Cast Away (2000)

Having spent 10 months of my life living on Pacific Islands, I relate to this movie better than most I imagine. The night scenes especially take me back to my days in the Marshall Islands with the bright dark blue sky and the glistening ocean and the shadows on the beach. The coconuts and coral reef are so far removed from our lives in North America, but a part of life in the islands.

This has the scariest plane crash sequence I have ever seen. Even after watching this movie 4 or 5 times, I get very tense. This also has some of the most heartbreaking scenes I have ever seen. The characters' loss is so pronounced in their eyes and in the writing.

With Robinson Crusoe being the legend it is, this movie attempts to explore what a real life island survival would look like. I think it makes an honest effort, though some of the elements might be contrived (if only to propel the story ahead). It really makes you wonder what it would be like. I've wanted to be a competitor on Survivor just for the experience - forget the $1,000,000 prize.

The substance of the film is survival and what keeps a person alive. Is it Duty? Destiny? Love? Fear? Curiosity? Cast Away really captures the essence of all of these and is a poetic saga speaking to each of these. Without these forces, there really isn't much to live for.

The film is quite long, but just right for those who like to immerse themselves into a story. This one is told in 4 parts and it lingers for much longer than it takes to watch it.


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