Monday, February 1, 2016

Movie Review: Wild

Check out this movie: Wild
By Cynthia Becker

Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, a woman decides to hike more than 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail -- alone -- after her mom dies, destructive behavior, and her marriage dissolves.

The best parts of this movie are the acting by Reese Witherspoon, who plays the lead, and the setting. The scenes take place in the beauty of the mountains and capture the isolation and vulnerability of being in the wilderness. Witherspoon's acting comes across as genuine, and she is great at communicating the internal thoughts during her alone screen time. The movie captures those feelings pretty well, but many emotional themes are not flushed out as well as the book. In the book, you see her grow with her feelings of loneliness, feeling incompetent, her regrets (or lack thereof), her forgiveness of herself, and her relationships with other people -- all of these journeys she had at once. But the movie fails on most of those, except one -- her sorrow for her mothers death. Being that they had to condense a book to a 2-hour film, the movie choose to flesh out one emotional journey, and it did that well. You see Witherspoon's character comes to term with her mothers death and heals in a believable way. Whether or not you have read the book, the movie is still worth a see. If you read the book first, then you get more insight into the character and appreciate her journey even more.
Bonus: The soundtrack is great.