Monday, December 14, 2009

Cast Away

Cast Away; Adventure drama, USA, 2000; D: Robert Zemeckis, S: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Nick Searcy

Chuck Noland works for FedEx and constantly has to travel to transport packages worldwide. He works too much and neglects his wife Kelly, but doesn't see anything bad about it. he promises that he will be with her for New Years, but his plane crashes somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is the only survivor and stuck on an isolated island. He gets water and food from coconuts, whereas he find useful stuff in packages that he found in the sea, like a volleyball which he names "Wilson" so that he can talk with someone. 4 years later Chuck has lost 50 pounds but also constructed a raft. He manages to pass the strong waves and is found by a ship in the sea. Back home, he discovers Kelly married another one, but they remain friends. He arrives at a crossroad.

Existential-adventure drama "Cast Away" is a heavy 'Robinson Crusoe' version that is often intriguing, but as a whole seems like an unfinished product equipped with a few pretentious junctions. The sole airplane crash (excellent sequence that only shows Chuck's subjective view of the disaster from inside) and arrival to the stranded island appears some 25 minutes into the film. When the hero wakes up, there's an impressive, 5 minute long sequence of his walk across the beach without music (no music can be heard, only the sound of the sea) which leaves a meditative impression. The story the spends 75 minutes to follow his residence on the island where he is mostly quiet and only works - a complete opposite to mainstream films which would otherwise insert goofy humor, loud music and unnecessary babble. A painful scene is the one where he has to burst out his own tooth. The last 30 minutes follows his return to home and is again low-key, though rather anemic, as if nothing happened: in a way, Tom Hanks is on a higher level than the story. It's an interesting film, though there are better stories to watch than just someone suffering on a lonely island.


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