Ok. Please read my view on this movie. I have had long debates on this with some of my friends. I watched this movie for the first time when I was 17. I just loved the movie. But more so, I loved Christopher and started dreaming about life free from the clutches of society. After that, I have rewatched this movie 2 or 3 times into my mid 20s. My view on this movie as a work of art still remains the same, it is one of the best movies in recent times. But my view on Christopher changed. I then read the book (of the same name, 1996) on which this movie was based on. I came to the conclusion that Christopher was an idiot. And the book actually says so indirectly. Penn's film paints a picture of Chris that really doesn't exist. By summing everything up into a single POV, Penn gives Chris a bit of a heroic glow. Krakauer's book, on the other hand, folds in what was known about him from multiple sources, and paints a more troubling picture. He spent so long trying to get away from people, only to realize his best experiences were with people. He hurt those that cared about him deeply. He was selfish and regretted it on his death bed. The moral of the story is that pipe dreams never are what they are cracked up to be, and if you spend all your time chasing one, you’re going to miss all the beauty that is right in front of you. He even says true happiness is shared or something like that at the end. The book actually points out that romantic dreams doesnt blend with the brutal force of wilderness and nature. It will kill you. And this guy, instead of facing his problems head on, decided to run away from it. I think a lot of people misinterpret the movie and the book. It is not asking you to leave society and live in the wilderness. Infact the opposite.