Into the Wild in Search of Truth

into_the_wild.jpgI just watched the film Into the Wild by Sean Penn upon a friend’s recommendation. If you have not seen the movie, make sure you have 2.5 hours to spare and not in a bad mood already because it may leave you more depressed afteward.

Don’t misunderstand me. Into the Wild is an excellent movie with a thought provoking plot and tops that with beautiful captures of natural scenery and well-depicted interactions and emotional scenes between Chris McCandless (Alexander Supertramp) and the characters he encounters. Through the well-performed compassionate nature of the characters, there are parts that are real tear jerkers.

The main theme of the movie is to urge people to seek the truth for themselves, beyond the societal facade, beyond the superficial materials, beyond the complicated and dramatic modern lifestyle. And aren’t all of us searching for the truth one way or another? On the right track or not?

Alex, as he preferred people calling him, was on a quest to search for the truth — and as I would call it, awareness. He did so by following an action path of “less is more” and by going into the nature, as his way to try to live in the moment, away from it all. This process, where one strips away all the excess in life, shall offer the chance to see what matters most in life, in theory.

However, I think he overdid it with too much obsession over physical and materialistic detachment which leads him to his consequence and failure to find truth and ultimately, awareness, which is also the ability to live in the moment. He overlooked the key point of the conceding of mental chains we impose upon ourselves through thoughts, emotions, and ego. Moreover, I think the movie over-emphasized the strained relationship betwen him and his parents, so much so that at different parts of the movie, the story seems more like he is running away than searching for truth.

Still, I do recommend the movie.

Most people into personal finance will enjoy this movie because the chacracter advocates a simple and minimalistic lifestyle that echoes frugality, as opposed to obsession over things (consumerism). In fact, they should get a kick out of the part where Alex said argumentatively to his parents, “A new car? Why would I want a new car? Datswan runs great. I mean, do you think I want some fancy boat? Are you worried, what the neighbor might think? … … I don’t need a new car. I don’t want a new car. I don’t want any thing, these things, things, things, things.”

My favorite quote from the movie is when Alex paraphrased Thoreau, “Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth.”

He made me feel like running away like a Supertramp.

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