on January 1, 2014
I saw this film many years ago and I did not remember that I was disappointed with the way the movie ended. He wound up alone without the love of his life. I thought that was sad. I enjoyed watching this film though, I love Tom Hanks.
on May 23, 2013
Castaway was a great movie! Tom thanks does a wonderful job starting out as a well-to-do, time obsessed professional, and turning into a person whose only occupation is survival. Even though the cast is limited for most of the movie, and there are no car chases :), I never lost my interest, and was very involved with the story. Thanks:)
Cast Away (2000)
Drama, 143 minutes
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Starring Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks was probably the biggest box office draw for around 10 years, starting with Philadelphia in 1993. Like Meryl Streep, his performances haven't always won the awards they deserved. We expect excellence from Hanks and Streep, and it's never easy to add an Oscar after you have already won twice. Cast Away sees Hanks give one of his best performances, and that's saying a lot.
The opening part of the film introduces us to the life of Chuck Noland (Hanks). He works for FedEx and is obsessed with time. Everything has to happen according to schedule or he considers himself a failure. Noland is in love with Kelly Frears (Helen Hunt), but his life is too busy for him to make her his main priority. They have to exchange Christmas gifts in the car on their way to the airport because he doesn't make time for anything more significant. This is a common theme in the lives of too many people. We rush around, earning as much money as we can, barely slowing down long enough to spend time with the people we love. You don't miss it until it's gone.
Noland's plane crashes and he's the sole survivor. He manages to swim ashore and finds himself alone on an island. This isn't a new idea, but the execution is excellent. Noland is used to a comfortable life and has to learn how to survive in his new surroundings. Where will he live? What will he eat? Will he need to protect himself? What if he's ill or in pain? How will he remain sane? How will he escape and make his way back to civilization?
I enjoy Cast Away because it's such a peaceful movie. All we hear are natural sounds while Noland is trapped on the island. There isn't even any musical score during this extended sequence. It helps us realize what it is like to be completely alone. How would we adapt and survive? Would we have the mental strength to seek escape? It's an examination of how human beings think, and that always appeals to me.
Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis renew (at the time, that is)...
After Forrest Gump, it took 8 long years before the duo teamed up again for something quite different but which would be just as powerful and poignant.
In the hands of lesser directors and actors, the film would have crumbled under such high pressure: an actor alone on a deserted island with next to no dialogue, and a script that could undo it all if not handled perfectly.
To both ends, Cast Away is a brilliant success. Hanks proves most capable to endorse anything thrown at him and Zemeckis handles the material with grace without becoming ever too graphic or too exploitive. A tough act to balance, Cast Away has its mixture of comedy, drama, suspense and many heartbreaking scenes.
The film may already be 12 years old, but slightly dated effects do not drown its ever important message.
The second disc is worth a watch for all its special features do not appear on the blu-ray and it doesn't look like it ever will.
on January 6, 2004
Having just watched this movie for the first time, I have to admit that it was more entertaining than I had been led to believe. It is, of course, not a unique theme (what is nowadays?) in that it the story of a modern, successful corporate cog who is suddenly and unexpectedly forced to deal with a situation that requires him to learn anew how to survive. During the course of which, he naturally is forced to reassess his own worldview as he no longer exists in an environment over which he has control. I found the symbolism in this movie to be quite significant and relevant. But overall the movie was not as profound and authentic as it could have been. In fact, even with my limited knowledge of the subject, it is quite clear that the island could not have sustained any human life over the course of four years. Interestingly enough, although license was taken in terms of the feasability of Chuch's survival on an isolated ecosystem, the producers had no problem in casting him as the employee of an actual courier company. We could well have gotten the point of this movie had they devised a superficial company, which makes the movie in essence a three hour commercial.
(In regards to the previous review concerning the package. I believe that he returned it to the person who had SENT it, hence the angel-wings on the box--the symbolism of which is obvious enough.)
on August 30, 2002
Cast Away is the story of Chuck (Tom Hanks), a FedEx delivery worker who finds himself stranded on a desert island after his plane goes down. On each end of the movie is the story of his life back in the "real world"; however, that story is somewhat undeveloped and underemphasized. Before the crash he had just proposed to his fiance, and upon his return he finds that she is married with children (and on a side note, either time moved faster on the mainland or else his loving fiance was married and pregnant in less than a year after his disappearance). I felt that subplot should have either been left alone or else dealt with in a more elaborate way; the ending left the movie feeling incomplete.
However, the heart of the movie involves Chuck's time on the island, and it is simply Hanks at his best. Chuck is alone, trying to survive; every little task could mean the difference between life and death. For Hanks, this means he must display the gamut of emotions about seemingly trivial matters with no other actors to help with the illusion. I know of no other actor that could have me to the point of tears when a volleyball starts to float away from him. No offense to Russel Crowe, but how he won Best Actor for playing a stoic, monosyllabic gladiator over this performance is one of life's great mysteries. For fans of great acting performances, this one is highly recommended.
