Wild is a drama film based on the memoir, “Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail”, by Cheryl Strayed.
Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) decided to take off on a three month, eleven hundred mile walk through the Pacific North Trail after her mother, Barbara “Bobbi” Grey (Laura Dern), died from cancer in 1995. At the beginning of Cheryl’s journey, she purchased everything that she needed to make it to the first trail station, so she thought. Things started going awry for Cheryl as soon as she had began preparing for her trip, from overpacking to purchasing the wrong fuel for her camping stove. She was forced to learn how to setup a tent, use her camp stove, and fend for herself in the wilderness. She began keeping a journal of her travels and used them to speak to her mother, as well.
Day Nine- The first person she met on the trail was farmer Frank (W. Earl Brown), who offered her a warm meal and a hot shower. The next morning he dropped her off at the store so that she could purchase some fuel for her stove, which was a Godsend.
Throughout her journey she has flashbacks of her childhood, disconnected brother, Leif (Keene McRae), loving mother, and abusive father. She is also reminded of the time that her and her ex-husband, Paul (Thomas Sadoski), get matching tattoos. They were married for seven years, before they divorced because she cheated on him multiple times.
She has no one to rely on during the entire trip. She encourages herself by saying, “you are not alone, you can quit any time, you are not afraid, and should I stay or should I go”. She continues to have flashbacks of how strong her mother was mentally and physically.
Cheryl continues her journey and on day twelve she meets Greg (Kevin Rankin), who is also traveling the trail, but he appears to be in better shape than Cheryl because he is able to walk twenty-two miles a day compared to her five to seven. He also gives her a word of warning, which is part of the trail, Sierra, is blocked by snow so she will have to detour that area.
Flashbacks show how Cheryl’s drug use went from smoking heroin to shooting in such a short matter of time. By this time she appears to be out of control and having unprotected sex with every guy that she meets. She tells her friend, Aimee (Gabby Hoffmann, Transparent) that she thinks she is pregnant and she does not know who is the father.
Some nights Cheryl found that she was too tired to be hungry and miss her home, Minneapolis. She is reminded of how happy her mother appeared to be even though she was so busy going to school, waitressing, and taking care of everyone else, but herself.
Day 14: One hundred into to the trip and she reaches the trail camp and asks for a Snapple lemonade and some chips. She receives a package and a letter from Paul, which tells her that he is proud of her. She gets rid of some unneeded items and orders a pair of replacement boots because hers are way too small. From there she grabs a bus to Reno.
When Cheryl has three hundred miles left, she contacts Paul and tells him that she had written his name in the sand at every beach that she had crossed on her journey, but she was not going to do it again.
Will Cheryl complete her journey and become the woman that her mother thought that she was or will she fall back into her old habits?
Wild is an emotional film that will take you on a wild journey through the National Forest and protected wilderness. I found Cheryl’s journey very interesting and left me wanting to know more about it. If you are looking for a movie that shows the harsh wilderness and struggles of survival through the Pacific this is not that movie, instead it shows how a young woman transforms from an out of control drug addict to a woman that is able to come to terms with her mother’s death and finding her inner self. All in all I really enjoyed this film and feel that it deserves an 8 out of 10.