Features are a measure of change, and a beacon of hope. They show in two hours how a human can regain confidence, love, or direction. We relate to the fears and desires we see them acting upon, and we find ideas to bring into our own life. For me, the magic of features is the possibility of creating a global revolution in Cloud Atlas, a spiritual journey in Eat, Pray, Love, and to find our way home in Inception.
Into the wild meets Life of Pi.
In order to inherit from her grandmother, a closed-off young woman must go on a quest on a Mexican mountain, where she has to survive in the wilderness, meditate and face spirits from her past.
Mariana is not a bad kid. She has, however, tendencies to be self-oriented, mistrusting of others, and a coward. Ever since her parents died in a car-crash when she was a child, she has not sought or felt true intimacy with anyone.
She lives in New York, with her two best friends, Annie and Leo, and she works in advertising – although she is not brilliant as she would hope to be. One day, she gets news that her grandmother, who raised her in the absence of her parents, has passed away. She flies to Los Angeles, and meets the executor of the will, her ex-girlfriend Dulce.
Mariana finds out that she has two options: either she travels alone to the Mexican mountain where she used to go with her grandmother, and finds letters that they buried together there, or her grandmother’s fortune will go to charity instead of her. This makes Mariana so angry that she flies out to Mexico, determined to prove her dead grandmother wrong: “You thought I wouldn’t be up to the task? You’ve got another one coming.”
Problem is not so much the mountain itself, but that Mariana does not remember exactly where they buried the letters. She walks around day after day, and sleeps in a cave. After a while, though, whether it’s hallucinations or spirits, people from her past manifest: her parents, her grandmother, and her ex-girlfriends. Mariana has a lot to deal with. In exchange, the spirits say that, once they will be appeased, they will give her the exact location of the letters.
After that, it is up to Mariana to complete each task, and grow up, by facing mistakes she has made, and taking responsibility, but also by finally grieving her parents. The weeks she spends on the mountain completely change her. When she gets back to her normal life, Mariana gives the money away to charity, promises Annie and Leo to become a better friend, and settles down in her family house in Los Angeles.