Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Into The Wild

I think everyone should see this movie. It's remarkable. And breathtaking. And incredibly moving. A beautifully filmed and well-done movie based on the book by the same name by Jon Krakauer, which was itself based on a true story of a 24 year old named Chris McCandless who essentially leaves everything he knows, gives all of his money to charity, and goes off "into the wild" to find himself. His goal- Alaska. Most guys I know who read the book (or see the movie) say it makes them want to pack up their bags and go off into a remote location in the mountains and be alone and at one with nature.

I read the book this past weekend, and it too is really moving. There is (of course) more detail in the book, as well as tangents that draw on stories from the author's childhood and other such wandering souls (all men, of course) who have become famous (or infamous) for their solo voyages into nature. It makes me, of all people, want to go out into the woods by myself and just... be. Me who has never been camping before unless it involved a cabin, me who doesn't sleep well in strange locations let alone on the ground, that me. That alone should tell you something.

Particularly when viewed in contrast to my current situation in a concrete world where silence is nonexistent and nature is only a myth one reads about in National Geographic, this solo existence seems quite appealing. But really, if for no other reason than the aesthetic pleasure of the cinematography, see the movie. On the big screen, it will take your breath away. It will move you. In addition, you will probably be conflicted about how to view the protagonist- a complicated, confused young man who is just trying to find himself, but all the while pushing away those who try to love him, acting terribly selfishly at times while at others incredibly mature and selfless, turning you off with his single-minded determination that comes at the expense of family and friends, and yet somehow drawing you in with his free-spirit and unwillingness to let anything deter him from his gaol. Some have called him stubborn and foolish, others look to him with awe and respect.

As I wander through these murky twenty-something years and try to sort through myself, my world, and my identity, I can identify with him in a very real way. Maybe it is because we all have a little bit of Chris McCandless in each of us that it hits so very close to home. See it. Read it. I promise you will not be left unaffected.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

The Eddie Vedder soundtrack rocks too!