WILD DVD (2014)
SYNOPSIS: Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon stars in this inspirational true story from the director of Dallas Buyers Club and based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed. After years of reckless behavior and being haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi, Cheryl makes a rash decision to embark on a challenging trek across the Pacific Crest Trail. With absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles all on her own — in what becomes a remarkable journey of self-discovery and redemption that strengthens and ultimately heals her.
Based on Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name, Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon co-produced and starred as Strayed, a 26-year-old woman whom after losing her beloved mother went on a tough three month, 1100 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.
With Dallas Buyers Club’s Jean-Marc Vallee at the helm and Nick Horby (About A Boy) adapting the story for the screen, Wild screams Oscar at every corner. You can’t deny Witherspoon has gotten herself a fantastic story and a rich character to play after dabbling in a series of forgettable rom-coms.
With a treacherous terrain to cover, seemingly dubious characters along the trail, dangerous creatures from nature but nothing beats Strayed’s desire to battle her own inner demons as she embarked on the hike. The biography drama utilized an almost zen-like approach, mostly muted and daunting. Instead of flashy speeches and loud sound effects, the movie switches often between powerful imaginary and flashbacks to recount the character’s past and present. In the wake of her mother’s death, Strayed’s life spiraled. Her serial infidelities ended her marriage and she began abusing heroin. The past intertwine with the present as we see her suffering from irregular weather condition, losing her boots and relying on duct-tape and spending countless lonely nights in her tent reading and battling her issues.
At its core, Horby’s script is a profound human story that delivers the affecting love Bobbi (Laura Dern) has for her two kids. Despite escaping from an abusive husband and being married at a young age, Bobbi remains optimistic and strives to provide the best for her children. Cheryl Strayed might be a powerful woman in the end due to the transformative experience after she conquered the nine mountain ranges but it’s her late mother that turned out to be the more inspiring figure.
Wild is a powerful story about two women namely Cheryl Strayed and her late mother, Bobbi. Witherspoon and Dern (despite her limited screentime) gave lasting, affecting performances, which make it pretty emotional and believable even for non-readers of the original material. Together with Jean-Marc’s heartfelt direction, cinematographer Yves Belanger’s lush shots of the grand Mojave landscape also contribute to the entire viewing experience.
The Real Cheryl Strayed takes a brief look at the author as she looks back on her life and the making of the movie.
There are altogether seven Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes: Bringing the Book Into the Wild, Reese Witherspoon In the Wild, Wild: 94 Days, 1100 Miles, Directing Wild, Making Wild, Pacific Crest Trail, Real Locations. All running at five minutes or less, these features provide a brief look at the production process from why Reese and her team decide to turn the book into the movie to Jean-Marc’s directing style to shooting using natural light etc.
The DVD also comes with a Trailer and Gallery.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track provides a subtle listening experience; dialogue is clear and the accompanied music tracks soothing to the ears. Shot digitally using Arri Alexa, the outdoor shots clearly is one of the highlights of the movie and it’s simply breathtaking.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee