Into the Wild


Into the Wild is a movie directed by Sean Penn, it has a rating of 8.2 on IMDB which means its been critically acclaimed as well a commercial success.

The story is about a 23 year college graduate, who donates all his money, burns the rest and start hitchhiking across America after abandoning his car. The character is incidentally scarred by his parents conflict, and thinks that people in the world are mean and petty. His ultimate aim to live in Alaska alone and he manages to stay alive for more than 100 days in Alaska in the wild before dying of starvation and being too weak to get help.

Sean Penn has glorified this character, shown that the character has a free spirit, which might be a little stupid, as the character takes “un-calculated” risks and thus finally succumbs and dies of starvation. Sean Penn the director knows that his lead character is stupid so has tried to focus on the charisma of the actor and has lot of panoramic shots of pristine natural beauty.

But making a movie out of a stupid story is something which didn’t go very well. Maybe I don’t have the adventure streak in me. Do watch it, you might like it, if you have ever travelled or hitch hiked and had to depend on strangers for sustenance.

I would love to hitch hike, be a gypsy, but going to a place without any kind of survival training is a being too optimistic. Its like jumping in front of a wild lion and saying GOD will save me! (True story- A man jumped in to lion cage, and said GOD will save him, he was immediately killed by the Lion)

Review of the marathi movie Jhing Chik Jhing 2009


Bored of American Movies, I switched to some classic International movies last week and did quite a bit of search for them. But this review is about a regional movie called “Jhing Chik Jhing” released in 2009.

As urbanites we are so disconnected with rural lives where farmers toil in the bountiful farms and produce what is exported and consumed all over the world. It is unfortunate what so many farmers in Vidharbha (in particular) and all over India have given up and committed suicide. The figure can be checked on wikipedia, but the numbers are mind-boggling. It is unfathomable to imagine why these farmers who produce crops and can feed themselves give up and commit suicide.

The movie has done a great job in educating the viewers on how the vicious cycle of debt which the farmers get trapped in, and then eventually the only way out of the situation is to avail of the 1 lac rupees the government offers to the widow and family of the dead farmer. This is clearly a system where the rehabilitation is itself a form of incentive to commit suicide.

What I didn’t like about the movie though was it advocates “organic farming” as a way out to become self sufficient. The multinationals ofcourse have their seeds and manure to sell. But is “Organic farming” enough to save money and become self-sufficient? I remain a skeptic.

What the movie could have done?

I feel the movie has avoided the difficult task of educating and giving farmers a postive mind-set, I might reek of intellectual elitism. But what I am talking about is raising the consciousness of these farmers. I have met some very wise farmers, who are more world worthy than us urbanites living a bubble existence.

Ok here are some useful links

IMDB link:

Wikipedia Article:’_suicides_in_India

Documentary on Farmers suicide featuring the Hindu Journalist P Sainath: