With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthen, and ultimately heals her.Written by
Shot almost completely with natural light. See more »
Early in her hike, as Cheryl is howling along with coyotes, a distinctive round-topped rock spire is visible in the distance. This is the iconic Monkey Face tower at Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon; this setting is supposed to be well within California. See more »
Wild is based on the memoir of Cheryl Strayed about her lone hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. This journey is meant to be an escape from her personal problems and possibly rehabilitating herself from a troubling past. It expresses these feelings thoroughly; at every turn, there has to be a reminder of what she's been through, but also deals with a potential danger in this hike. The movie lives up to its sentiment, the pain and obstacles that the story goes through feel genuine and it leaves us such a rewarding experience. There are some parts that can feel a little uneven, but its spirit stays intact, enduring what the movie is meant to be.
There are several conflicts in this hike. Firstly is how inexperienced Strayed is in the wilderness, trying to reach her destination with a heavy backpack, tight shoes, raw meals, and even faces anything that could possibly harm her, including wild animals and strangers that appears to her as a threat. The other is basically remembering the past of losing her mother and her addiction out of depression. The main point here is how she deals with these problems; the flashbacks may be just any other drama, but it helps clearing out her motivations and fleshing out who she is. Though, the emotions are more genuine when she is simply isolated, helpless from any conflict until she learns lifting herself back up, literally and metaphorically.
It carefully lingers at how difficult to proceed this walk which makes her seemingly small actions look like a truly serious risk. The camera just lets the audience experience the same feeling of pain and exhaustion on what she is doing. Reese Witherspoon naturally pictures the vital parts of Strayed's emotional and physical struggles, while building a full character along the trek. But the movie doesn't always have to be tough, whenever it stops into places with people, there is a real pleasant feeling around, especially when she is just expressing her thoughts to whoever she just met.
There are a some flaws that are worth mentioning, specifically when it occasionally takes turn to a far different direction later on, somewhat abandoning the consistent emotion it accomplished. The very last part also ended up verbalizing the entire theme, kind of dropping the poetic intentions. But they didn't outweigh much of its merits. Because no matter what happened there, Wild is still a journey that earned something satisfyingly heartfelt. Most of the credit may go to Reese Witherspoon as she thoughtfully carries the whole film. Even when it sort of stumbles in some parts, the movie still delivers the story with sincerity and real emotions that made it this great.
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