Wild (2014) Serves Reese Witherspoon In a Different Avatar [Review]

Why should you watch Wild? I can give you various answers, such as: ‘This is not 127 Hours!’, ‘Reese Witherspoon fans rejoice!’, or ‘Wild is based on a true story, so watch it to get motivated or whatever!’ Truth is, I was on the fence with this one. I am not a huge Reese Witherspoon fan nor am I entirely sold with the movie’s premise. There are many films that celebrate great performances but never achieved an overall satisfaction of cinematic experience. In short, I fear Wild will be “those” movies where, for example, Meryl Streep acted brilliantly as Margaret Thatcher but The Iron Lady itself is a shitty mediocre directed film.

Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir and directed by Dallas Buyers Club’s Jean-Marc Vallée, Wild take a closer look at a woman’s journey on seeking acceptance and redemption. After her mother’s death, Cheryl decided to challenge herself and hike thousand miles through the Pacific Crest Trail. The movie should be simple, an all-is-well-in-the-end type, but with its non-linear directing including to and fro flashbacks of Cheryl’s past, where we see her as a child, a college student and a wife, as well as her relationship with her mother and husband, combine neatly with her present moment where she is struggling in the wilderness, makes this film a unique drama.

Reese Witherspoon has an exciting career with a wide-range of movies from comedies to dramas, but surprisingly in Wild she delivered a different avatar as Cheryl Strayed. The rom-com blond has transformed into a complicated woman dealing with tragic real-life situation and post destructive behaviour. There is no exaggerated sadness or over the top climax, where we see Cheryl crying for no real reasons or acting tough but fragile, because apparently that’s what female character is supposed to be. This honest, strong and raw performance is definitely refreshing and belongs to one of the best performances in 2014. Laura Dern stars in the flashbacks as Cheryl’s optimistic single mother, who albeit has minimal screen time, contributes heavily in shaping up the film’s narration and in a way Cheryl herself.

Wild may not be the first choice for your movie night, but if you like what you read above, then probably you will enjoy the movie as well.

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2 thoughts on “Wild (2014) Serves Reese Witherspoon In a Different Avatar [Review]

  1. polarbears16

    Witherspoon did a great job, and although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the flashbacks, Dern was wonderful, as always; it made me miss Enlightened all over again. And you make an excellent point here:

    “There is no exaggerated sadness or over the top climax, where we see Cheryl crying for no real reasons or acting tough but fragile, because apparently that’s what female character is supposed to be. “

  2. 13mesh

    Thank you, PB! I agree with what you said, especially about Enlightened. I miss the show as well. Dern was amazing there!

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