value messages in this movie. One negative thing about this film is that it can be confusing at times, as it jumps from time to time.
My name is Matt R. I am in Grade 12, and I have seen this movie a countless amount of times. I have read the book this movie is based on and remember almost the whole thing.


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