Pros: -Great Acting -Great Production -Beautiful Scenes -Story is excellent
Emile Hirsch Christopher McCandless
William Hurt Walt McCandless
Marcia Gay Harden Billie McCandless
Jena Malone Carine McCandless
Vince Vaughn Wayne Westerberg
Kirsten Stewart Tracy Tatro
Catherine Keener Jan Burres
Hal Holbrook Ron Franz
Directed by Sean Penn
It is a very telling story about a man name Chris whose ultimate goal is to go into the Alaskan wild and try to live off the land. A good friend recommended this movie to me and insists that I watch it. Well being so insistent on how good it was I decided to watch it and understood why. Its a story that you relate with and a guy trying to find himself and trying to get away from the materialistic world and just be on his own. With a troubled past, he disassociates himself from everything, cutting his credit card, social security, and donated $24,000 of his savings to a charity. His changes his name from Chris McCandless to Alexander Supertramp, and then goes off on his journey with relatively no money and a knapsack for spiritual freedom.
Throughout the movie, Chriss sister narrates parts of the film, mostly parts concerning him and his parents and their troubles. With a materialistic father and mother and a sham marriage, Chris and his sister felt their lives was a fictitious lie they were living. It seemed only Chriss sister knew of Chriss true intentions when he disappeared soon after he graduates Emory University. The movie shows a great deep loneliness in Chriss sister but also an acceptance that he must find what hes looking for. For just a narrator Jena Malones character comes across very well on screen. She also brings the familys emotions about Chriss disappearance in a heartbreaking manner. Her narrations are match with Chriss adventures and the people he meets along the way. He always finds the most interesting people whenever he stops in a town or hitchhikes on the road. We also feel a connection with those people.
The scenes are beautifully shown with the rural areas of the North West states, and the natural settings Chris finds himself him. It really makes me want to go off on a cross country trip to experience the majestic landscapes, the movie shows. I dread that I would be bored by a slow film about the wilds. I knew that there would be minimal to absolutely no dialogue. But that flew out of my mind and I was instead entranced by the whole movie from beginning to end. Maybe for folks that isnt as interested in the wilderness, or little action, should stay away from this film, but who knows, it might take your breath away as well. If you ever been to something like the Grand Canyon and saw it in person, it brings back that feeling of awe when you first see it. I immediately though back to that feeling and it certainly help me enjoy the movie more.
Emile Hirsch is amazing in this movie, period. I admit I did not really know him in other projects other then the movie Speed Racer His acting was natural but very ambitious. He even dropped his weight for scenes as his character is fending for himself in the wilderness. At the end he looks hauntingly unrecognizable. Many have compared it to Christian Bales astonishing weight loss for his role in the Machinist. Its even scarier since hes so young. The rest of the supporting characters like Vince Vaughn and William Hurt had a fairly short amount of screen time, but they make the most of it and make their characters lovable or love to hate. The main focus was Chris and his journey. I think showing anybody else would overshadow him, and thats not what we want.
The overall story was excellently edited. Even if the dialogue to heavy with spiritual metaphors, it doesnt leave the viewer confused. The pace was slow as expect for a film such as this but it doesnt hinder the storytelling. Scenes were cleverly inserted a past and present Chris, which shows Chris preparing his journey to Alaska in the past and living in the Alaskan wilderness as the present. I would recommend just sitting back and pretend to breathe in the wild country.
Rated R Brief nudity and cursing.
Run Time: 2 Hrs. 28 Mins.