Friday, February 21, 2014

Pondering on the Into the Wild Movie

"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more..."
- Lord Byron

I am doing this for the very first time, where "this" means I am writing my thoughts about a movie. However, it doesn't mean I am shifting the course of this blog into something else. For truth be told, I want to keep the majority of things from going haywire as much as possible, because it's the very least I can do to myself amid life's perpetual anomalies.

Into the Wild is my random pick one fine day, when I gave Google these search keywords, "2007 movies". I scanned through the movie thumbnails of what I presumed too mainstream and then, this particular movie caught my interest.

Honestly, I didn't expect much anything from this movie. I gravely thought of it, as a notch higher than Euro Trip's plot. That bad. But I was dead wrong. Like shamefully wrong. That worse. 

Is there ever a quote, Don't judge a movie by its title? Because certainly that's what I had in mind as the movie progressed. I don't read movie reviews, by the way. I believe it ruins the randomness of it all.

Movie cover from Wikipedia


The movie depicts a young man's journey in the early 1990's. Chris McCandless has just graduated from college in flying colors, an obvious pride to his parents. His parents are successful people in their own right and it wouldn't have come as a surprise if he were to follow their footsteps. But apparently, he does not. Instead, he sets off to a journey around the country (USA), destroying all his identification documents, credit cards, and cash while he's at it. His ultimate destination is Alaska, where he stumbles upon an abandoned bus, which he makes as his home in the wilderness. His experiences while in route to Alaska are shown as flashbacks in the movie. The very experiences that eventually explain the choices he has made in his life.

The movie ends with a heartrending scene, where Chris clearly passed out from starvation in his bus, imagines the alternative life he could have lived but did not.

Then, a photo of the real Chris with his bus, flashes before the cast and credits roll in.

My Immediate Reactions

The snippet of Lord Byron's poem at the top of this post, made me already think that this wasn't the movie I had initially thought of. Lord Byron's words were shown in the beginning of the movie and it got me into thinking that no such poetry can ever be quoted for just any movie.

As for the movie's entirety, I like how it transpires and how it ends. Although a part of me wished Chris has lived, so that he could prove to the naysayers that he has made it. But when the photo of the real Chris came up, I was in total shock! The movie that I had looked down at first, was actually from a nonfiction book, a biography of the said young man's survival adventure.

I then quickly searched for more information about the movie and the good reviews, several nominations and awards, slapped me in the face. Rightfully so.

My Eventual Afterthoughts

Seeking Life's Answers

As a young adult, the wonder of what life really is and what it entails, had crossed my mind. I never got around into fully deciphering it and as a full-grown adult now, I no longer intend to continue to fathom its complexities. Who in his sane mind does that anyway?

Chris tried to seek an alternative life, brought forth by his fear of being trapped into the madness of the corporate world. The rat race with no end that consumes the world which is exactly how his parents have lived.

Even if his story is from the '90s, I know similar questions still resonate up to this day. We may have progressed in terms of technology by leaps and bounds but his personal crisis is one fact of life and that perhaps, one thing we can never do away with.

But I take comfort on my conviction that life is not meant to be questioned but it is meant to be lived.

Unconventional Choices

It takes one colossal leap of faith to do what Chris has done. I know I could never do such thing since deviating from the normalcy is counterintuitive for me. I would never have what I have now if I had thrown everything away just like that.

And I believe that the small decisions I made in the past are like pieces of the puzzle that continuously shape me into the person that I am today. Like the resolve of doing good during that make or break practical test for one of my Electronics subject. Or that zeal in going through countless late nights at work.

These two and among other things, small and big, are essential parts of my 28 years of existence. None of it happens overnight which makes it a lot rewarding.

I may not have unconventional choices but I like to think that I have unconventional priorities now.

Being Off the Grid

While Chris was on his journey, he never looked back to the safety net he once knew. Not even a letter or a phone call to his family. His sister narrates in the movie, and has wondered herself why she hasn't received a call from him. They were close and they used to rally each other against the rigid ideals of their parents.

Image from

It is heartbreaking when we are faced with the dilemma of letting a person go and at the same time, wanting him to be around. It's like a mother making sure her child doesn't leave her sight but her child shall grow and eventually, her child will have to be his or her own.

Having a traditional Filipino family, I am still in the process of trying to explain to my parents why I make certain choices in my life. Even if I am already nearing my third decade in this world, it doesn't make a slightest difference. None whatsoever.

They have no inkling that I am not the same person anymore, when I moved away from their immediate care at 11 years old. What makes it harder for them is that my perception towards life, breaks away from what they believe in.

This may be still a work in progress in both of our ends but I can never entertain the thought of myself cutting off from them.  I know this is not only my call and for me, it is somewhat selfish if I don't regard the feelings of those close to me with my decisions.

In Summary

I only have a paltry number of years of experience in this life and this realization may be tinged with conceit but I don't care. I say it, anyway.

Each of us is different and as we try to seek our own uniqueness and carve our own path, we can't deny the fact that there are threads in our lives, that influence on how we embark on these quests. Looking at the brighter side of it, we must consider them as the sail of our boat and not something, that is limiting.

Image from

After all, we are the captains of our own boats, setting off this journey called life. See you at sea, my fellow sailors.

No comments:

Post a Comment