"done with so much humour and grit that it is a very powerful film to see"
Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) is 26, addicted to heroin, cheating on her husband and is insulting her therapist. Emotionally broken since the death of her mother, she has ended up living quite a savage lifestyle. We follow her as she turns to a different type of wilderness in order to tame her grief.
She decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in the US for three months, alone, carrying with her a tent, supplies, a diary and many unresolved issues. Essentially this is a film about carrying around a lot of baggage.
With themes taken from a populist self-help shelf, it feels important that the film would be delivered in a tone and with a sensitivity of a jedi master not to fall on its face and make the audience cringe. And I’m happy it turned out to be brilliant. I laughed, I cried, I reflected and I had a good time watching it; face wet but not wrinkled with disbelief.
Even though it touches upon the hippie mantras and New Age slogans such as the importance of “finding yourself” or “saving yourself”, it’s done with so much humour and grit that it is a very powerful film to see. Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity) wrote the screenplay, which is a trademark for wit and originality if anything, and Jean-Marc Vallée directed it, having recently establishing himself as a star within the feature film biography movement with Dallas Buyers Club.
Reese Witherspoon plays the main character and really transcends herself in this role. It’s the way she makes any emotion look sincere; from vulnerability to anger to enlightenment. She bares all in more senses than one to tell the story, and in order to do justice to the honesty of Cheryl Strayed’s autobiography. Actress Laura Dern is also amazing as Cheryl’s charismatic mother.
I’d really recommend Wild. I think it will strike a chord with anyone who has ever strayed and got lost or lost someone dear. Even if it’s only a horse. It’s an uplifting film about soul-searching, without too much of New Age cheese!