The breathtaking and beautiful film is a treat to watch. It is very much like watching a master artist create a piece before our very eyes, a laborious endeavour that culminates with the creation of quite a masterpiece. Director Sean Penn demonstrates his very best as a maker in this 2007 film! The imagery combined with the top notch performances of actors like Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook make this film a contemporary classic.
Christopher Johnson McCandless, the young adventurer whose footloose life and gruesome fate, is at the same time impulsive, brave and disturbed; yet he is also a dedicated spiritual pilgrim. He does not court danger but rather stumbles across it — thrillingly and then fatally — on the road to joy. In letters to his friends, he revels in the simple beauty of the natural world. Adopting the pseudonym Alexander Supertramp, rejecting material possessions and human attachments, he proclaims himself an “aesthetic voyager.” After graduating from Emory University in 1990, he sets off on a zigzagging two-year journey that took him from South Dakota to Southern California, from the Sea of Cortez to the Alaskan wilderness, where he perished, apparently from starvation, in August 1992.
Penn, in tandem with the superb cinematographer Eric, captures the majesty and terror of the wilderness in ways that make us catch our breath. And Eddie Vedder's remarkable songs sound like the voice of Chris' unconscious. Since his death, admirers have made the arduous trip to that bus. But Into the Wild celebrates the person, not the myth. Mistakes didn't make Chris unique, his courage did. Through Penn's unmissable and unforgettable film, that courage definitely endures.