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2015-03-02 08:42

What it's about:

After years of reckless behaviour, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother, Bobbi, and with absolutely no experience hiking, she sets out on a more than thousand-mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail—on her own.

The adventure powerfully reveals her terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.

What we thought:

I am an avid hiker as it’s the one time I really feel at peace. It’s usually a time of solitary reflection. There’s just something really comforting walking surrounded by nature. It also puts things in perspective that you’re literally just a small spec in this big wide world.

And while I may not have had the same experiences Cheryl Strayed had, I automatically felt a connection with  her. I understood her desire to embark on this 1100 mile hike.

Wild is based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed who after losing her mother spirals into addiction and promiscuity that ends up destroying her marriage.

As a form of self inflicted penance she decides to do the gruelling Pacific Coast hike from the California/Mexico border to Canada, her only ‘companion’ being her backpack; Monster.

The film starts dramatically as we don’t know who she is, where she is or how long she’s been hiking for.We do know however that  it’s been tough as we see  her  siting on a cliff barefoot and out of sheer desperation pulling off a broken toenail.

That opening sequence sets the tone for the rest of the film. From then on we travel back and forth between past and present and we learn more about Cheryl’s life and how she got to this point.

Besides her interaction with other people and fellow hikers she meets along the way, we are privy to Cheryl’s internal dialogue and struggle.

This humongous bag she drags along with her is symbolic of her internal baggage. There’s a scene in the beginning of the film where she struggles to get this bag filled with so many unnecessary items onto her back. It was a poignant moment seeing her physically struggle to get this bag that is almost as big her on her back.

As she continues on her journey there’s a point where she reassess the items in her bag and gets rid of all the unwanted items. Her bag is lighter and easier to carry. She’s comfortable with it. It’s symbolic of the internal process she’s been going through.  

Reese Witherspoon is amazing and stripped from her usual comedic and glossy roles as she really delved deeper. This really is Reese like you’ve never seen her before. What I enjoyed about her performance is that she was portraying being a real person.  All the flaws and all the ugly parts of what it means to be human.

The central theme of the movie will resonate with everyone; a brave soul conquering something  alone makes for inspirational viewing. The beautiful scenery and Reese’s moving performance makes this movie a must see. I dare you to not want to go on a hike after watching this film.

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