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Penn’s ‘Into the Wild’ Is Beautiful, Stirring, Complex

By The Editors

"…too-muchness is the essence of the story—a hero's gallant, possibly mad and inevitably doomed attempt to channel too much experience and too many ideas through one young life that can't possibly hold it all… Moviegoers will argue the question of whether the young man's quest succeeds or fails: Is he a pilgrim who finds the transcendence he sought, or a wounded bird flying blind on lofty ambitions, or both? There's no arguing, however, that ‘Into the Wild’ is a new experience, even though some of its countercultural themes and tropes may seem familiar. It's a mainstream movie of ideas that lives in a world of fateful action.”

Posted 2/22/08 at 2:23 PM