Christopher just graduated college. He’s got the grades for Harvard Law. His savings account contains over $24,000. His parents want to buy him a brand new car.
Instead, Christopher donates all of his money to charity and chops up his credit cards, ID, and social security card. After erasing all evidence of his existence, he heads out across the country on foot.
Abandoning a rough home life and society as a whole, he hitchhikes his way to Alaska to live in the wilderness in complete solitude. He doesn’t tell anyone of his plans, not even his beloved little sister — the only real friend in his life.
With nothing but a backpack of supplies, Christopher journeys into the unknown, determined to find true happiness. He rejects the artificiality of society and cannot understand why people treat each other so poorly.
He burns his money and rids himself of any possessions that aren’t total necessities. Fearlessly optimistic, Christopher has little doubt that he’ll reach his ultimate destination.
What he does not foresee, however, is the amount of personal connections he’ll make along the way. With each new friend comes a new lesson to learn.
While these people are all unique in their own way, they each ask him the same questions — why is such a bright young man like you choosing to live like this? Do your parents know where you are?
Each time he answers with a warm smile, insisting that there’s an end goal to his adventure.
‘Into the Wild’ is a gripping film. While the pacing is shaky at times, director Sean Penn’s use of flashbacks works wonders for adding context and making sense of the protagonist’s actions.
Emile Hirsch is at ease in the leading role. And his co-star Hal Holbrook deserved more than just a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Across the entirety of the film, every emotion feels genuine and each interaction feels human and real.
The scenery is breathtaking and the cinematography places you right in the the wilderness. Eddie Vedder’s original soundtrack moves seamlessly to match the flow of the film. Without a doubt, this is some of the Pearl Jam vocalist’s best work.
All in all, this is a powerful, thought-provoking film. It will move you in ways that you may have never experienced. ‘Into the Wild’ speaks to the very essence of what it means to be human. And it teaches us the most important lesson of all — “happiness is only real when shared”.