I started watching this movie during dinner, a time when I usually don't watch the ending of many movies. I generally turn off the TV and dash back to my beloved computer. BUT Hanks grabbed me from the first scene of this powerful movie, holding me captive until the bittersweet ending. He's a fine actor and was superb in this role.
Hanks plays the part of Chuck Noland, a FedEx systems engineer on company business when the plane crashes and he ends up alone on a deserted island. The photography and visuals are excellent when they follow Chuck's progress as he does everything humanly possible in order to survive. His physical and mental regression are heart-breaking to see, yet the film has its uplifting moments when he makes "friends" with a Wilson volleyball, using it as a "human" sounding board to keep his sanity. He names the ball "Wilson," of course. The scenes when he talks to the volleyball look rather "insane," but are the few touches of humor in the film.
The scene where Chuck "loses" Wilson touched my heart; a very moving moment. By that time in the movie, Director Robert Zemeckis's wisdom in choosing stark island scenes to emphasize Chuck's solitude were remarkably evident.
Just how does Chuck lose Wilson? How does he react? How is he finally rescued? How has his life changed when he gets back to the real world? How?...How?...How? And Is his girlfriend--played brilliantly by the fine actress Helen Hunt--still waiting for him after four years when everyone thought he was dead?
You will learn the answers to those questions as you view this film that is brought vividly to life through Hank's realistic portrayal and the director's keen insight into this character. The sound effects and rhythmic camera moves capture Chuck's emerging survival skills to perfection.
"Hope springs eternal in the human breast," and after one episode when Chuck almost gives up, he never loses hope again, clinging to it despite the odds he's facing. His hope never seems to fail him until he returns home and faces his new reality in a very moving confrontation with the sweetheart he left behind. (Being a hopeless romantic, at that moment in the movie, I wanted this film to end the way I wanted it to...but that wasn't meant to be...)
However, the film had a hopeful ending, one that left it up to the viewers to draw their own conclusions. I know what ending I chose, so I was not left with a feeling of wonderment, but with a strong feeling of hope and a fresh start for Chuck. Why not see this film and choose your own ending?
Even though it was rather odd for one man to carry an entire movie, that's what happened in this one--and Hanks was up to the job! I agree with the New York Post review: Tom Hanks "...gives one of the towering screen performances of all time." Five stars all the way to the bank...
Reviewed by Betty Dravis, June 3, 2010 Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books
Pros: Survival theme holds your interest Cons: Beyond the island scenes, pretty much the rest of the film The Bottom Line: I wrote a whole review without using the words Cast Away! If there's one great American actor who we can safely place into a time capsule, bury in the ground and dig up twenty or thirty years later, it's Tom Hanks. Sure, there are well known actors who contain more talent, make better movies and in some … more
Pros: Tom Hanks really thin with long hair Cons: Stark, not much dialogue What a refreshing film this was. Mainly what I liked about it was that it was very stark in both content and acting. A moving story about a man who is caught up in his job and his work who spends many years alone on a deserted island. I have always liked Tom Hanks, the American everyman. He plays that role again in this film. He plays a man who is forced … more
BETTY DRAVIS was born in Hamilton, Ohio, one of seven children of John and Felda Barger. Her natural writing ability was nurtured by a “great Ohio school system, caring teachers, and a loving family.” … more
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Tom Hanks is Chuck Noland, a man in a hurry. His job for Federal Express has him traveling the world on a moment's notice, exhorting the company's employees to speed things up--"never turn your back on the clock." When he's suddenly called away for business on Christmas night, his tolerant longtime girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt) drives him to the airport. They have their Christmas in the car--and Chuck plunks an engagement ring into her lap right before he gets on the plane, telling her, "I'll be right back." But an unexpected storm cuts the plane's crew off from radio contact and blows them off course. Chuck is the sole survivor of the resulting crash, and washes up on a completely deserted island. Stranded there, he must give up everything that he once took for granted and learn how to survive all alone in the wilderness. From director Robert Zemeckis, CAST AWAY is a story of adventure and discovery surrounding one man's will to stay alive.