Film for Thought

Last night I saw the film Into the Wild.  If you plan to see the movie, then I suggest you stop reading now. Though this is not a review of the film, it does give away a few details…The story is about Chris, a college grad who essentially runs away from home, from society, from life as we know it; in hopes of finding “truth,” “freedom,” and “happiness.”

It’s probably not a film I would see again, but I’m glad I saw it once.  It’s one that can get under your skin and into your brain if you let it.  I’ve been chewing on bits and pieces of it all day, and that alone is worth the price of admission in my book.

The more I think about it, the more it reminds me of the stories we read in the Bible, particularly Ecclesiastes. I wonder, “If Solomon’s life were caught on film, would it look like this?”  There is a natural tendency to distance ourselves from stories in the Bible, but I can’t help but think that they’re all about real people like you and me desperately in need of a Savior.  This film is no different.  It feels more like a 21st century parable than a movie.

As you watch it you are somewhat torn between cheering for Chris all the while still wanting him to come to his senses.  Either he’s lost his mind or he’s a genius.  It’s almost as if your head and your heart are competing against one another.  I can’t help but think that’s how he felt most of the time.

It has a very raw, honest quality to it, largely due to the way it was filmed.  At times it’s pristine and other times it’s a mess.  It’s a lot like life when you think about it.

It’s unforgiving.  It doesn’t resolve itself.  You’re just left to deal with the life he lived.

The movie itself is long, but I think it needed to be.  It’s a film about life, and that doesn’t always fit neatly into a ninety minute time slot.  It’s almost as if you feel the weight of this one guy’s life the longer the film rolls on.

It leaves you with a sense of joy and despair.  Even still I’m not quite sure what to make of it.  …However, it strikes a nerve that is all too familiar, a nerve that looks remarkably similar to my life.  I spend so much time thinking about the ups and downs, and where I’m going, and what I’m doing; and I’m not quite sure what to make of it because I have this unfortunate misconception that “life” is supposed to be something definable.  Perhaps in my quest to “figure things out” I stifle the very life I’m trying to live.   …that’s a scary thought.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but it in the it leads to death.” -Proverbs 16:25

This won’t go down and the happiest post on my blog, but I guess that’s just a part of life too  =)

*Forgive the rambling nature of this post.  I have so much on my plate right now that I am certain I would lose my thoughts if I didn’t spend a few minutes to take them captive.

5 thoughts on “Film for Thought

  1. I think I know what you mean. The Lord often has to remind me to enjoy the journey. I get so caught up in figuring out how to get to a particular destination in life that I look back and realize I completely missed the path along the way. And I don’t really think that’s the life God has in mind at all.

  2. That is some great writing, Stephen. Looks like you found the right words :) I think I will read the book on this one first, it sounds like an interesting one! That last paragraph that you wrote is very powerful.

  3. Amanda I knew somebody was gonna say something about enjoying the journey =) and you’re entirely right. Sometimes the journey just doesn’t seem enjoyable though. I suppose it’s all about our perspective, really.

    Michael Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve learned that I appreciate a film much more when I’ve read the book (usually beforehand). The two mediums really can complement each other nicely if they are done well.

    Rose Thanks for the comment! I really didn’t know how this post would shape up or come across, but I guess something worked =)

  4. Interesting thoughts, Stephen. We addressed some of my thoughts on the movie last night. I agree with a couple of the comments made…especially Michael’s suggestion to read the book. Even though I saw the movie prior to finishing the book, I must say that only the book makes a somewhat valiant attempt to analyze the true forces that drove McCandless. As I mentioned to you earlier, the book addresses more of the dynamics of this guy. Some saw him as a totally arrogant kid who was dreadfully unprepared for an excursion in the Alaskan territory. Others saw him as extremely talented, resourceful individual. You really need to see some of the quotes and passages at the beginning of each chapter of the book. The comparisons that John Krakauer (the author) made between himself and McCandless were also pretty interesting. Read the book!

Leave a Reply to Amanda Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s