After graduating from University, Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) mails a certified cheque for the amount of twenty-four thousand dollars to a charity, he pockets the remaining five hundred dollars and sixty-eight cents, that he had remaining in his college fund, so he can begin his great Alaska Adventure. Chris leaves everything behind, he destroys all trace of his material self, burns and throws out all of his money, identification and any link he has to this advanced civilized world. Along the way he learns many things and meets many people. He teaches himself, and is taught, things most people would never learn in their civilized lives, and learns the purity of life in the wild.
This movie is possibly one of the best films I’ve seen from the past year. My only regret about this is that it took me this long to actually see it (thanks Carib). The story is so deep and at the same time you try to keep it all on the surface. You try to see Chris (Emile Hirsch) as this crazy college graduate who threw all his opportunities away to live his life in this backward state. It’s everybody’s dream, to be one hundred percent free; free of responsibility, free of worry, free of societal etiquette. This is what Chris wanted, and is exactly what he found. He met everyone, he met hippies driving in their trailer, he met old war vets, and even young singers.
The film is based on a true story, written by Jon Krakauer. This novel was written based on the real Chris McCandless. The director, Sean Penn, does a great job of showing us this story in an almost perfect manner. He never allows us to think of this story as one moment, because as you’re watching the film you never forget what happened before, and you never confuse the timeline. The best part of the direction is that it slowly develops the character of Chris McCandless, in such a way that you never question his logic or his idealistic nature.
Emile Hirsch put on what I think so far is his best acting performance to date, and I liked him in “The Girl Next Door” (2004) a lot. He plays this role of the brilliant young scholar wanting to go a different road than the one already paved for him so well. This is yet another selling point of the new Speed Racer movie for me (even though I know he won’t be drawing on his acting talent that much to make that movie a hit, but I think it does help). Everyone else supports him well, I liked most (if not all) of the characters he meets along the way which definitely helps he with loving this film.
Strong warning!!! I do believe this is a top notch film and anyone who is interested in a great story about a person should definitely give this one a try. However, I doubt this movie will inspire the masses, so if you consider yourself a ‘popcorn’ movie lover don’t bother wasting your time, you will probably hate this movie.
- IMDB says 8.3/10
- Rotten Tomatoes says 83%
- I say 8.3/10 (ironically)