October 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Wild,” based on the book and life of author, Cheryl Strayed, appropriately screened in the picturesque, mountainous surroundings at the Telluride Film Festival on Saturday, August 30th. The film helmed by “Dallas Buyers Club” director, Jean-Marc Vallée, stars Reese Witherspoon, and Laura Dern, and as Jean-Marc shared, “tells the story through Cheryl’s point of view”.

I thought I was the only one who was crying my eyes out the entire time, however, when I spoke with others at the end, I was relieved to hear that they were emotional as well. Don’t let this scare you.

I wouldn’t demean the film and say that it is a female version of “Into the Wild”. “Wild” is for anyone, who at any point in their lives, needed to change gears, leave their daily routine behind, and soul search for answers to something tragic that may have occurred.

Recently divorced and not working, Cheryl, decided to backpack 1,100 miles alone on the Pacific Crest Trail. During this time, she quickly learns the ropes in survival, hiking, and camping, all the while, reflecting back on her childhood, her relationship with her ailing mother, and the events that led up to her recent divorce from her husband.

Opening scene: Her big toe nail is black, bloody and falling off, one of her hiking shoes accidentally falls down the cliff and knowing that she cannot retrieve it, she throws the other one over the cliff, as well, SCREAMING IN DESPAIR.

Jump back to her preparing for the trip, phone calls to her ex, and a slovenly local landscaper, who came to her aide when she first started off on the trail and tried to talk her out of the unknown and dangers that might lurk ahead. Cheryl knew that she had to keep moving forward, that she had to do this for herself, that she had to face her demons with solitude, and prove that she was brave and capable.

Although her life reached some very dark places, her experience is relatable on a natural and human level. Reflecting back and journaling along the way, the trail is unpredictable in terms of the weather, the people, nature, animals, and events.

The music in the film was source music and not scored. They were careful not to use music while she was on the trail unless she was humming or singing.

Bring tissues.

One World Cinema

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