Wild comes to us from the director of Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, the true story of a woman who decided to take a thousand mile hike to get over some serious tragedies that recently occurred in her life as away to cleanse herself and hopefully survive.
I really like Dallas Buyers Club, I thought it was a very different movie, a movie that approach storytelling in a strange way and I really like the way they handle it. So I was excited to see the way he handle Wild, and Reese Witherspoon has been an actress for a long time and I think she’s beautiful, funny, very talented, and in this movie she gets one of her best performance in her entire career.
In this movie she faces a lot of challenges, for one it’s a movie about someone hiking. It’s really tough to make that interesting for two hours and I think they mostly pull it off. From what I've heard it’s very true to the book which is awesome for people who are fans of the book but the way the movie tells the story is that you’re just in the hike instantly like right from the beginning she’s already in it and then she encounters various things on the way that remind her of her past and that’s when we see flashbacks and we learn why she is the way she is and why she’s doing what she’s doing.
I like the film’s filmmaking perspective you’re able to learn things about a character as the film goes along and it’s different that way, very nonlinear. But it did take a while for me to understand why she is doing some of the things she’s doing because they hide a lot of that for a long time which I understand because you want to keep some secrets about the character you wanted to be intriguing but there are times where I just didn't feel the significance of her journey because the film wasn't showing us why it was so significant to her.
One of the things I love about Reese Witherspoon performances is that it’s totally unglamorous. There’s nothing about her role that, “Hey, look at me. I’m beautiful and lovely”. It’s like I’m sweaty, I’m dirty, my toenails are falling off and the character was just like, “Screw you, just shut up. I want to climb this. Just leave me alone,” and that’s one of the things that I love about her character. She was intriguing but also really likeable character because she just felt like a normal person.
Another drama movie you might like : Whiplash (2014), Birdman (2014)
I do have some issues with the movie though and a lot of them are just storytelling base. Like I said, it takes a while for you to understand the significance of what she’s doing. Now that I've seen the movie and I've done research on the actual woman, I know that was very significant to her but while you’re watching the movie from a storytelling perspective it does take a while for you to understand why it is so important to her what she’s doing.
From directing and screenwriting standpoint I feel like that’s not really the wisest choice to hide that much about your character when your character’s doing some of that seems sort of illogical. It’s hard to really relate to said character when you don’t really know why they’re doing it.
The film is very frank about her life for the first half and let you in on some of her mistakes that she’s made but once you eventually do figure out what she’s been going through in her life and how tough it’s been for her, you start to understand a lot more about her character and by the end of the film you really care for her and you want her to succeed.
It’s just that for the first half of the movie, the way they decide to tell the story made you not even really care that much about her until you realize just everything she’s been through.
The performances are great, the cinematography is really good and it’s interesting and different movie, and I like watching a person just being a person and that’s pretty cool to see in Wild.
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writers: Nick Hornby, Cheryl Strayed
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann
Duration: 115 min