In one of the loneliest films in all of history, I watched the 2000 Robert Zemeckis film:
Cast Away is a film about a man named Chuck Noland, an executive head of distribution for FedEx that is the lone survivor on a cargo plane crash; washing him ashore on a deserted island.
Here, Chuck must fight to survive against the wilderness (or lack thereof) and his own mind.
This film was shot in two sections: One when Tom Hanks was at his heaviest, and then they took a ten month break (and used the exact same crew to film What Lies Beneath) and then resumed the second part after so that Tom could lose a drastic amount of weight and grow a beard.
The film’s pace is that of a turtle, which can certainly turn some off. It’s not meant to be thrilling or life-affirming (except for a few scenes), but it does something well: it makes you understand Chuck’s struggle.
Where/ when did I first see it?
I saw it at Plourde Century Theatre in Fort Kent when it was released (or at the latest a month later due to the delay).
How does it hold up?
So at first glance back in 2000, I liked the movie, but thought it was sort of boring. As the years progressed I watched it a few more times, liking it more and more as time progressed.
But when an ex-girlfriend dumped me in 2009, I decided the next night to watch this movie.
This viewing engrossed me, as I too felt alone “lost on an island.” And the end speech he gave his friend touched me so much, that I decided to write it down, word for word. By the time I was done this viewing it was nearly 2:30 AM and I was exhausted.
Now, in retrospect, I think my reaction at that moment was silly, but back then it was reasonable.
What did I like about it and why?
I liked a lot of things in this film. I think Tom Hanks delivered an awesome performance. He seemed to react realistically to his surroundings and find clever ways of solving his problems… That was until John, August, and I (of the Not Quite Hollywood) podcast watched it for our communal movie, and they ruined a lot of it for me.
Upon further reflection, there are a few issues with the script of the film; namely how Chuck goes about his tasks.
I still enjoyed it this last viewing, but I’m worried it won’t hold up as well as it had once before.
- Don’t let people influence your enjoyment of things.
- (At the beginning of the film): Tom Hanks needs to lose weight.
- (Near the end of the film): Tom Hanks could stand to eat a cheeseburger.
Where can you see it?
Check out Cast Away on CanIStream.It?