The meaning of the movie is Wild (2014)
For most of the film, a girl named Cheryl Strayd walks through the lands of America, enjoying the delightful views of nature quite a bit, since the lion’s share of her attention is spent on everyday tourist troubles and enduring hellish physical pain. Unlike Forrest Gump, who fled for several years for no reason and not for the sake of something, the heroine has a goal of the path, but it is not so easy to understand it.
Sherryl Strayd’s journey as an initiation rite
Why would Cheryl give up everything and walk alone for about 3 months? She does it out of fashion, since the action takes place in 1995. The journey cannot be called “wild” in full measure. On the way of the girl – stations and tourist camps, as well as cities. That is, at regular intervals, she can replenish stocks, and in addition, receive parcels from her husband and girlfriend. Of course, for a beginner, the journey is difficult and requires a lot of physical effort. After pain and heavy exertion, the second most important problem is hunger and difficulty in cooking, as well as its variety:
I love cold porridge, cold porridge with nuts, cold porridge with turkey, dreams with cold porridge, cold porridge shit. I love porridge.
The third very difficult problem for Sharyl is loneliness. True, there is even a kind of Foursquare on the road – boxes with a notebook for tourists’ notes. One gets the feeling that being wild is completely impossible. Since the service of travelers is in demand, there will always be supply, and no matter how much you want to be away from civilization, comfort will always be there. Cheryl writes in these notebooks quotes from books and her thoughts. It is in order to make the first entry that she takes herself the pseudonym Strayed – lost, lost.
According to many signs, signs and plot moves, we can assert that Sharyl’s journey is the passage of the initiation rite, the search for oneself and one’s destiny. The path was chosen by chance – she just saw the book with the itinerary in the store and bought it.
The very beginning of the film is a wild scream. The heroine will rip off the entire toenail, get ready. She wiped her legs in uncomfortable boots while walking in the mountains. And here we can say about the intersection of this episode and the idea of the film with the myth of Cupid and Psyche. The poor girl had to wear three pairs of iron shoes to see her beloved again. But Sharyl goes on a journey to find herself and only herself.
In the second cry over the abyss, in addition to being caused by objective reasons, one can try to see the sacred function. For example, real flamenco songs begin with a scream. A cry, filled with strength and pain, should divide the Nothing in half, into heaven and earth, light and darkness, that is, create this world. In reality, this is a cry of rage when a boot falls into the abyss and throwing off the second one with the message “Yes, all of you!” The same footage intersects with a memory that is hard for Cheryl.
The meaning of meetings and dialogues in the movie “Wild”
A girl walks with a huge backpack through the lands of America. To understand the meaning of the movie “Wild” it is very important what kind of people she meets along the way. Each of them is a life lesson, an allusion, a punishment, a reward. If you have watched Ivan Vyrypaev’s film “Salvation” , then, of course, you will notice the similarities. Deep road dialogues are perhaps an inevitable feature of travel films.
The first meeting in the field with an elderly man from whom she asks for help ends with a pleasant dinner with his family. This can be understood as an alternative to both life in civilization and life in the wild. The village people take up the borderline position.
We hear her thoughts recorded in the travel diary. The route is hard for her. It is interesting to compare what she says “I can quit at any moment” – once about drugs, and now about a painful journey. The hardships of the journey are interspersed with memories of childhood, adolescence and recent times, the meaning of which we will tell later.
Calmly walking along the route, Cheryl sees a rattlesnake, of course, she feels wild fear, but she manages to escape. There is no sacred or mythical connotation, and the girl will say the phrase many times that only she herself can bring harm and evil to herself, and not any external stimuli.
The next meeting with a real traveler gives her positive emotions, the feeling of belonging to some large group of friends, the feeling that they are somewhat similar and equal, although this guy is more experienced than her in hiking. We must pay tribute to the guy who managed to stifle laughter at the sight of a girl with a backpack that is larger than herself – and this betrays a newcomer with a head. The next experienced travelers she met fought in paroxysms of laughter and good-naturedly made fun of the “monster” she was dragging on her.
