What is happiness?
I’ve just watched Into the Wild.
It’s a movie about a 23 year old guy, who just graduated from University with almost straight A’s and has $24,000 of college fund to put towards going to Harvard Law School.
He decides to leave it all, destroying his ID, giving the money to charity and hitting the road. He heads north to Alaska in the pursuit of freedom, a break from society and a new outlook on life.
What he finds is friendship, people, relationships and happiness, but also crushing loneliness, moral uneasiness and hunger.
This is apparently based on a true story and a book about the ‘real’ Christopher that up and left society to find a place which isn’t ruled by money, power and greed.
Ultimately he seeks truth and to escape the lies that his parents had told him as a child.
Look, I’m a big softy at heart. I have been known to sob at the end of Donnie Darko, and have been moved to tears by music. I don’t deny this and am not embarrassed by it. I found myself with tears rolling down my face as I watched this movie. Not only from the experiences that Chris has, but also from the amazing voice and music of Eddie Vedder who provides a lot of the soundtrack to the movie.
Couple that with the sensational scenery and cinematography and it resulted in a movie that moved me and made me think.
And that’s what I love about a good movie. It makes you think. It helps you to see things from another perspective and to ‘live’ another persons life for that 2 hours or so you are watching them
Like a good book, you immerse yourself in the characters. You see what they see and feel what they feel.
Emile Hersch does an outstanding job as Christopher. He brings a realness to the character that makes you want what he wants, but also want a lot more that he can’t. Cameo’s from Vince Vaughn, Jena Malone (who I have a huge crush on) and Catherine Keener are all great.
Christopher is a very literary character. He has read a lot of books, quotes from them on different occasions and takes what is written to heart. I watched his character and wished that I had read as much as he had, and that I was able to quote even one line from a book, let alone pick them out randomly. There are so so many books out there, just waiting to be read, but when I go to do it, I just can’t seem to give them the time they deserve.
Maybe one day, when I’m old and wiser, I will take the time to read, absorb and learn from the classics.
I guess that’s one positive thing. They are never going away, and will wait for the day that I am ready to read them.
Christopher is seeking happiness. Along the way he ignores the opportunity to achieve possible happiness because he is focused on finding the happiness that he believes in. He doesn’t stop and realise that happiness has always been around him, and his selfishness towards his own family that truly loves him is profound and sad at the same time.
When he thinks he has finally found happiness, but instead encounters loneliness, he realises something and writes it down…
“Happiness is only real when shared”
I like that line and I really believe it. Whether it’s my happiness or someone elses, there is nothing like being able to share it with someone else. Sure, it is possible to be happy alone, but at some stage you will want to share that with someone else, whether it be in photos or simply re-telling your experience. And if you can contribute to someone else’s happiness, then why not?
Very enjoyable movie and highly recommended, but not if you love moose.
And this movie gets 4 1/2 of them.