VIFF 2014: Wild amounts to little more than Eat Pray Hike

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      Wild (USA) 

      In the wake of the acclaimed Dallas Buyers Club, Québécois director Jean-Marc Vallée takes a misstep with screenwriter Nick Hornby's adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir. While the film recounts Strayed's solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mojave Desert to Washington State, the real story appears embedded in the all-too-brief flashback montages. Glimpses of Strayed's self-destructive behaviour and emotional turmoil after the death of her mother—her mourning, a descent into drug abuse, indiscriminate sex, divorce, and more—is far more complex and compelling than how her attempt at self-confrontation is depicted here. Moreover, repeated buildup of tension, hinting at foreboding events along the hike, culminate in nothing, making the narrative amount to little more than Eat Pray Hike.  

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