The Film Of Into The Wild Essay

The Film Of Into The Wild Essay

Length: 1265 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

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The scene opens to the vast Alaskan frontier. A sole man treks through the cold snow and ominous mountain range. That man is Christopher Johnson McCandless. His story first came into the public’s light after Jon Krakauer published an article detailing McCandless’s endeavours in the January 1993 issue of Outside magazine. Since then, McCandless’s story has been shared worldwide, and with this wide-ranging audience comes a wide-spectrum of varying opinions concerning McCandless. Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Sean Penn presents his own take on the life of Christopher McCandless in his 2007 film adaptation of Into The Wild. Although it may have been a daunting task to undertake, the process of retelling the life of McCandless and projecting it on the big screen gave the audience a face and a story to relate to and sympathize with. However, both mediums still convey many central aspects of McCandless and his story. In both the book and the film, one of the most influential relationships detailed is McCandless’s relationship with his sister, Carine. Other than the obvious liberties and artist licenses taken to make a film adapted from Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Sean Penn’s film diverges from its written counterpart in that it expands on the relationship between McCandless and his sister, Carine, to an entirely new level.
One of the most significant and influential differences between the film and the book is the choice of narrator. In the book, Krakauer narrates most of the story. However, in the movie, Penn chooses to use Carine over Krakauer as the narrator. With Carine’s narration, Penn is able to take the insight into the relationship between McCandless and his sister to even greater detail. The audience is able to, in e...


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...cCandless reminisces on the past, the first image in his mind is a photo of his sister. It is only in these dying moments that McCandless is able to realize that “Happiness is only real when shared.”
While both Krakauer and Penn detail the life of Christopher McCandless, the two mediums used have produced some differences in their respective retellings of his life’s story. Krakauer keeps Carine’s role in the book relatively reserved, although she was heavily consulted with by Krakauer in writing the book. In contrast, Penn expands the role of Carine in the film by using her as the narrator and with this role, and her permission, is able to incorporate additional scenes and details to emphasize this central brother-sister relationship. Despite the differences, at the core of both film and book, the fundamental relationship still stands: just a brother and his sister.

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