Meeting these people at the tourist camp is support and acceptance. Cheryl is somewhat honored and accepted as a “brother.” What is just as important – a wise old man helps to disassemble the backpack, sifting out unnecessary things, as if in these items she carried pain from the past. Pay special attention to the selected and abandoned items, this will be played in the plot.
The next meeting with an obsessive journalist who is not going to help her, but almost forcibly takes an interview, misinterprets her words and constantly calls her a vagabond and a homeless woman, it still ends, and he rewards her work with fast food and soda. Perhaps this is a portrait of the modern cynical media, dreaming of stirring up a sensation from any incident. Or, no matter how much you want to change and live an unusual and interesting life, society is interested in you only as entertainment. This meeting is one of the most comical.
Journalist: I’ll send the photo to Harper’s.Cheryl: Harper’s? I know this magazine, I would like to write for them, but I do not want to become a homeless woman of the month …
Further meeting – with a woman traveler, begins with hugs and a joyful cry: “You are a woman!” It is no coincidence that the tourist looks like her mother, and under her hat she has a bandana – then from Cheryl’s memories we learn that her mother died of cancer.
Since the heroine has a realistic view of things, and the filmmakers were not going to shoot a good fairy tale, the girl is aware of possible troubles and often fears rape and only once – analysis of organs. To some extent, what she fears happens. Comfort and route map fail. The map led to a water tank. But it is empty, and the girl is exhausted, in the middle of the steppe in the heat and without a drop of liquid. A dirty puddle, a filter and iodine tablets, the effects of which must be waited for half an hour, could have saved the day, but … Then she meets two travelers. They are quite rude, and their dirty jokes and innuendo more than betray their intentions. This is practically the scariest and most difficult moment in the entire film. One of these bastards chases her, but still falls behind. The girl is only morally crippled by the danger. Maybe,
Then Sharyl comes to a small town and looks into various shops. She again wants to like and be loved – we can understand this by the fact that she is wearing bright lipstick (sampler). Despite the provincial nature of the town, in the cosmetic store there is a kind of interpretation of the humiliating scene familiar to us from the movie “Pretty Woman”. She is not denied service, but they make her feel uncomfortable with the phrase “Not a single lipstick in the world will help if a girl does not follow the rules of personal hygiene.” Reasonably, there are no baths in the wild.
One of the important meetings takes place in this town. Near the hippie settlement, a handsome young man hands her an invitation to a concert in memory of Jerry Garcia, one of the founders of psychedelic rock. After the hygienic procedures in the hostel, a concert dedicated to the death of a musician follows, and a night of love in a hippie house with a handsome man who invited her. Eros and Thanatos are always together.
One of the last meetings is cheerful and positive – in the camp of tourists she is given amusing signs of attention by the owner, and she is also entertained by three cheerful travelers who sincerely admire her and remember her notes in notebooks by heart. They resemble jesters and, no coincidence, give her the nickname Queen of the Path. As you know, the acquisition of a sacred, real name also refers to the initiation rite.
The final meeting is the most powerful. In the forest in the rain, Sharyl catches a running llama with his luggage and returns it to the owners – her grandmother and grandson. Lama is a kind of unicorn, a symbol of Eldorado, a new life and a country of happiness. The conversation that takes place between the child and Sharyl is actually needed by the girl, she herself must say the things that she needs to accept.
We all have problems. And mine. But you know, problems do not stand still – they are … solved.
The boy sings for her a song about love, separation and departure, and this touches the heroine so deeply that after this meeting the girl falls on her knees and cries, and the tears on her face are successfully mixed with the drops of the rain that has begun. Love and hard separation are both about Sharyl’s journey and the death of her mother, whom she loved so much.
Mother’s image in the movie “Wild”
The film contains many vivid, painful memories of the mother. True growing up is separating yourself from your mother. Since, at birth, the child does not share himself with her and this sensation can torment her whole life.
