TIFF Movie Review: Into The Wild

Based on the bestselling book by Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild tells the true story of Christopher McCandless, a college graduate who one day decides to emancipate himself from his family and the material word. He leaves all his possessions, giving his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked his way across the America, with a dream to live alone in the wilderness of Alaska.

Directed by Sean Penn, and starring a more than capable cast of actors and actresses, Into The Wild is a scrapbook of a journey – a movie of moments, interesting characters, and self revelation. Penn experiments with the cinematic medium, dividing the movie into chapters, slow-motion, fast-motion, split screen, flashbacks, flash forwards, superimposed handwritten text and much more.

Jena Malone, who plays Christopher's sister, provides an intermittent voiceover throughout. At times the actors in the film seem to improvise lines which add to the realism in the dialogue. Emile Hirsch gives the best performance of his career thus far, and supposedly lost 30 pounds to play the role. I found the film surprisingly enjoyable. The cinematography is breathtaking. Some people might find the film to be slightly pretentious and at almost two and a half hours in length, maybe a tad bit long. There is also a pretty gruesome sequence involving the killing and consumption of a Moose, animal lovers beware. Into the Wild is one of the best movies of 2007 so far.

/Film Rating: 8 out of 10