Happiness Only Real When Shared

Chris McCandless

A really nice and somewhat different film I have seen recently was Into the Wild. It is very slow pace, not too much happening. In other words: Die Hard enthusiasts stay away!

The film is based on a real story: Chris McCandless, who after graduation at the age of 22 leaves family and career behind and in pursuit of his happiness travels the United States under the name Alexander Supertramp. He donates $24,000 that were given to him by his parents to charity, burns the last bank notes he has, and leaves his car behind. He meets a number of interesting people on the road. He is not a loner, and as portrayed in the film seems like quite a social person; not anti society but simply looking for freedom, independence and truth. At the same time he seeks solitude far away from society. His dream to spend some time in the tranquility and lonelyness of Alaska grows bigger and bigger.

His body was found in an abandoned bus in Alaska in 1992, at age 24. A note that he wrote into a copy of Doctor Zhivago short before his death says: "Happiness only real when shared." This realisation sums up the film in a beautiful way.

This movie, directed by Sean Penn, is brilliant to watch, slow moving, poetic, yet not overly emotional. The story kind of flows along, revealing more and more of McCandless life and the significance of his experiences and realisations. To watch the film you probably need to be in the right mood though. Recommended.

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