Cheryl’s mother gave her a lot, like her brother, but she could not convey her positive outlook on life. A bright woman, always shining with joy, constantly infecting everyone with laughter and a smile. It is even difficult to call her a woman – both in appearance, and in manners, and in the style of clothing, she rather resembled a girl. She was not an enthusiastic fool, but a strong personality, really sincerely enjoying every day of her life, despite the severity and terrible events: marriage with an alcoholic, escape from him, college at 40, work as a waitress, many loans and debts. She constantly tried to help everyone and everyone, even to her own detriment.
Bobby for Cheryl is both an ideal, and a person with whom there were disputes, and the one in front of whom she feels guilty, that she did not value so much, did not care as much as she could. It was the mother’s positive that caused the girl’s aggression.
Everything changes very dramatically – the mother has cancer, the doctor promises a year of life, but Bobby dies a month later. She retains all her human qualities even at death: she says that she always wanted a room with a view (about a hospital ward), asks to take care of her horse. At home, Cheryl does something unusual for herself.
I pray to the fucking universe. I hope there is a god. I want a miracle, a fucking miracle. Our mom won’t die at 45!
Arriving in the morning to visit Bobby, the girl finds her dead and, one might say, mutilated. The nurse reports that the mother “gave her corneas” as a donor. We see the dead face of a mother with bloody eyes, and Sharyl’s pain is unimaginable. It can be compared that in the frames with memories of childhood, the girl once smeared with an antiseptic the bloody bruises under the eyes of Bobby, who was beaten by her husband. “Thank you, baby,” the mother cried, and now the daughter cannot help the dearest person in the world in any way and cannot stop crying herself.
We find out the backstory of what made Sheryl go on the journey. The girl is suffering incredibly and she needs help. The psychologist only says that the couch and respect is for 50 dollars, and her session costs 10, and this amount does not require special attention. The thought that there is no mother, pain, longing and the fact that it is not clear how to live, pushes the heroine into the world of drugs, alcohol and orgies, from where her husband and girlfriend are trying to snatch her. Sobbing, sitting in the car with her friend and deciding to have an abortion, she says:
I don’t understand … When did I get this shit? I was strong … And responsible … I wanted to achieve … I was good …
I destroyed my family, and now I am finishing my life. I need to go back. I’ll walk to the Cheryl that my mother saw. I will immerse myself in this beauty (about the mountains on the guide).
The girl and her husband get the same tattoo – a horse depicted in tribal style, which means “tribal”. Tattooing is part of the initiation rite. But they make it in honor of the divorce – to perpetuate betrayal and tie, unite themselves with a picture.
The liberation of the heroine and the meaning of the ending of the movie “Wild”
Having started her journey, not yet understanding what her release is, Sheryl is already talking about it. In the very first hotel on the trip, she insists that no one will come to her room, and she will be alone, and she will not pay for someone else. In this one can see the understanding that this is precisely her path. And the meaning of life is to be strong yourself, and not to cling to someone.
Another important sign of the initiation rite is a meeting with a totem animal. The director persistently draws our attention to the fact that the fox is from another world, since every time it disappears in a split second and does not leave traces even in the snow. You can try to see in the fox and the ghost of the mother, who accompanies and protects the girl.
Enduring hellish physical pain, bad weather, loneliness, Sharyl, as if with a cleansing fire, burns out tormenting memories of losses and mistakes made from herself and comes to the conclusion that all these are not mistakes, and all this was necessary for her. The route was random, the guide just caught my eye, the final point of the trip was also chosen by chance – the counter told about it. The final point of the journey is the Bridge of the Gods over a wide muddy river. The bridge can be interpreted as a transition to a new life. It is at this point that initiation ends and Sheril draws the main conclusion:
My life, like all lives, is mysterious, irrevocable and sacred. So close, so real … so mine. And how wild it was for her not to live.
Well, let’s summarize. The meaning of the film “Wild” is in self-determination, in search of oneself, the purpose of one’s life on earth. The main character has come a hard way, she did not always do wise and deliberate actions, but this path was chosen by her, and, having passed it to the end, she became wiser and seemed to have regained the happiness of living her life. The film “Wild” is one of the answers to the question “Why and for what do I live?” This film will motivate someone to travel, someone, on the contrary, will make them pay attention to those who are now nearby. But everyone will understand that his life is the highest value that he has.