Never forget Cast Away

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There are very good films that get forgotten, never to be thought of again until they reappear on television brutally ruined by adverts.

Cast Away is such a film. It’s not only very good, but for me it changed my opinion about what films and great acting can achieve. I have always been in love with the movies but until I watched Cast Away they rarely moved me. They rarely put me in the shoes of the character on screen and made me ask serious questions about myself. Cast Away changed all of this.

I live in a world where everyone around me is obsessed with being busy and leave no time for their close ones. The problem is that I have had to conform to this world in order to support my young family and barely get a chance to even find out how their day has been. Re-watching Cast Away raised the uncomfortable question of whether this busy life is worth it.

The answer is no. Not by a long shot, but what choice do you have.

Cast Away also asks another uncomfortable question, ‘could I survive on a desert Island?’ The question is pretty much asking what type of man I am and the truth is, I’m not manly at all. There is no way I could survive what Tom Hank’s Chuck goes through in this film – I’m not nearly resourceful enough.

Importantly, I don’t think I have the mental capacity to deal with the suffocating loneliness in the film. I couldn’t deal with the thought of Mrs Bear and the little cub moving on, probably with another man, while I was stuck on the Island. As selfish as that is, it’s the god honest truth.

If I was in the same situation as Chuck, I would have given up. And for someone as proud as myself, that is a scary and embarrassing thought.

I’m not the biggest fan of Tom Hanks, but what he does in this film is nothing short of an acting master-class. Hanks has to sell the majority of this film by himself and he is damn near awe-inspiring in this film. The scenes with him and his imaginary friend Wilson are bitter-sweet and lends a lot of humanity to a character that was very unlikable at the start of the movie.

I originally watched this film when I was an cocky teenager, when I thought I was invincible and could take on anything that the world threw at me. It took a film, this film, to finally drive home to me how bloody vulnerable life is; it took this film to make me realize that the privileges I enjoyed (and still enjoy) could disappear at any minute. If you knew me as a teenager, you’d understand what a feat this was.

Cast Away is a fantastic film that should be celebrated a lot more than it is. In a time where we are taking our offices home with us via our mobile phones, it has a very clear warning to us all – don’t take your loved ones for granted.

@chocoteddyfilms

Author: Chocolate TeddyBear, TMV Movie Critic

Just a normal everyday bloke writing about films.

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4 Comments

  1. I think that films that move us do so in part because of the age we are when we first see them. A cocky teenager would probably see this differently than a 70 year old man. The 70 year old would have learned long ago how vulnerable he is to life’s slings and arrows.

    For some reason I woke up his morning remembering images from “The Pawnbroker”; a black and white film with searing images of a man’s life who had survived Nazi rule. It is a film that I couldn’t/wouldn’t watch now because life’s vagaries have made me too fragile to face such misery, but it was an important experience to undergo when I did see it. These films change us, hopefully for the better.

  2. I had a very strong reaction to another stranded epic, Lord of The Flies. Wow, it shows what assholes humans are and what NOT having societal constraints can lead to. It’s in our genes and our lizard brains.

    BTW: the film and the book, which I also read, were so close to each other that I couldn’t separate them in my mind. Can’t say that about many book/movie combos.

  3. Of course now, with all the survival shows on tv, many with desert island scenarios, who knows how resourceful you could be. :)

    I agree that some movies stay with us forever largely in part due to where we were in our lives at the time.
    I happen to love Meryl Streep…in almost anything. She is brilliant beyond compare, and although her performance along with Kevin Klein’s in Sophies Choice was phenomenal, it is not a movie I would add to my library. I dare say it will be forgotten along with so many other great movies.
    The critics panned Castaway BTW, and they also panned Grand Canyon and Defending Your Life two more great movies….but the critics don’t see them with our eyes…or hearts.
    Thanks for doing this piece. It makes me want to enjoy some movies this weekend.

  4. Great review.

    I couldn’t deal with the thought of Mrs Bear and the little cub moving on

    Yes, yes …

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