You clearly get the feeling that Wild is a “passion piece“. Resonating with individuals that are attached to the project for different reasons, we are presented with an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir by Jean-Marc Vallée (director of Dallas Buyers Club), Reese Witherspoon (also one of the movie’s producers) and Laura Dern.
I think the main problem with Wild is the nature of the central character. Smothered by an overwhelming love by her mother, Ms. Strayed’s downward spiral is precipitated by the death of her familial rock. And this is by no means a spoiler – we witness this demise in the trailer for the film. Marking her body to commemorate a particularly low point in her life, changing her name to Strayed as some kind of penance for the wrongs she has committed while married and undertaking the mother of all treks as a grief-coping strategy do not, I feel, warm the audience to her.
Wild is a pleasant enough film to watch; an interesting story of a woman walking over 1000 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. That is no mean feat and clearly must be applauded. It’s the journey that got her there that did not endear her to me. As is a filmmaker’s want these days, that particular journey is told throughout the narrative progression through flashbacks, in an attempt to lend some additional interest to the proceedings. It merely created a widening of the space between our central character and the audience as the film progressed.
There’s too much “worthiness”, a self-righteous air about Ms. Strayed who felt she needed to walk 1000 miles to find out who she was or who she could be. Yes the scenery is awe-inspiring and the film looks great, but quite frankly all you need to do is set the camera on a tripod and point it in the right direction. For a more affecting experience I suggest you watch Sean Penn‘s 2007 film Into the Wild. It’s a far superior film.
Thank you for reading 🙂