Let’s be honest. Like it or not Cast Away is one of the best survival movies to the day… It’s not one of those movies that the star out of nowhere knows everything and does everything cool and right. So let’s examine our facts one by one:
The movie starts as a Christmas family movie, presenting a character that is in charge of FedEx. So we can’t say the writing is in his favor on his future survival journey. And let’s all agree that the transition from his family moments to the time of the accident is really smooth with amazing directing and photography.
At first, we can see our hero Chuck Noland, using basic smart knowledge to survive while figuring out how to escape this island… Time is passing and our hero Chuck Noland gets smarter and smarter on this survival journey. He starts by focusing on food and fire.
When he covers his basic needs, he starts thinking about ways he can communicate with someone, ways to make a ”lifeboat” to leave this place while he figures out how is the weather in this part of the world so he doesn’t have the sea against him! It is really cool seeing him evolve and create all this stuff out of nothing. The ropes he needs for his lifecraft, the piece he put to bypass the high waves and get the wind with him, the pictures he drew underneath it and many more…
Meanwhile, not everything goes well like in some other modern cliche films… Firstly, we see Chuck suffering from the toothache we had since the start of this film, and managing to remove his tooth as safely as he can. Secondly, we see him losing his mind with all this loneliness… All he has is his best friend Wilson, the volleyball. Honestly what a beautiful portrayal of human nature and its need to interact with someone else. Scene by scene we see the relationship between Chuck and Wilson and it doesn’t seem weird. When you watch those scenes, you don’t laugh, you don’t get annoyed. You just understand… You see them talking, arguing, fighting and getting back together in their own way. This writing is unique, you won’t see it very often. Did you notice how Chuck is recreating Wilson with his blood and simultaneously talking to him? At that moment Chuck is feeling Wilson is there, his friend is there, and he is not thinking that ” I’ll make this ball Wilson again” . And let’s not forget the following scene that made people cry and will never be forgotten:
Here, the mind needs to survive as much as the body needs! ” Wilson!!!!! I’m sorry Wilson!” Admit it, it is a true crime that Tom Hanks didn’t get an oscar for this movie. When he was laying o the raft weeping, he made us all cry… His acting on the whole movie was not only on point, but it was legendary.
Now leave the island. Chuck is back. But what happens next? Happily ever after? No, not completely. Chuck had never forgotten the love of his life Kelly, but on the other hand, Kelly moved on, made a family. Despite the fact that their love is powerful and that they both still love each other, Chuck knows that life happens and sometimes time is against us. So instead of trying to ruin her life and win her back, he tells her that you have a family that you love and loves you, you belong with them. We had our moment but we lost it, because as he says: ” I should have never got on that plane”. And when he leaves and Kelly calls his name in the rain and he comes back so fast with his car, we all certainly screamed hell yeah!
Later Chuck reveals in his monologue that he tried to kill himself, a scene that was removed from the final cut of the movie and explains what kept him going. These are things that are happening inside of us in tough situations like this and need to be said… It’s not all easy or hard… It’s also impossible in a way…
Now let’s look at the fun facts that make us love the movie even more than the stunning performance of Tom Hanks and the beautiful directing of Robert Zemeckis:
- To make himself look like an average out of shape middle aged man Tom Hanks didn’t exercise and allowed himself to grow pudgy. Production was then halted for a year so he could lose fifty pounds and grow out his hair for his time spent on the deserted island.
- The blonde hair and facial hair on Tom Hanks was actually real.
- Chuck Noland’s name can be abbreviated as ‘C. Noland’ or “see no land” which is clearly fitting given the circumstances or plot of the movie.
- Just before Bettina (Lari White) drives off she says “Good luck Cowboy” to Chuck (Tom Hanks) a little nod to his Woody Character From Toy Story
- When Chuck gets back home, Kelly has a child that is at least a year and a half old, probably more. That means that in the four years that Chuck was gone, she met someone, fell in love and had a baby. With how old her daughter is, that means that 1.5 + 9 months is two years and 2 years and three months she conceived. On top of buying a house and the time that takes…Kelly waited about 6 months after Chuck went missing before stepping out.
- Tom Hank’s character is offered a Dr. Pepper while on the plane heading back home after being rescued. Dr. Pepper is also what Tom Hank’s character drinks in Forrest Gump (1994).
To conclude, yes Cast Away (2000) is a masterpiece. A totally rewatchable movie that won’t be lost through time. More Raw Reviews coming…
I am a lifetime movie addict and cinema is my passion. I’ve been a movie writer for 8 years. My goal is to teach people how to watch movies and how to appreciate them instead of hating them. Some gems are hidden out there but I’m here to show you them all!