“Into the Wild”, based on a true story is a film adaptation of a book by Jon Krakauer with the same title that revolves around a bright college graduate Christopher McCandless, who defies society’s conventions by secluding himself in the extreme weather conditions of Alaska in order to achieve inner satisfaction and to find the meaning of life, freeing himself from the incarceration of the civilization.
The film is a cinematic beauty with an uncanny feel to it, from the beauty of ‘aerial shots’ of the Alaskan landscape, travel hodge-podge to the alluring melodies of Eddie Vedder’s solos. The effect is somewhat mystical like it’s some kind of a 60s’ hippie movie.
In this thought-provoking film, director Sean Penn has portrayed the protagonist as a man who rejects what he sees as materialism in a modern world, by leaving his upper-middle-class suburban lifestyle, abandoning his car and other belongings and setting off on an adventure in search of ‘real’ happiness and freedom.
He abandons the society in search of ultimate truth, to fill the hollow chasm in his heart with joy and to unravel the mysteries of mother-nature but realizes the hard way that “Happiness is only real when shared.” it is not in seclusion, nor is it in living-the-moment but is found in the process of achieving something bigger in life, it is in not in the cars or the clothes that you buy, it is in that pleasure of being capable of ‘giving’.
On his journey of self-discovery, this young nomad changes into a figure of heroism for many people who find comfort in the wilderness. But it is for you to decide after watching the movie if Christopher McCandless was a fearless nomad, a young idealist, or a cynical man who lacked motivation in his life.