Wild Hits Theaters

After reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed back in October, I was itching to see this movie! Luckily, I had my awesome cousins in town for the Christmas break and they were able to come watch Cheryl’s adventures on the big screen with me!
Of course, us being, well, us, we ended up having to sit in the front row of the theater. For some movies, that would probably be ok. For this movie, with the expanse of the desert/mountain/hiking area and the use of words to outline days and miles, well… It was a bit hard to sit in the front row. Major neck cramp going on. Although, I have to say, I was impressed with the amount of people in the theater, since I had heard very little buzz on social media (well, my local social media) about the movie.

Ok, so for the actual review:

Guys, as evidenced by TFiOS, If I Stay, Divergent, and umm.. nearly every other book-turned-movie, I get SO EXCITED to see how producers/directors/actors will take my beloved characters and put them into real life form.

I wasn’t that excited about this movie.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the book. Seriously. I just really didn’t think they could capture it in movie form. And sadly, I think I was right.

For anyone who read this novel, you know there are two distinct parts. There is the Cheryl’s-life-pre-hiking and Cheryl’s-life-during-hiking. While the book moves between both worlds pretty seamlessly, the movie… didn’t.

Maybe it was my fault for expecting too much. The parts that I was most looking forward to were the scenes with the guys she met, the books she read, the animals she encountered WHILE HIKING. Unfortunately, the movie cut out most of the friends that Cheryl made along the way. Those friends that helped highlight that she was a person worth rooting for. The movie was much MUCH more focused on her past life — the Cheryl that no one was rooting for. And that was really their mistake.

They didn’t show her evolution as a human, and they didn’t show her getting better and stronger. No one wants to root for the Cheryl who did drugs, cheated on her husband, and basically failed at being the woman her mother knew she should be. The part of the book that I related to most was the part of her coming from the depths of her life and rising above to become someone she was proud of.

The movie, unfortunately, used the hike as a backdrop to show Cheryl’s fall from grace in her past life. And it never pulled her back up to the person we could cheer for.

Overall, I’d say if you loved the book, you could skip the movie. And if you haven’t read the book, well… Read it and skip the movie.

9 thoughts on “Wild Hits Theaters

  1. Thanks for your review, I recently watched the movie without having read the book. I attended the film with a friend who had read the book, and she thought they did a pretty good job.

    My only thoughts were that they didn't really reach a powerful catharsis in the film. It had such a emotive and intense back story (before the hike), and contrasted with the simple calm of the hike with a couple near disasters which didn't actually seem too scary in the moment, I felt it was pretty tame. I never felt: “wow she finally did it, here she is.” I guess that's probably closer to how it happened in real life, there never are big movie-esque breakthroughs in life. It was very entertaining though. 🙂

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  2. You have a pretty good eye. I'd say that there was no big climax to the movie.. You're right, the end just.. ended. No fanfare or celebration. At least in the book, she was very reflective about her time spent on the trail, and that wrapped up the book well. In the movie, that was missing.

    The movie held my attention, for sure… It just didn't bring everything the book brought.

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