Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wild (movie review)

Maybe because a guy at the Christmas Party at the FCNL liaison's house was decrying the liberties The Exodus had taken with history (wrong swords, flags, camels...), that I wondered if that rusted tank without water was really the real one, if there is one, twenty miles on from wherever.

I'll have to wait for the DVD "making of" feature to find that out, and if the fox was CG.  Bridge of the Gods was certainly real, though I didn't realize hobos on foot were allowed over.  Makes sense that they should be.

Strayed is a pun, as she's strayed, and wants to get to know her own bizmo better.  That's "slang" for one's own body, built for business / IT.  "Slang" in quotes because I'm like the only one using "bizmo" for "business mobile" in the first place, let alone for our bodies.  But this is BizMo Diaries after all, so you'd expect these memes here.

The roller coaster of life gets some safe predictability for awhile (about a hundred days worth, in under two hours), as one trudges the PCT rehashing through experiences and recovering from PTSD.  The security of having things in flashback is what keeps them from being a near death experience, which isn't to say Cheryl doesn't have heart pounding encounters:  with a rattler; with scary males.

I went from the Christmas Party in North Portland directly to Lloyd Center, the big outdoor theaters, built at a time when I used to walk to work (CUE) through what's now the parking lot (the one Robin Egg was stolen from, our blue Subaru -- while I watched the movie Troy).  Speaking of which, I renewed my Triple-A membership yesterday.  These blogs, if they still exist, have some fun AAA stories (battery repair, losing keys, other excitement).  Razz was our next car.

Anyway, she stumbles along, doing an REI commercial along the way.  I don't think hikers begrudge that commercial and I'm a champion of product placement as a legit way to sell people on a lifestyle, and hiking the PCT is definitely an acquired taste.  You need companies to support athletes, and that's why we have athletic brands.  We didn't get what brand of condom that was, but this wasn't really that kind of movie.

She's a mature and intelligent woman at this point in her life with flashbacks through her younger years.  The audience is willing to take this as a study in empathy once it's clear we're not bracing for horror.  Hitchcock tricked us with a flashback once, but we're trusting the ride here.

There's a happy end feel to it too, but also that sense of an observer (a big movie-going audience, and TIME) changing the observed (a private campfire "true story", not a novel).  Will we have more tourists now, looking for Jerry Garcia festivals?

In some ways I was reminded of Prodigal Sons in how we dive into a family's dynamics and explore them, finding the usual good stuff:  our mortality and humanity. Prodigal Sons was more the documentary, with people starring themselves, whereas this is a "stage play" (with the "great outdoors" for a backdrop) with actors.

I was also reminded of Roz Savage and her lonely journey amidst the elements as one of the greatest ocean-going rowers of all time.  She has also written deeply and reflectively.  She's someone I've met in person, though not in a way she'd remember.

Then of course there's Lindsey Walker, just back from a very long walk (not a trek) in Nepal, getting down to tattered sandals like Strayed's at one point, after a bicycle trip to California.

We're getting into Everyman / Everywoman territory here, El Camino, the pilgrimage, the great way.  Each one of us is a scenario, a dharma tube, partially overlapping with others.  My wife Dawn died on St. Patrick's Day so I got her sense of loss and separation and not being in a party mood in that scene from her life.

Pacific Coast Trail itself is the unsung star of this film in some ways, a symbol of the roller coaster that is life, with the markings left by the many who've gone before.

Update:  Glenn reminded me coming down from Mt. Tabor this morning that Cinema 21 hosted the gala event with the original author and actress both on stage.  Big news at the time.