” Cast Away ” Review
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Notable Actors: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt.
Released back in 2000, Cast Away is an Adventure/Drama film based on Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee who is more than devoted to his everyday job. His routine based life takes a drastic turn when the plane carrying him and three other colleagues crashes into the Pacific and Chuck ends up being the only survivor at a remote island. After a tumultuous four years at the island, the time taking its toll on Chuck both physically and psychologically, he gets to finally escape from the island and return to his normal life, only to realize that even though nothing much was out of the ordinary, everything had changed.
The greatest accomplishment of the movie was probably in its cinematography. The movie managed to beautifully showcase both the struggles of living amidst the harsh nature and then that very nature nurturing the wounded man. It felt really nice to see nature not as the villain but as a companion in Chuck’s journey; especially when we see the whale trying to help him instead of portraying the role of a big bad sea monster like most other movies. The movie also dives into a deeper part of human psychology when it reflects through Chuck and Wilson that – even in the depth of our despair and utmost loneliness, all we want is to share that experience with someone, anyone. Chuck goes out of his way to keep Wilson ‘alive’ at the island, including cutting himself on purpose to repaint Wilson using the blood. And that intimacy takes the final test when Chuck has to decide between letting go Wilson or to save his own life. Survival instincts win and he finally learns that to live is to move forward. The idea of which later becomes more prominent when the movie ends on a note of Chuck deciding to move forward in a new direction instead of his old stuck up life.
Even though the movie certainly excels in some parts, at other times the movie ended up being too typical to say the least. It was hard to see Chuck’s time at the island and not sigh when inaccuracies like the fire getting built too close to the tent or him fainting off too close to the firepit happened. Even after Chuck’s return, we see a completely civilised version of him in just four weeks that does heavy injustice to the fact that he was in complete solitude for four long years. Not to mention the psychological discrepancies – none of which were later focused on.
All in all, Cast Away is the type of film that one might watch to revisit the fact that even though it can be fatal, extreme solitude is among the very few things that helps to realise the true essence of life. That freedom comes neither from stability nor holding on to a lost cause, but in letting go and moving forward.