2000
Rated: PG-13 for intense action sequences and some disturbing images.
Genre: Drama Adventure
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Running Time: 2:23
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date:
DVD Features:
Additional Release Material:
Audio Commentary - 1. Robert Zemeckis - Director, Don Burgess - Director of Photography, Ken Ralston - Visual Effects Supervisor, Carey Villegas - Co-Visual Effects Supervisor, Randy Thom - Sound Designer
Interactive Features:
Scene Access
Interactive Menus
CAST AWAY

 

Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Philadelphia) plays a successful FedEx courier who basically takes life for granted; he has a great business, flies alot, and eats a ton. He also has a very pretty fiancee (Helen Hunt ) who he also takes for granted. One Christmas night, he's called off to a country to distribute a shipment. He tells his wife, "I'll be right Back", but he has no idea what he's in store for. After a harsh ocean storm hits him, his plane goes on fire, and crashes into the ocean, killing all the crew members except him. He washes ashore an island on a rubber life raft and soon realizes he is stuck on an isolated deserted island. He tries constantly to escape but begins to think he is going to be on the island, forever.

Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the age old story of man vs. Nature! In one corner, a city man who is stranded on an island, on the other corner, a deserted island in the middle of nowhere with no food or shelter! Who will conquer? You have to watch to find out! Every once and a while, every two or three years, a movie comes along with such power, such strength, and such drama, it makes me realize maybe Hollywood hasn't lost all of its hope in making a good movie. Tom Hanks' role is so excellent and powerful, that he actually touches you through the screen with his performance. If you think about it, this is a risky role for him. 50% of his role is non-talking, and is mostly comprised of physical feats of survival. This movie presents the concept of man vs. nature so well, that I felt stranded and stressed with this character, who we see trying to survive.

Catching fish, making clothes, making boats, (And the best scene of the movie) making fire to survive. "Castaway" has such a documentary-esque feel to it, that it grips the audience very well. The scenery is so beautiful, with him stranded on the island. The ocean waters, the whales, and trees are so beautiful and realistic. One concept that gave this an advantage, was the fact that there is barely any score in this which made it very lifelike. There is score in the beginning, then no score the entire segment he is on the island and water, then there's a score again. It's so powerful and smart for the director to choose not to provide a score for the island segments. Which brings me to Robert Zemeckis who directs this movie so well and so brilliantly that everything seems so life-like and real. This is a very original film. There's hope for Hollywood yet, folks.

I would have loved to see more of Hanks on the island alone. We get about an hour and twenty minutes of him on the island where most of the scenes are brief and cut to each other. The director doesn't emphasis the plot of being stuck on the island enough to truly make this truly feel like it's loyal to its theme. We then go the ending where we see Tom's character attempting to adjust to the city life once again, but we never get much. We have about thirty minutes of he trying to reconcile with his lost love and never feel for him. The change of scenery never seemed to affect him, so it never affected me.

An excellent drama with an excellent performance from Tom Hanks who shows his versatility and skill.

  • If you simply take the initial from Chuck's name and add it to his surname it reads 'C. Noland' or "see no land".