But among all the people I've heard out on whether Into The Wild is a great film or a terrible one, a fairly common pattern has emerged: An awful lot of the people who absolutely hated the film had previously read–and in many cases loved–the book. And I suspect that the difference between Krakauer's approach and Penn's is a large part of what sparks all the vehemence.
I think it comes down to this, for the most part: Krakauer's book is an examination of McCandless' life and death. Penn's movie is an enthusiastic celebration of it.
I will be citing all the distinctions now:
* According to Krakauer’s research Chris worked twice under Wayne’s supervision, whereas Penn decided to collaborate the two trips to South Dakota into just one trip. Penn did this to diminish the film’s run-time by merging the principal events of both the trips. * In the film the story line never takes a path which is not travelled upon by Chris, he is portrayed as a hero who is easy going and is literate enough to summon Thoreau’s and Tolstoy’s words to suit any occasion. On the contrary in the book he is described as an abrasive and inconsiderate kid ranting against authority when confronted. Also the author gives his personnel opinion on Chris and quotes many adventures from his life too. * Tracy is barely mentioned in the book – she is some teenager who has a crush on Chris. In the movie there is more detail and depth to her character which involves their walk to the Salvation Mountain, an attempted seduction and a performance.