A few weeks ago, hubby picked out a movie because of the reviews that he read on the cd case...... beautiful Alaskan scenery and he's always had a hankering to take a holiday there some year. Sean Penn wrote the screenplay and directed, and I have always enjoyed his work. Even though the movie was long, a little over 2 hours; we found it quite enthralling, and it kept us captivated with the adventures of this young man, his youthful exerburance, his philosophy on life, the people he met, the bonds that he created and the scenery in this movie was quite spectacular, just took our breathe away and we both expressed serious interest now in heading north to Alaska. We even commented on how similar Chris' outlook on life was to that of my son and we should recommend this movie to him. Not now.
It wasn't until the last 10 minutes of the movie that we realized that this was a true story. I had not heard of Chris McCandlless, of Alex Supertramp before. And that was when I started praying, Oh please dear God, don't let him die. No, no, no. I'm thinking to myself, this can't be happening. Such a beautiful story about a young mans adventures. This movie was so beautiful and moving until the end, when I realized that Chris' young short life was about to come to an end. And I'm thinking he didn't have to die. He shouldn't have died. This is one movie that touched me to the very core of my being. I cried just as though he were my son.
I went and got the book. And there were many times that again, I was teary eyed. Some of the more touching parts of the book involved tearful reminisces by some of these old aquaintances when they learned he had perished.
I've read that some believe that he was schitzophenic. Some people felt he had sought his death and that his adventure was suicidal. That he demonstrated a naive and unhealthy lack of respect for the Alaskan wilderness. Why does he abandon all his possessions, his name, give away $24,000 to charity, for an odyssey to Alaska? He was so ill-prepared, ill-equipped to venture into such unknown territory.
The movie and the book, has been haunting, it's kept me awake at night and I often find myself thinking of him and his short life. This is a very sad story and his search for himself will not be forgotten by many.