Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez, Lari White, Leonid Citer
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 143 minutes
Cast Away is a good movie that wants to be much better. While director Robert Zemeckis's earlier film Contact achieved a kind of mainstream spiritual significance, Cast Away falls just short of that goal. That may explain why the film's most emotionally powerful scene involves the loss of an inanimate object, even as it presents a heart-rending dilemma in its very human final act. It's three movies in one, beginning when punctuality-obsessed Federal Express systems engineer Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) departs on Christmas Eve to escort an ill-fated flight of FedEx packages. Following a mid-Pacific plane crash, movie number two chronicles Chuck's four-year survival on a remote island, totally alone save for a Wilson volleyball (aptly named "Wilson") that becomes Chuck's closest "friend." Movie number three leads up to Chuck's rescue and an awkward encounter with his ex-girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt, in a thankless role), for whom Chuck has seemingly risen from the grave. It's fascinating to witness Chuck's emerging survival skills, and Hanks's remarkable physical transformation is matched by his finely tuned performance. With slow, rhythmic camera moves and brilliant use of sound, Zemeckis wisely avoids the postcard prettiness of The Black Stallion and The Blue Lagoon to emphasize the harshness of Chuck's ascetic solitude, and this stylistic restraint allows Cast Away to resonate more than one might expect. Even the final scene--which feels like a crowd-pleasing compromise--offers hope without shoving it down our throats. You may not feel the emotional rush that you're meant to feel, but Cast Away remains a respectable effort. --Jeff Shannon
We both had done the math. Kelly added it all up and... knew she had to let me go. I added it up, and knew that I had... lost her. 'cos I was never gonna get off that island. I was gonna die there, totally alone. I was gonna get sick, or get injured or something. The only choice I had, the only thing I could control was when, and how, and where it was going to happen. So... I made a rope and I went up to the summit, to hang myself. I had to test it, you know? Of course. You know me. And the weight of the log, snapped the limb of the tree, so I-I - , I couldn't even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over *nothing*. And that's when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that's what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. And now, here I am. I'm back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass... And I've lost her all over again. I'm so sad that I don't have Kelly. But I'm so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?
Do, do you have to keep bringing that up, huh? Ok, so it was a good thing we did a test because it wasn't going to be just a quick snap. Would've broken my neck, or leg or my back. Would've bled to death on the beach, but it's in the past. It was what, a year ago? SO let's just forget it.