‘Wild’ Movie Review

18 May
Movie Poser via IMDb

Movie Poser via IMDb

It’s been almost a year since I read Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and had a great discussion with my book club about the book. I’d been waiting for a copy of the movie to be available at the library and finally had to Redbox this awesome movie so I could see it for myself. I was happy with the film.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Reese Witherspoon. She did an amazing job. This is one of those movies where the lead gets a lot of face time, much like Tom Hanks in Castaway. I heard that she was fighting for this project to take off and she is credited as Producer. Strayed was involved in producing as well and helped write the script. I think this was set up for a win.

Hiking advice. Reading this book taught me a few valuable lessons about hiking and I’m glad those were kept in. A lot of them were taken out, but a few key items were left in. This isn’t the exciting, glitzy type of thing that moviegoers tend to want to see so I was happy to see it was left in.

Trusting in humanity. The film did a great job at showing how vulnerable Cheryl was and how much she had to trust in those she met and hope they would have her best interest in mind. She did a good job of quickly finding out who was worth trusting and who to avoid and I thought this came across well on-screen.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

REI problems. In the book, Cheryl had a lot of problems re-ordering her boots and having them available for her at a station. The movie skipped this and I’m really fine with that. I don’t think it added to her overall struggles and seemed a bit repetitive in the book.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Heroine use up until she left. Cheryl talked about how soon before her hike she’d used heroine in the book and for me, that helped place the hike right in the middle of her struggles, not a task she undertook to re-set herself after getting over her dark period. It was her own rehab.

Things That Changed Too Much

Financial problems. The movie touched on her financial struggles in small ways. Saying she didn’t have anywhere to live after the hike to the Hobo Times reporter, declining her favorite Snapple at stations, etc. But the book focused on how little money she had to her name. She dropped a dime in the snow and lost half of her wealth. Where was that in the movie?

Explicit Content. I get that it sells movie tickets, but for a movie about a woman walking alone on the PCT, there was a lot of explicit content. Yes, a good amount of it was in the book, but the flashbacks and images of her racy behavior were a bit much for me. I wasn’t ready for it and I think it was too much.

Overall Reactions

I liked the movie but didn’t love it. It was a good rendition of the book and was entertaining. I’d recommend it but not enthusiastically. I guess it was solidly OK.

To those who have read this more recently, what did I miss? Anything you would add to my lists?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


2 Responses to “‘Wild’ Movie Review”

  1. 3011mileswestofvt May 18, 2015 at 4:27 PM #

    Having hiked most the the Oregon section of the PCT in 1979, I was very interested in the book, and the movie. I thought your review of the movie was spot on. Of note, a hiker recently found the boot Reese tossed over the precipice, the one of the two they were unable to find in their sweep after the shoot. There were no “trail angels” when my mother and I went through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam May 18, 2015 at 4:47 PM #

      Oh wow! That’s cool that they filmed it on location like that. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie. Have a good one.


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