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Film Review - Cast Away
I love movies that star Tom Hanks and are
Directed by Robert Zemeckis. These are films that reach a little further than the average to be something special.
Cast Away is something special. It's all out there for you to see in the trailer. Guy kisses woman good bye. Guy gets on plane. Plane crashes. Guy survives. Guy gets rescued and goes home. What's special? The journey.
This is really the story of a man who looses everything -- twice. What he comes to learn is that whatever life throws at you, you have to continue. Keep breathing.
We learn this near the end of the picture, after the cast away comes home. He tells a friend that he tried to commit suicide, but the tree he was going to use couldn't hold the weight. We get an idea of this earlier when the cast away hauls a large human shaped piece of wood back up a cliff with a noose around its neck. We wonder to the end what that was about. I suspect a scene was cut from the picture for time.
As I mentioned, Robert Zemeckis directed this picture. I think he deserves at least an Academy nomination for this work. For the good majority of this film Tom Hanks is the only actor on the set. Hanks has the monumental task of acting against a volleyball, but Zemeckis must shoot the film telling more of the story cinematically. Most Directors never achieve this feat. It's so easy to point a camera at actors and have them tell us the story. Cast Away is told mostly with pictures. There's no other way to hold the audience this long.
The cast away fills his time just surviving. Learning to make fire, keeping track of time. Learning how to escape. Struggling to stay sane talking to the volleyball, Wilson. Nothing spectacular, just living. It took both Hanks and Zemeckis to make this work. Neither could have done this by himself.
However I must point out three minor flaws. The picture was getting too long. The final two reels drag. In these reels we learn that the woman the cast away loved, has married. I don't buy this.
The woman had been divorced before the accident. She was reluctant to marry Hank's character. Now the man she loves is lost at sea. She doesn't believe it. People keep eroding her will that he is still alive, finally she admits defeat. Does this sound like a person who would become romantically involved again in the near future? It doesn't to me. I think this would make her very afraid of love, because of the terrible pain it has caused her.
Finally, I really wished they had left that one scene where the suicide attempt was tested. I can't help but remember that I knew two thirds of the way through the film that something was missing. This is an editorial mistake.
Don't get me wrong. These are minor flaws in a superior film. Most pictures would give their eye teeth to have flaws this minor. Hanks should get a Best Actor Oscar. You should get a ticket.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Released in 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo