MWB: Outside the Genre: Wild

188189In the past, I’ve been known to skirt the outer edges of horror, but there have always been enough influences from horror it was no bother. That’s not the case here. I know this is a horror blog and all, but my excuses are two-fold. First, I watched it, really enjoyed and I want to talk about it. Second, it’s my blog so meh. I think the main reason Wild really spoke to me is due to being a backpacker. I won’t claim to be an expert, but I’m invested enough in it as a hobby that I possess my own gear. As it is a newer part of my life only really getting into over the last few years, those painful early learning experiences are still vivid. This made Resse Witherspoon’s portrayal of Cheryl Strayed.

Wild is a Biographical Drama based on the novel Wild: From Lost to Found written by Cheryl Strayed. Wild tells the story of Cheryl Strayed’s 1,100 mile journey up the Pacific Crest Trail from southern California, through Oregon and ending in northern Washington. At the time of her departure Cheryl Strayed possessed on previous backpacking experience. The film follows her solo journey of self discovery along the trail as she comes to terms with her personal demons.

Wild manages to be both visceral and sincere at the same time. Strayed’s time on the trail inter-spliced with the moments that lead her to make the journey. I really like, that the damage that the long trip can do to your body is a subject frequently addressed and coupled with the personal growth over the course of the journey makes the triumph of its completion feel well deserved.

I was hesitant to see the film with Reese Witherspoon being the star. Not that I have anything against her as I do consider myself a general fan of her work. I just wasn’t sure she could pull this role off. Well I can tell you I was wrong and that she does a decidedly great job. She performance feels both honest and grounded.

Wild is simply beautiful to look at with long sweeping vistas. The location scout did an outstanding job picking out filming locations. Which adds to the isolation as Strayed makes her solo journey.

Final thoughts, what more can I say about Wild? Well it contains slightly less walking than The Fellowship of the Ring. But in all seriousness, I found Wild to be a strong film that managed to be introspective and thought-provoking and is recommend.

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