'Cast Away' best experienced on sofa, with a fast-forward button
Tom Hanks could give CBS Survivor cast members a run for their money as he proves he is the ultimate survivor with his fascinating and realistic performance in Cast Away.
Chuck Noland (Hanks) is a FedEx systems supervisor who has built his life around the clock and doesn't think survival is possible without a cell phone and pager. Because work is undoubtedly his top priority, his love life and girlfriend, Kelly (Helen Hunt), are often put on hold.
Chuck's priority is maintained when he is paged on Christmas Eve and is unexpectedly called to attend to a business matter overseas. Chuck and Kelly hurry and exchange Christmas gifts on the way to the airport and as he leaves he hands her a small ring box. He tells her to wait to open the box until New Year's Eve when he will supposedly return.
Chuck's life takes a dramatic turn for the worst that night. Asevere thunderstorm blows the FedEx plane off course, and visibility is virtually nil. Just as the storm is clearing Chuck glances out the front window to see the plane plummeting nose-first into the ocean.
As the only survivor of the crash, he reaches an isolated island, which becomes his home for the next four years. Chuck is forced to learn how to survive away from civilization. All he has to fall back on are a few FedEx package items (ice skates, video tapes and a volleyball) that were washed ashore with him. Chuck uses the volleyball as a companion after he gives it a face and names it Wilson.
Cast Away realistically depicts events that one would go through if stranded alone on a deserted island. It shows the ongoing struggle of learning how to find and hunt for food and how building a fire is extremely hard without matches. However, the movie is more than two hours long and when Chuck first reaches the island there is at least 30 minutes of almost complete silence where he wanders around aimlessly wondering what to do. Although this is very realistic it gets pretty boring.
Overall, this movie sends the touching message of how time is important, and how we spend it counts because you never know how much of it you have left. Also, the scene with the plane crash is exhilarating and it is like you are actually experiencing it yourself. However, the end of the movie is somewhat surprising and disappointing. Has Kelly been waiting for him this entire time?
Hanks, as always, gives a captivating performance as a man struggling to survive and return home to civilization. He takes the viewer alongside as he struggles through dramatic physical and psychological changes. Hanks recently won a Golden Globe for the best dramatic actor in a motion picture.
I do recommend seeing this movie, but wait for it to come out on video so that you can watch it comfortably on your couch and use the remote to speed things up, if needed.