About – Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon), embarked on a 1,100-mile solo hike to oversee the tragedy of her mother’s death, and a saddened relationship breakup. With only her backpack that weighs heavier than herself, can Cheryl Strayed make it to the end of the Pacific Coast trail.
Having Reese Witherspoon taking this lead role of Cheryl Strayed was the main point of watching this film. It was also a comeback for Reese Witherspoon having her been in a situation like this one, which by seeing her act like she did in her early work ‘The Man In The Moon’ is a prime example of how good she was back in 1991. Reese Witherspoon played this role unbelievably well, showing every emotion known to man, from seeing her frightened to laughing with strangers, really made this film more believable to watch. Showing all these emotions really brought joy to mind knowing Reese Witherspoon put 100% into this performance as you can see on-screen. The film is based on the novel taken from Strayed herself, by going through this journey Cheryl helped Reese Witherspoon adapting to the environment making Reese’s acting magical and accurate.
Relating these two extraordinary films together by the work of this man Jean-Marc Vallée, all because of the true story. Jean-Marc is a genius to battle true stories and events that happen to these poor but remarkable people and bringing them to the big screen. True stories is always a hard task to follow up on, by the way Jean-Marc Vallée does this is by researching and getting as much knowledge on the individuals as possible. Wild is taken from the novel of Cheryl Strayed that wrote Wild, by taking a true story and making it into a film is one of the most toughest roles a director can do in my eyes, but the way that Jean-Marc Vallée uses Reese Witherspoon is like a spitting image of what you would be thinking Cheryl Strayed would be looking and feeling during her hike. You really do have an on-screen relationship with Reese Witherspoon by the way Jean-Marc Vallée has portrayed her and the realism from her emotions.
Cinematography, done by Yves Belanger. This man is unbelievable at his work, he has collaborated with Jean-Marc Vallée before in Dallas Buyers Club and Demolition (2016). Majority of audiences and some critics don’t mention the cinematography when talking/writing about a film, but Yves Belanger has to have a mention. 95% of the film is all done by natural light, obviously with the film based within the great outdoors there is no surprise that Wild looks astonishing and done in this way. The establishing shots really do take your breath away, you realise that some parts of the world are beautiful and don’t need to be touched even by a editor. Yves Belanger is not one of the main cinematographers that pop into mind while thinking about cinematography but after Wild, Yves is going to get a lot of credit for this work, which will be looked at in more depth within the next couple of films that are been released within the year that he has worked on, Demolition (2016) and Shut In (2016). There is going to be some changes in the way films are going to be shot and the usage of natural light brings that earth like feeling straight to the screen. A lot of filmmakers are experimenting with this element because critics and audiences love it, which is a massive positive because it brings more realism into cinemas.
From having no knowledge about Cheryl Strayed and her hike, this was a fabulous film to watch. By having that real emotion to pull on the heartstrings in some scenes, is exactly what you want from a film like Wild. After researching into Cheryl Strayed after watching Wild, she did the hike again but this time the ending is a different story. At the end of the hike she met her husband to be and they have been together ever since they met. By having that piece of little knowledge that the hike was originally to keep her mind occupied by her mother’s death, all the torture that Cheryl went through was worth it in the end.