Into the Wild Movie Review Essay



Into the Wild Movie Review Essay

Into the Wild is a challenging movie that tells the story of a determined young man, who has faced many difficulties in his life. The movie is based on the cognominal book containing plenty of sorrow as well as spirit. The main character of the movie, Chris McCandless, is a youngster from a wealthy family. However, the character rejects the wealth of modern society, gives all his money to charity, and becomes an adventurer. In this key, the movie reveals the true purpose of a human’s life – people have to appreciate nature.

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Into the Wild is directed by Sean Penn, who has created a very beautiful, touching, and complex film with a deep meaning. The stunning natural beauty of Alaska in combination with McCandless’ challenging story makes the movie unique. Into the Wild raises many problems including freedom of an individual from material goods, self-knowledge, the importance of choosing one’s right way in life, finding his or her happiness, and family relationships. It should be noted that the collaboration of the director and actors and the performance of the latter (Emile Hirsch performing the main male role is truly unforgettable) have made the movie strong and worth seeing. Therefore, Into the Wild is an amazing movie with a great director and a skillful actor in the main role, whose play captures the audience’s attention from the very beginning of the film.

The movie raises many questions that may seem simple, but very few people can give answers to them. Into the Wild gives the audience a chance to look at a real person, who has decided to find the answers by himself by following his dreams. In the movie, Hirsch performs the main male role. Thus, facing reality, Hirsch’s character understands that his life is an illusion, in which everyone is obliged to follow established rules and pursue material benefit. At the same time, the entire movie can be regarded as the performance of one actor. It is Hirsch, who provides the audience with food for the mind and gives the movie its style and soul. Hirsch’s character turns out to be an amazingly versatile young man. Being raised in a materialistic and unhappy family, the main character wants “no longer be poisoned by civilization, and walk alone to become lost in the wild” (Penn, 2008).

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The actor, who played him, successfully combines the intelligence and gumption of the main character with his carelessness and youthful maximalism influencing the creation of a strong and interesting personality. Therefore, Hirsch’s performance has made the movie a mesmerizing story to watch. The actor masterfully reveals the tale of the rebel, who without any doubt decides to give his life into the hands of fate.

At the same time, the success of Into the Wild can be linked to the work of its great director – Sean Penn.

The director opens the movie with lines from Lord Byron’s famous literary piece:

There is pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is a society where none intrudes,

By the deep sea and the music in its roar;

I love not man the less, but Nature more (Laurier, 2007).

Pean perfectly directed the movie filling it with life since the picture portrays not a fictional, but a real story. Pean’s masterful directing makes the storyline more realistic. The director hides the morality between the lines and tries to manipulate the minds of his viewers. Pean focuses on the depiction of the story about the actions and decisions people are making every day without knowing, where they can bring them.

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The movie perfectly fits into its genre; Pean’s work is a biographical drama. In addition, the director delicately and emotionally recreates the episodes, in which the main character suffers from isolation and struggles with socialization. According to Scott (2007), “Though he warns one of his friends against seeking happiness in human relationships — and also rails incoherently against the evils of “society” — Chris is a naturally sociable creature” (p. 1). Pean also embodies his vision of utopia, where the role of a perfect civilization belongs to wild nature. Nevertheless, Pean shows that one’s desire to escape from reality can play an evil joke on a person, who attempts to run not from the world, but his or her real self. Thus, the remarkable directing of the movie made it a successful drama with a profound and complex main character, who makes the audience think.


Therefore, Into the Wild is a successful and interesting movie worth to be seen due to the outstanding work of Pean and Hirsch. The combination of skillful directing and an unforgettable leading actor’s performance has made Into the Wild an exciting drama. This movie teaches people many lessons: to be strong and stable, when they face challenges or difficulties in their life; to follow their dreams and listen to their hearts, and never give up because people can reach their goals only by overcoming difficulties. Moreover, Into the Wild is a highly sensible and exemplary movie. It shows that sometimes it is worth the risk. Even though people have different visions of life, they need to be connected with others. A person risks losing his or herself without relationships. Into the Wild should be watched by everyone not only because of its brilliant directing but because of the excellent performance of Emile Hirsch, who inspires people to search for the meaning of life and value human relationships.

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