Ever since Forrest Gump, Director Robert Zemeckis has developed a unique style of blending action, drama, and special FX into a tightly packed movie. His latest effort, Cast Away, is another example of that. Carefully crafted with everything from above plus great sound FX, it's a relatively enjoying movie that will keep you sometimes on the edge of your seat, or asking for hope.Tom Hanks is masterful in his Golden Globe winning performance as Chuck Noland, a FedEx systems engineer that has a pretty synchronized life. After a brief stint in Moscow, Russia, he returns to his home in Memphis, Tennessee, to spend Christmas with his girlfriend, Kelly Frears (Helen Hunt). While the party goes on, he is called urgently through his beeper to fly to Malaysia, which ruins Kelly's plans to be together for a while. So Noland packs up and goes to the airport to catch the flight (watch for clue of the preceding things to come in this scene, very good detail input). While flying over the ocean in a heavy storm, the plane malfunctions and goes down to sea. From this point on, Noland's steady synchronized life goes down the tubes.
"An Example Of How To Survive"
The survival test starts when he, by luck, reaches an island. In the morning he searches locally the island for if anybody that was there, in vain. What I like is the accuracy of the psychological effects that an ordinary person suffers when he is totally alone by himself, and we see that he is very desperate, and insecure of the new environment that surrounds him. Little by little we see him developing his abilities for survival, as he develops a type of knife with a rock to open a coconut for food. We also see that he has to learn to fish, find shelter, and use anything useful around. The settings, along with Hanks' performances and Zemeckis' directing makes it work very realistically. The film allows you, thanks to the cinematography and camera work, to feel the character, how he feels, how he reacts to things, and also how does he behave then and now, which is four years later.
Four years later, we see that he's a totally different person. A person that has learned to survive, that has learned to live in the wild, but through all that time he never forgets about Kelly, as he keeps the watch that she gave to him before his fateful flight. Plus, he also makes an imaginary friend, Wilson, which I'll let you to find out who it was when you see it. When he is finally rescued, we also see again the psychological effects of finally being back to civilization, its basically a different world than the world that he was used to four years ago. The film is depressing in many places, but also uplifting too. The mix helps the realism of the movie have more effect on the viewer. So basically on the accuracy of survival, its a well told story, not perfect, but great.
The ending leaves you with a strange sense that no matter in what emotional condition you're in, you have to have a will to survive, to live the future, and to make the best of what's around you. Though the ending is in some way confusing, in all points, this movie, shows in a way the one of the main principles of why the human race has still survived. Neat, isn't it?In the end, it’s a fun movie to watch, sure, it’s the Tom Hanks show, but really worth your time, and a good family treat. See it.
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originally posted: 02/05/01 15:13:38