This movie is an experience worth having. The protagonist is one of the most adventurous of all on screen characters I have ever witnessed and his adventure is not in search of pleasure or treasure or love but rather, is a quest for freedom from the known, a journey undertaken to get rid of society and its rotten traditions and oppressions.
The movie is based on a true story of a man named Christopher McCandless. It’s a story of a man who was sensitive and loved freedom. He has seen enough of society and wants to run away into the wild to live freely and he chooses it over anything else which his career might have offered him after getting graduated from college. His two years of hitchhiking-roaming makes him have experiences more profound than most of us have in our entire life.
The protagonist has many notable traits. He is sensitive, adventurous, courageous, gentle, and generous and loves truth. He changes his name to ‘Alexander-The-Super-Tramp’. His changing of name, giving up of possessions, getting rid of savings and even last bits of cash so dramatically reminds of Indian Sanyasins and Sufi Faquirs. I realized that he is very much ‘Living dangerously’ in a Nitzschean way. I also recalled Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha while watching this movie because in many ways Alex lives like a Shaman and undergoes many experiences similar to Siddhartha before getting wise. The movie is not about profound spiritual wisdom but it has elements of it, still you enjoy the adventures of Alex. You cannot fail to observe many things in this movie which look similar to Cast Away; but in this movie the protagonist chooses to live in the wild and it’s never too much of an isolation except for last bit when he really feels trapped in the wild; whereas in the former film the protagonist feels trapped from very beginning and desperately tries to get out of the situation.
The natural scenery consisting of rivers, snow-beds, trees, fields, animals, mountains and azure skies is just wonderful. The direction is just astounding and so is the screenplay and it looks more so once you learn that Sean Penn had not directed many movies prior to this one, nor he had done many screenplays before doing this one. Kudos to him! The credit for this comely biography goes to Jon Krakauer.
The expressions on the face of the Christopher McCandless have an uncanny resemblance to those on the face of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Yes, I am deliberately trying to mention this because of my assumption that Chris had attained profound spiritual wisdom prior to his death. I do not fully feel aligned to the philosophy of this movie (which seems equivocal at times…) but it does not hinder me from enjoying it to the full and narration is very engrossing in my opinion. I highly recommend watching this movie to those who love freedom from the known. I highly recommend this movie to explorers; to the lovers of truth.