Chuck Nolan, a top international manager for FedEx, and Kelly, a Ph.D. student, are in love and heading towards marriage. Then Chuck's plane to Malaysia crashes at sea during a terrible storm. He's the only survivor, and finds himself marooned on a desolate island. With no way to escape, Chuck must find ways to survive in his new home.
We live and we die by time. And we must not commit the sin of losing our track on time. *** This review may contain spoilers *** Jetting off on yet another important task, FedEx whizzer Chuck Noland leaves his girlfriend Kelly Frears (Helen Hunt) behind just before Christmas. Disaster strikes during the flight and the plane crashes into the ocean. Managing to free himself from the sinking jet, Noland is washed up on an uninhabited island. Without basic modern comforts and fighting solitude daily, Noland must live in hope that one day he might be saved before he loses his mind or the will to live. Tom Hanks (Noland) re-teams with director Robert Zemeckis after their hugely successful collaboration on 1994 awards stealer, Forrest Gump. Though Cast Away didn't win any awards (the usual cry of it being Oscar bait had preceded it) it can be argued to be Hanks' best performance. Few actors in the modern era could carry the film the way that Hanks does. Beguiling and drawing us into his loneliness, Hanks, with minimal dialogue (his only company being a volleyball that washed up with a few other FedEx parcels) excels with facial and bodily acting. Zemeckis, who should be applauded for the middle section and the terrifying plane crash that precedes it, puts Hanks' Noland through the mangler. The convenience of said parcels washing ashore aside, Noland is bumped bruised and dentally challenged, the Robinson Crusoe clichés exist of course, but Zemeckis and a heartfelt Hanks put us there on the island as well, with a pat on the back due for the excellent work by the sound department I might add. Sadly Cast Away is bookended by not so great work. The opening character introductions are unremarkable but just about good enough for the plot set up, but the ending lacks emotional punch and defies what has been built up. Things aren't helped by Helen Hunt's lack of chemistry with Hanks, but that in turn is not helped by the writing from William Broyles Jr. since it's only really now that it's Noland that we care about. It's a bit churlish to complain too much though, because Zemeckis kept us on the island with Chuck, there was no cutting back to grieving family or fruitless rescue attempts. With that it was a truly fine one man show, even if that is something that ultimately renders the ending something of a let down. 7.5/10
**Cast Away is a brilliant movie in many ways, but some disappointing story and character decisions keep it from being a personal favorite.** It all began on Christmas Day. Many people forget that Cast Away is technically a Christmas movie. The fateful plane crash that strands Tom Hanks on an island alone with his volleyball best friend, Wilson, takes off and leaves his new fiance alone on Christmas Day. There are some fantastic aspects to this film. Tom Hanks once again gives an Oscar-worthy performance committing himself entirely to the role that honestly carried the film. Everyone loves Tom Hanks, so stranding him on a deserted island fighting for survival gets everyone involved. The directing and setting of the film were well-crafted. There are two reasons Cast Away receives such a low rating: > 1. Despite Hanks' incredible performance, the film was mostly one guy all alone talking to himself. It made the story drag and get a little boring. > > 2. Call me a romantic but the fact that he battles and finally makes it home to his fiance only to find out she moved on was extremely disappointing. Sure he abandoned her during the holiday season but still, he returned to her against all odds, only to be rejected. Ouch! I guess she sort of… cast him away. 🤭 I agree with anyone who says Cast Away is an amazing movie, but it's not a personal favorite.