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  1. #1
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Default "Wild" - Your Thoughts and Reviews of the Film Here

    I just saw "Wild" last night and very much enjoyed it. I thought it captured and portrayed the hiking experience very well and told an interesting and compelling hiker's unique story. Personally, as one who is motivated by the beauty of the outdoors and who feels drawn to this trail for its beauty, I'd have loved a few more shots portraying that beauty. But the filmmakers' purposes probably were 1) to tell Cheryl Strayed's inner story, to convey the hike from her perspective, and 2) not to make a long distance hike look too attractive, as the AT, PCT and other trails have been getting a bit crowded in recent years.

    What do you think? Any favorite moments or themes? I loved how Reese Witherspoon, as Cheryl, starts out clearly very determined and, to her relatively ignorant level of understanding, super-prepared but due to her ignorance actually poorly prepared in many respects. That is such a common theme with through hikers. The film lets the experienced hiker/viewer discern much about Cheryl's mental state and strength of mind based on how she goes about her hike, even the manner of her gait. Very well done in that respect.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    As a hiker, I can appreciate scenes of the movie that demonstrated the type of situations hikers may find themselves in .
    I think it helps a lot that I had read the book as well, but maybe that taints my viewpoint as well. I think the best scenes in the movie were pulling off the toenail, and the last scene where she met the kid and grandmother.

    I found it murky and unclear about her purpose and desires to hike, or how far she wanted to go, or actually did. (I know from the book).

    I found it lacking in demonstrating any personal growth or change that she was seeking.

    Critically, I didnt see a well defined plot and development of theme in the movie. I thought it was a collection of hiking scenes and flashbacks. I cant imagine understanding the flashbacks very well if one hadnt read the book. But , the book may have influenced my opinions here as well.

    Trying to see it from a non-hikers perspective, I didnt think it would have been very interesting or viewed real favorably as a motion picture attraction.

    there was about 12 people in the theater when I saw it.

    I thought it portrayed hiking as lonely and harsh. Which is probably a good thing.

    Its not a blockbuster.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 12-25-2014 at 12:39.

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    [QUOTE= I found it lacking in demonstrating any personal growth or change that she was seeking.

    Critically, I didnt see a well defined plot and development of theme in the movie. I thought it was a collection of hiking scenes and flashbacks. [/QUOTE]

    I saw the film as well and I'm very curious, for example, what would have demonstrated a transformation of personal growth due to the experience of the hike, effectively, for you and others?
    Last edited by Aesop; 12-25-2014 at 12:56.
    aesop
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    Not running away.

    Maybe "real life" looks better, now.

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    Was thinking that the film could have shown Cheryl's connections to other hikers/people as positive and life-affirming now instead of negative, which in the film, there were some powerfully negative relationships (not the husband of course).
    aesop
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    Possibly a more orderly demonstration of her fallout of her marriage, moms death, descent into herion user and skank-dom, and desire to climb out of it. With a focus somehow on the changes the hiking made in her, and her acceptance of her moms death.

    In reality she also relapsed considerably along the way, maintaining relationship with her heroin user boyfriend for a long time.

    the movie left a lot out, as movies tend to do. There isnt much way to fit 10 years or more of background into 2 hrs very well without doing so.

    My feeling, was that if I hadnt read the book I wouldnt have understood many of the scenes at all.

    For instance, she had a $20 bill in each resupply. That is why it was such a big deal when her resupply didnt show up, she had no money at all. Even that was not clear at all.

    When the guy at Kennedy meadows got her to put the condoms in the hiker box, they all immediately dissapeared, taken by the guys who were hiking with her hoping to get laid. left out.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 12-25-2014 at 13:14.

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    As someone who has not read the book - here are my comments.

    I had no problem following the story with the numerous flashbacks. I felt the story was told in a somewhat linear fashion from an emotional sense, and not a temporal sense. I enjoyed that and am glad that the director challenged the audience in this way, but I understand some people might prefer a simpler presentation.

    I do not doubt that many important or interesting details were lost from the book. To me the emotional journey is the core of the film and I think correctly was the part that was emphasized. Yet, I agree with MuddyWaters critique that Cheryl's motivation in this particular journey and her resulting growth could have been made clearer. Certainly a lot of ground was covered in the voiceover at the end, but I thought the story still ended at a satisfying juncture.

    Personally, I was enjoying the journey with Cheryl and if they had made this into a three hour movie to further explore these things I would have been happy..... but then the movie would have appealed to an even smaller group of people. So, I think the producers did what they had to do, and successfully told the story they wanted to tell.

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    It was OK. Did I miss something, but they seemed to indicate that it is 100 miles from Campo to Kennedy Meadows. And then after taking the bus to Reno she seemed to hiking in the desert again. I found that confusing. I understand that it is just a movie and to a typical movie goer inaccuracies like that are irrelevant. If details like that are critical to the plot, then I would understand, but they weren't, so for me, that is just sloppy movie making. Did they not run their script past a real hiker?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    It was OK. Did I miss something, but they seemed to indicate that it is 100 miles from Campo to Kennedy Meadows. And then after taking the bus to Reno she seemed to hiking in the desert again. I found that confusing. I understand that it is just a movie and to a typical movie goer inaccuracies like that are irrelevant. If details like that are critical to the plot, then I would understand, but they weren't, so for me, that is just sloppy movie making. Did they not run their script past a real hiker?
    She didn't start at Campo. She started at Tehachappi which makes the mileage a little over 100 miles to Kennedy Meadows. It's my understanding that they filmed most of it in Oregon (and often not on the PCT itself due to wanting easy access each day).

