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Into the Wild

We watched Into the Wild last night. I can’t say I liked it, really, but I would say I appreciated it. The main character is not really very likeable, and I guess Sean Penn (the director and author of the screenplay adapted from John Krakauer’s book) consciously didn’t try to make him likeable. The lad’s idealism and the chip on his shoulder regarding his relationship with his parents both have an air of contrivance I found abrasive. And yet you can’t help but admire the boldness with which he sets out to erase his identity and set out on a journey of simplicity and freedom that leads to the wilds of Alaska. And there is a small but powerful epiphany at the end, which elevates the story beyond a mere tale of adventure and misguided youthful idealism.

(Here’s James Berardinelli’s review of Into the Wild. Berardinelli’s Reel Views is usually my first stop when I’m looking for a movie review.)

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