on June 30, 2002
The job that one has makes it likely that one will develop a personality that is a function of that job. In Robert Zemeckis' CAST AWAY, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) plays a FedEx executive whose life revolves around the clock. If a package is late for delivery, someone under his command will catch hell. For him, time is a precious commodity, and can be measured by the units of the clock, not by the ticks of the heart. This is his life, and he and his fiancee, played briefly by Helen Hunt, do not seem unhappy with that. His life changes and not just because he is cut off from the world for five years as he is marooned on a tropical island after a plane crash. Most critics who comment on the movie point out that CAST AWAY is really an allegory of man's struggle for survival in an inhospitable environment against long odds. Now certainly there is that subtext, but if that is the major point of the film, then why bother to have the first part where he is time driven or the last part where he seeks to re-establish emotional roots that were uprooted years before? I see a different message: people are a function of their environment, which shapes their behavior, their food, their entertainment, their relations, or even their self-image. This shaping imprints itself strongly with time, and a change of environment does not result in an immediate change within. The body and the soul need time to 'catch up.' For Chuck Noland, his years on the island served to whittle away his outer shell of a clock-based life. Slowly, he learns to eat, to swim, to care for his teeth in a rhythm dictated by the stars overhead, not by the watch that he misses more than all else. When he miraculously reappears in his former life, he has to reset his internal clock once again. The scene in which he plays with a match in his hotel room, lighting it effortlessly, producing a flame that he could not on his island, point out that though he is now in a hotel room, his mind has not yet made the temporal leap from the island. It may take years for him to readjust himself, as the concluding scene with the pretty girl with the truck indicates. But he might, and this lesson in the slow acceptance of how changes in life cause changes in behavior resonate more powerfully than merely pondering the survival techniques of the latest Robinson Crusoe.
on June 23, 2002
The first thought I had after seeing this film was whether or not I fully understood all of what I had seen. Posing this question will undoubtedly offer no easy answers, which for a film like Cast Away is probably a good thing. Cast Away begins with Fed Ex Executive Chuck Nolan (Tom Hanks in another stellar performance) explaining to his employee's that quote "We live by the clock". It's Christmas Eve and Chuck is enjoying a good meal with family and friends when his beeper rings and he finds himself forced to go out on a quick job. He tells his beautiful girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt) that he will be home in time for new years celebrations. He promises. However a tragic plane crash into the ocean (which is very thrilling and realistic) changes all that. Now Chuck will no longer be living by the clock because he's now got all the time in the world. A trailer that gives away the entire movie ruined cast Away for many people. A spokes man for 20th Century Fox Entertainment said that Cast Away is movie about a man lost at sea and how he deals with coming home to world of change. Frankly I do not see it that way. I am a firm believer that people want to be surprised when they go to the movies. The only other quibble I have about the movie is the ending from which I think we the viewers are left with too many questions. Besides those problems I walked out of the theatre feeling really satisfied with what I had seen. The acting is top flight. The cinematography is excellent and the score is also a plus. One thing to mention to people is that there isn't allot of dialogue in the movie which may turn some people off. However, those people not too fussy may find this film truly riveting. For me it was a breathtaking experience. Review: **** out of five
on June 10, 2002
Tom Hanks give an explosive and nearly solo-performance in this riveting film from Robert Zimeckis, the Oscar-Winning director of "Forrest Gump"
A simple plot, a Fed-Ex worker's plane crashes to a remote island and he must find a way to survive until he is found.
Big, whoop, it's so much more than personal survival, constant symbolism, underlying meanings of the everything from the title to Fed Ex's motto "The World on Time".
And anyway who stings Hanks for crying over a volleyball could not of understood the film. Yes, it's a volley-ball painted with blood named Wilson, but just watch the film again, and find more to it.
Helen Hunt gives a superb performance as Hanks' wife. That's about it.
Simply, Crowe was good, Gladiator was ok...but Hanks.....when was the last performance that was to the magnitude of this? The fact of whether or not he survives the island is not the point, there is so much more....the middle part of this film (him on the island) was the last part of the movie that was shot....all the physical and mental that Hanks had to go though for this role should have earned him the Oscar.
on May 31, 2002
Yes, yes, yes, Tom Hanks lost forty pounds to play a man marooned on an island for four years. It is too bad the director did not put that much effort into making a better movie.
This is one of those films that you like when the end credits roll, then wake up in the middle of the night and wonder why you suddenly dislike it.
There are over 400 other reviews on this site for this film, so I will spare you another detailed summary of the plot. When it comes right down to it, the plot is very minimal at best. On to the complaining:
Why does Zemeckis insist on using special effects for the most mundane scenes? I thought the Oscar winning effects for "Forrest Gump" were lousy. The scene I am talking about is an obvious CGI fish swimming in the water before getting speared by Hanks, who is dramatically thin after four years. Why the effect? A fake fish on string would have been more realistic.
What I disliked most about this film was the missed opportunities. Where was the scene where Hanks gets on the boat and explains his appearance? His reaction to loud noises after being on a tropical island alone? His reaction to getting back on a plane after going down in a plane at the beginning of the film? His inability to drive a car after four years of not being able to? I also would have liked to see Hanks gradually get used to island life. Instead, he stumbles around like Gilligan, then we jump forward four years later where he looks like a caveman, and is an old pro at island life. Couldn't we see how he adjusts? We know he is going to be rescued, so we are left with muddled scenes regarding his reunification with love of his life Helen Hunt, who is better in this than "What Women Want."
Where is the emotional reuniting of the pair, instead of the strained meeting when he goes to their house? She still has all of his stuff from the unsuccessful search, and his car, and yet he must go to her.
I really did not like the ambiguous ending. Normally, ambiguous endings are the result of the film makers deciding to do something different than the Hollywood norm. Here, it just seems that no one knew how to end this. Having Hanks look back up the road where Lori White had driven is nice, but what was in the package he left at her door? Sure, he is at a crossroads emotionally as well as physically, but the film makers try to be mysterious by leaving him there. Do not take me through two and a half hours with this guy, then leave the both of us hanging on a dirt road in Texas. Closure, darn it!
I cannot recommend "Cast Away," despite the marketing and reputations of the cast and crew.
This is rated (PG13) for physical violence, gore, some profanity, and some adult situations.