Friday, 28 September 2012

Spotlight: Into the Wild

In short, this is a damned beautiful film.

In detailed ramblings, the same conclusion is still reached. Because what it comes down to is that this is just a beautiful, beautiful film. Stumbling across review sites, I had found that all of the critics were confident, and yet I often find that the films I am truly mesmerised by receive quieter praise so I was a little wary. But this film really was beautiful. The idea is just so attractive to me - of dropping everything and just escaping into rough existence. Just living experience-by-experience and allowing yourself to feel everything; it's enthralling. One of my favourite scenes is probably one of the simplest - protagonist Chris sits and has a conversation with/about an apple. It is so simple but really resounded with me, making me laugh and just think 'mmmm' to myself. I found that as I watched the film, my skin was itching to get outside and hike or camp or scream or something, despite the pesky dribbling English rain and the fact that it was nearing 11pm. That's how inspiring the film is - how stirring.

Emile Hirsch is faultless as Chris/Alex, the only thing distracting me being his strange resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio. But that's irrelevant. Hirsch is compelling, depicting the kind of character you just want to be with, simply basking in their 'themness'. Each other character is also perfectly devised (esp. Vaughn's Wayne and Holbrook's surly Ron), showing an array of character types that Chris waltzes through, the otherwise distant influence spheres being thrown together in a beautiful display  of compassion and camaraderie. 

The ending, of course, is a sad one. But I think the overall beauty of the film helps to offset the sheer tragedy of it to leave some idea of peace. The part that hits hardest is of course the dedication at the end, when the truth of the story is confirmed. It's hard to imagine such a thing to happen to someone you know, no matter how beautiful and inspiring the bulk of the story is. It's harsh, but so mesmerising. 

In the end, it's just one of those films that leaves you thinking pleasant things for days afterwards. Some sad things, yes, but all quiet and simple calm too. Job well done for Penn and Krakauer.

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