Into the Wild (2007)


“I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong… but to feel strong.”


Language : English

Director : Sean Penn

Writers : Sean Penn (screenplay), Jon Krakauer (book)

Cast : Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener

Genre : Adventure | Biography | Drama

Imdb: Into The Wild (2007)

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

 “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.”

“I’m going to paraphrase Thoreau here… rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth”.

“Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th-century invention and I don’t want one.”

Into the Wild (2007) was one film which I had postponed watching for at least 5-10 years. But boy, I’m glad and deeply grateful that I watched this masterpiece. It’s a must-watch film not only because of how technically brilliant it is but also because of how the movie makes you feel and rethink about various stances, choices or relationships in life.

Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless. After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Christopher McCandles asks a lot of questions in the film to himself. After watching the movie, or while watching the movie, the audience is forced to think about existential or philosophical questions like:

1) What is the purpose of life? Is money the answer to happiness? 

2) How important is childhood in shaping a person’s future? Can a person be truly not influenced by his circumstances?

3) Do parents own their children? Are children indebted to their parents for bringing them to the world? At what time should children go make decisions on their own, to live life fully?

4) How important is travelling to expanding one’s worldview and understanding oneself? How important is understanding and loving yourself?

5) How important are humans in the universe? How emotionally driven are humans? How easy is it to live in the wilderness without anyone else after giving the finger to all man-made constructs? 

6) What role does society play in nurturing the human ecosystem?

7) Are man-made social constructs such as money, law, society all needed or can man return to the wilderness all alone and be an indistinguishable part of nature once again?

The audience also travels alongside Christopher McCandles in his journey feeling everything he is feeling, and he emanates a lot of warmth and love to all those who he encounters along his journey. 

“I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong… but to feel strong.”

Miss this rebellious and thought-provoking flick at your own peril.

Verdict – 6/7 stars



  • The watch Emile Hirsch wears in the movie is Christopher McCandless’ real-life watch, given to him as a present.

  • Emile Hirsch lost forty pounds to play his role.

  • Sean Penn waited ten years to make the film to make sure he had the approval from the McCandless family.

  • On June 19th 2020, the “magic bus” Chris McCandles lived in for 114 days in the middle of an Alaskan forrest has been air lifted out due to public safety concerns. This is because a number of people have tried to hike out to the bus and needed to either be rescued or simply did not survive.

  • Brian H. Dierker was originally hired as the technical consultant for the whitewater rafting scenes. Sean Penn cast him as Rainey after Emile Hirsch suggested him for the role.

  • Kristen Stewart co-wrote one of the songs her character Tracy Tatro sang in the film (“Tracy’s Song”).

  • Kristen Stewart performed “Blackbird” by The Beatles during her audition for the role of Tracy Tatro.

  • Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless.

  • Included among the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”, edited by Steven Schneider.

  • Title Card: There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; / There is a 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

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Rahul Rana

Rahul Rana is an Entrepreneur helping Businesses make RRATIONAL decisions in marketing. He is also the creative director of the project Bloodybrilliant which is both a personal project and a community project simultaneously. Aside from films and technology, Rahul loves football and gaming.

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