Friday, July 18, 2008

My Review of Into the Wild

“Happiness is not real unless shared.”

From the movie Into the Wild

A twenty- three year old college graduate decides to leave the comforts of his family and big home to live life on his own terms. He gives his savings to a charity and eventually, sets on fire the little money he had kept for his voyage, as he likes to refer to his own trip. He sails the Colorado River, meets hippies, makes friends, works in the corn fields, sings with a girl who falls in love with him and goes on his adventures, like a wave that can’t possibly be stopped by anything, or anybody. His goal is to reach Alaska.
He’s smart. He reads and writes all the time. By citing all the authors he reads he intellectualizes things in a way that leaves other people out of words as if to explain him other truths, besides his own. At least, that’s the way I viewed him. His idea of quitting the life his parents and society expected him to step into after college has probably appealed to most people at least once in their lives. He gives up the car his father bought him as a graduation gift. And doesn’t do what’s expected, or wanted from him. Who hasn’t wanted to escape what others expect from he/she, break free from the norms, break the rules? Who hasn’t craved skipping school, the adults’ compromises, the eight hours’ work shifts, the mindless bosses, the company’s policies and etc? Who had never thought about getting away for a while, alone and faraway?
Not many people actually do it. I remember my boss at the library planning for years his permanent getaway to a cottage in North Carolina. He loved the water springs, the flowers and the tranquility of the state so much that he wanted to permanently move over there. I know one day he’ll do it; he’s probably one of the few people who will actually do it, but hasn’t done it, yet. The protagonist from the movie, who actually existed and looked a lot like the actor who played his character, goes into the wild.
In my opinion, he does it for the wrong reasons. It seemed to me, he was too filled with hatred towards his parents and society in general. You can’t escape your feelings. He moved from one place to another, but took his emotions and pains with him. It was difficult for him to get close to people and even harder, to develop emotional ties to them. The scene, in which the old man asks him if he would allow him to adopt him as a son, broke my heart. The fact that he couldn’t give his old friend an answer showed me his inability to connect with people. Even if he didn’t want to, why couldn’t he do it to make the other person happy? In the movie, he never does anything for someone. Everything is about him. He’s selfish. And also likes to adopt certain positions, in the same tone that he lectured the young girl, who’s in love with him, he tells Franz what he should do with his life. He always talks and acts as if he didn’t need other people. At the end, he’s proven otherwise. The movie was sad and at times, even depressing, but his final realization made it worth it. Some of us have reached the same conclusion, through different paths but it's always good to be reminded that:

“Happiness is not real unless shared.”


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