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.