Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Review of "Cast Away," DVD version starring Tom Hanks

Review of

Cast Away, DVD version starring Tom Hanks

Five out of five stars

 Literally from the moment when humans began traveling the seas and oceans out of the sight of land, there have been tales of people being shipwrecked and marooned. Sometimes it is small groups of people on an uninhabited island, other times there are natives on the island and in a few cases, it is one person all alone. Different and more expanded versions of this story arose in science fiction after interplanetary travel became plausible. The recent hit movie “The Martian” is the best-known example of the lone person marooned.

 This movie is one where a single person somehow manages to survive a destructive plane crash and wash up on the beach of an uninhabited tropical island. Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Nolan, an engineer with FedEx that is a hard driving, yet somewhat personable individual. He is flying as a passenger in a company cargo jet when they encounter a violent storm and there is an onboard explosion of some kind.

 Once on the island, Nolan needs to immediately satisfy his basic needs of food, water and shelter. He struggles to get a fire going, open a coconut and other basic tasks with no modern tools. Fortunately, a few packages from the plane wash up on the beach and he finds some useful items in them. After four years, he realizes that if he does not leave the island, he will die there alone and largely forgotten.

 This movie is nearly all Tom Hanks and he does a superb job of playing the increasingly eccentric exile in an odd form of solitary confinement. In order to keep himself sane, he must go a little insane, inventing a semi-imaginary companion to talk to. It is a worthy addition to the story of how humans can adapt in the most strenuous of circumstances and with no hope of any assistance.

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