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    I"m going to see it later today. I couldn't get past the first chapter of the book.

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    I like the movie a great deal.

    On the way out of the theater while we were collecting our thoughts, my wife turned to me and said she wanted to hear what I thought about it as an (AT) thru hiker. I am never shy about sharing my opinions, but replied by by saying that I wanted to hear what she thought about it as a woman.

    Each of us experience life very differently, of course. But I thought the film did a good job reminding a guy like me that a woman's experience on the Trail (and beyond) may ALWAYS be different and probably in ways that I am completely blind to.

    I also thought the inclusion and import of the fox and frogs could only have come from he mind of a hiker. If they didn't, they should have.

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    Saw the movie and liked it. I think it will probably inspire even more female thru hikers to try the PCT and AT. Comparing "Wild" to "Becoming Odyssa", two hiking stories told by younger women hikers, I saw a lot of similarities between Cheryl Strayed's and Jennifer Phar Davis' stories and experiences, as solo female hikers, in their interractions with male characters they met on both of their journeys.... not always the most pleasant encounters, and other times worked out well for them. I'm betting the movie will be a frequent topic of conversation on the AT next year.

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    She seems a little easy to hook up with. Maybe just in the movie.

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    I liked the movie and think it will win all the prizes. The one scene where she had to take off her pack to get over some rock outcrop made we wonder. I don't recall anything on the PCT that required even using my hands to climb like that. The PCT is pretty easy going. That's my nit pick.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    I liked the movie and think it will win all the prizes. The one scene where she had to take off her pack to get over some rock outcrop made we wonder. I don't recall anything on the PCT that required even using my hands to climb like that. The PCT is pretty easy going. That's my nit pick.
    It seemed clear that the drop off looked huge to her from above, but pretty small and manageable once she cleared it, maybe a 3.5 foot drop. Might've been an easy hop for you, Bob, such that it made a small impression on you, but was large an intimidating for a smaller, much greener hiker, esp with a big pack.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    I also thought the inclusion and import of the fox and frogs could only have come from he mind of a hiker. If they didn't, they should have.

    Not sure what the fox signified and why its head was always canted to one side, almost as if it had ear problems. All in all, I enjoyed the movie and having not read the book, had no trouble following flash backs. Looking forward to hopefully hiking the PCT, just waiting to hear whether I was accepted or not.

    "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miner View Post
    She didn't start at Campo. She started at Tehachappi which makes the mileage a little over 100 miles to Kennedy Meadows. It's my understanding that they filmed most of it in Oregon (and often not on the PCT itself due to wanting easy access each day).
    In the movie, she started at the Mexican border - I've not read the book, so don't know where she actually started. Kennedy Meadows must be 400-500 miles up trail from Mexico. That was an incongruity, as was, perhaps the desert "north" of Reno. Does the PCT wend extensively though desert territory between Reno/Tahoe area and Ore border? That was a head-scratcher. There definitely is desert in Nev and Ore north of Reno, but I was unaware of the PCT traversing it.

    One thing the film didn't cover explicitly, but rather inferentially and just visually, was Cheryl's greatly increased strength as a hiker as she progressed. She got much studier and nimbler with time.

    As re: her fellow hikers and her other relationships as portrayed, I thought she had superb respect and appreciation from her fellow hikers, mostly men. I thought her relationship with her mom and her brother was a jumble of love and dysfunction and conflicted emotion, with an emphasis on conflict and dysfuncntion, though the love was clearly strong. It wasn't portrayed as uniformly positive, but that's because, from Cheryl's telling, it wasn't. And I'd be her brother and mom would agree were they both able and willing to chime in.

    In short, to me, her relationships with others were given what seemed to be a fair reading, a mix of good and bad, to put it simplistically.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Also, I agree with Muddy Waters that the rendering of Cheryl's motivation and of the story of her personal growth was somewhat murky, but I think this may have been b/c that was how Cheryl herself experienced it, and this is what they were trying to capture. We were, as it were, walking in her boots along with her.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    I liked the movie. I liked it much better than the book. The movie did a good job of portraying her problems without wallowing in them in excruciating detail over and over like the book. The ending could have been stronger, but I felt that way about the book too. Pretty authentic to life, actually, a progression instead of a solution.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefduffy View Post
    I liked the movie. I liked it much better than the book. The movie did a good job of portraying her problems without wallowing in them in excruciating detail over and over like the book. The ending could have been stronger, but I felt that way about the book too. Pretty authentic to life, actually, a progression instead of a solution.
    I like this statement, chief. It's pretty close to how I feel about it. I read the book a few months ago, and we just got home from watching the movie. I was worried it wouldn't be good, but it was. And the story didn't drag like it could have. It moved along well, with enough of her past to get the idea of who she was and why she was on the trail.

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