Thursday, April 3, 2008
Into the Wild
MUST-SEE: (Sean Penn) I love this movie. Into the Wild is a step in a direction everyone feels, or has felt, at some poiont in their life (if not arguably a little all the time). Based on the novel by Jon Krakauer, Penn adapts a screenplay to color in the lines of character Chris McCandless's journey across the country and up into Alaska. Into the Wild depicts the story of a young man, deeply troubled with the pain his parents raised him in, and once he graduates, addresses his last chance at freedom, setting out to discover what the world is naturally made of. Along the way, he finds kinship in the most unlikely, yet humble creatures, living on the wind and far away from suburbia. Also a treat for the audience in these glimpses, we get to see unlikely cameos from always phenomenal Catherine Keener, playing an emotional Hippie trying to let herself deserve love, Vince Vaughn, the government-swindling farmer, exploiting the society McCandless has grown to detest. Penn plays to so many emtoins as he winds us through Chris's path, never hinting at which way he'll turn, when enough is enough or when the loneliness overrules the freedom. Even when one man offers to adopt him in the desert, Chris remains a determined loner. Penn offers a tremndous bout on the standpoint of the audience. I remember feeling empathetic and frustrated within minutes of each other, yet never unsatisfied. Something can be said for the ability to get lost in an emotion and then be able to see reality outside of it. There is something disheartening and terrifying about it all at the same time. A polished Emile Hirsch plays this liberated, yet naive young man, having taken great steps from his earlier work to maintain this man of many emotions. Be ready to appreciate his spirit, but love-hate his character. Also prepare yourself for the inevitable self-doubt this story suggests. Go ahead and question your position, but ultimately settle in for entertainment that illustrates it for you. It's an easy film to watch, with beautiful scene and aesthetic compliments of colorful people and places. Bravo Sean Penn. A successful and inspiring adaptation.