Wild is a film which comes directed by Jean-Marc Vallée who some may know for his directorial work from one of last year’s great films, Dallas Buyers Club. Wild has in it one of hollywood’s biggest female stars, Reese Witherspoon and also stars Laura Dern and Thomas Sadoski. Wild is a story about a woman’s 1100 mile hike which she undertakes in order to recover from some terrible life occurrences.
The plot of Wild centres wholly around the long hike which is undertaken by Reese Witherspoon’s character, Cheryl. We get a strong character story that is centred around Cheryl with a lot of flashback scenes where we see her remember certain life events. This all happens while she is on the long hike which she has decided to take. Cheryl must overcome all types of dangers out in the wild from natural ones like finding water supplies to human ones like encountering a dodgy stranger.
Some of Cheryl’s life events revolve around her messed up childhood and her drunken father. While other events revolve around her marriage and the many relationships Cheryl has had over the course of her life. It’s interesting to see and learn about what happened to this character which led her to the state she is now in. The treck that Cheryl is undertaking is really meant to be a self discovery journey so she can overcome her depressed state and emerge a better person from it all.
The journey isn’t easy as well and Reese Witherspoon’s Cheryl is pushed to her physical limits and carries a really big heavy bag with her the whole time. Maybe the bag is meant to symbolise all the emotional baggage she has? In thinking about the use of symbolism in Wild we get a lot, I particularly like all the animals that appear in Wild here and there during certain moments. I like when small things like this happen in a film because I often like to think about what they may symbolise.
The acting from Reese Witherspoon is pretty great and we see a whole lot of her in this film, both physically and emotionally. I guess being nominated for one of this year’s Oscar’s is also an indicator that suggests her performance was something great. I always enjoy watching Reese Witherspoon films anyway so this one is no different.
Laura Dern who play’s Cheryl’s mother in the film does very well in her role and was a joy to see on screen. While Thomas Sadoski who some may recognise as Don Keefer from The Newsroom does a great job as the guy who is trying to help Cheryl out.
The directing and the writing in Wild is good enough and the film’s is actually adapted from a novel of the same name which is written by Nick Hornby. I haven’t read the book but it must have been fairly inspiring to many of the people involved in the making of it for them to have wanted it made so much. After watching the film though I just didn’t really feel that inspired coming out of it, yeah I understand the journey is long but I just couldn’t get into the character of Cheryl or anyone else.
While Cheryl does go on this massive hike and completes the journey of finding out her true self, it just didn’t appeal to me. I’m also not such a big fan of storylines that jump back and forth from past to present through flashbacks. Wild jumps back and forth all over the place to tell its story and while it’s got a lot of character development which I normally like when I see a film. I just didn’t get into the character of Cheryl that much. The acting is great from Reese Witherspoon but it just didn’t really go anywhere, other than getting to the end of the hike.
One of the things I did like seeing in the film was the cinematography and the environments we got to see. There are some really great looking scenes and vista’s and cool animals in a natural environment that we get to see on the hike. Another thing that’s also quite good is the use of music, lot’s of great songs in this film and all used well to get the maximum emotional impact in the right moments.
Overall Wild is a film about someone who goes on a really long hike. But we get to learn who that person is and her name was Cheryl and she had a lot of issues that needed to be dealt with and the hike gives her the time she needs to heal herself. Wild has got a great performance from Reese Witherspoon and other cast members as well. Some great use of scenery and use of music as well. It’s worth going to see.
For a second opinion on this film you can also read through Petey’s review and he really enjoyed this film. You can see that right here.