The story of a guy who despises materialism and conventional society and tries to escape by going to the wild, alone and delights in his self sufficiency, then starts missing his friends and family, realizes that he wants to go back, but dies from poisoning and malnutrition before he can do so, can make you feel justified for hating the overtly artificial and selfish society we live in, then make you feel sorry for the man’s loneliness and then delight you that you have a family, and then end in making you realize that your heaven and hell, all is here and that man, as long as he is alive will always keep wanting something. So rather than trying to not want something, it is better to want it, even if you despair of getting it.
Well, ok, that is what it made me feel. That was a little bit of my analysis of the story and my thesis of the picture. Interesting little art flick, you might want to see it, though it is a bit long and has a tendency to drag.
Of course, a movie which tells a story which is this desolate and happy at the same time, needed a solid soundtrack with a mature baritone, and who better to do it then the best vocalist that I can think of in rock music, Eddie Vedder. The songs are nothing much, very simple actually, a jangly sad sounding folksy, country guitar with Eddie singing songs about going away and being lonely etc. (theme described in the first para). But it works. I love the vocals, they are perfect for songs like these, and it makes the soundtrack for me. Love ya, Eddie!!
This is very much of a mood album, if you are in the mood for slow, sad folk ditties on the electric guitar with a voice that sounds hopeless and defiant at the same time, well then, this would be it. And that is quite enough description. My picks would be “Long Nights”, the cover “Hard Sun”, and “Guarantee”, the rest of the songs don’t stick, nor are they really meant to, they just create a mood and paint a portrait for the ears at that point of time when you need them. However, Eddie did what he had to do, to tell a story with folksy, mellowish guitars and he did it quite well, while at the same time trying not to compromise with the songwriting. This, at times, sounds right.
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