Film Review: "Wild"

There is one scene early on in "Wild" that convinced me the movie is going to be something i'll love. It was how the music was used organically to establish the two main characters in the story and how this brilliant idea instantly revealed to us the soul and the spirit that will propel Cheryl Strayed to do the crazy idea of hiking 900 miles across three states along the Pacific Crest Trail.

There are thematic similarities between Jean Marc-Vallee's "Wild" and Sean Penn's "Into The Wild" but whereas the latter ended quite tragically, the former carries a happier and more hopeful conclusion.

"Wild" is based on the incredible journals of Cheryl Strayed when she spent over three months hiking over deserts, mountains and forests in searing heat and snow in search of her proverbial self and her worth as a person -- and in atonement for the many transgressions she has committed against herself and people who loved and cared for her.

The hike also served as the final stage of her grieving process. It's an emotional and deeply moving film that validates the capacity of the human spirit to triumph over extreme adversity when equipped with determination, inspiration and, to some degree, desperation.

The movie features a masterful screen adaptation and an excellent performance from Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon. Marc-Vallee's direction is divine and the editing utterly flawless.

The parade of supporting casts are also impressive but I remember most the boy Cheryl encountered on the trail who sings to her and in the process helps usher in a cathartic, well-earned cry --- which rubbed off on me, too!

And, above all, Cheryl's journey has inspired me to consider doing a similar hike as well. Just an idea for now. A crazy one.

Rating: 5 Stars

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