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Applauding the guts
marcgmiller27 September 2001
Warning: Spoilers
From time to time a group of people with a lot of guts come forward and challenge something, that every average thinking producer would get nightmares to even think about making it.

Fear of failing must come to mind, if the setting says:

  • only one actor for 80 min (and one dead body)

  • 40 min of it basically limited to: "Hello,.. What's that?.. Albert Miller,.. Over here,.."

  • no BGM

  • no adrenaline injections with savages, sharks, snakes etc.

  • just plain "Life is hard enough as it is."

I loved it for:

  • the guts of making it

  • the heartbreaking and real-to-life love story

  • Tom Hanks' performance

  • his companion Wilson

great movie / must see
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jspratjr38 March 2002
I think this is an excellent movie..I've noticed many felt it "too long, boring, etc..." which is to be expected in today's "gimme non-stop action; I haven't been doing anything for 5 minutes, I'm bored" mentality. This was a true man vs nature movie that really made me think about what I take for granted and I found myself wondering how I would react in such a situation. Would I talk to a volleyball? you betcha...anyone who has spent any significant time alone can relate. Bought the DVD and will watch it for years too come.
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The most deserving film not in the top 250
mjcmike118 August 2012
This movie is the most deserving of all movies out there that is not in the IMDb Top 250. In fact, this movie should be in the Top 100. Everything about it works, the cinematography, the locations, the acting, the story and this is Robert Zemeckis' greatest showpiece. Tom Hanks has done some bad roles over the years but this is as brilliant as any Jimmy Stewart performance captured on film. I revisit this film about once a year and find things about it that make it even better with each viewing. The story is so well written in its simplicity, and Helen Hunt and Hanks have an amazing chemistry. It is a love story with action and heartbreak like few films have been able to pull together. I guarantee you will never pass a Wilson volleyball again without a big smile!
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Amazing performance shines through
Quinoa198422 December 2000
Robert Zemeckis has his 4th best film here (behind Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Back to the Future) with Cast Away. Sure it might be overhyped and some characters in the film aren't needed (not to mention it depends on the liking of the lead), but when you have Tom Hanks working harder than any actor in a movie this year, it is worth it.

The story follows Hanks as a dedicated fed-ex deliverer who has a fiance (Helen Hunt) and has to leave her Christmas time to go to Asia, but alas, the plane he's on crashes in the water and, dare I say more (well I can because practically everyone saw the all-revealing trailers)? Well, Hanks arrives on a deserted island and then the real fun begins as he survives in a primitive way (probably remenicent of 2001, Hanks' favorite film), and even finds a silent companion named Wilson (a volleyball). That Hanks can communicate with this volleyball, and almost make the ball as a real person with real feelings that is almost like the Silent Bob to his Jay, is one of the films triumphs. The others of course being the whole lot of him on the island and Hanks' performance. If it was someone else, it would not be as successful, but Hanks gives his all and (as usual) pulls through 5 fold delivering one of the years and his best performances. A-
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What a fantastic film!!!
frwjames28 July 2007
I have never seen a more meaningful and thought-provoking film. Right from the start, I knew this was going to be a classic film, and my opinion was not changed throughout the course of the movie one bit. It delivers such a strong message of fear, survival and hope, that leaves your mind devoted to thinking about it for a long while after. It made me think about all my creature comforts, and what is actually necessary in life. Talking to a volleyball has never been more dramatic! I also loved the fact that there was little talking in the film, maybe that was because i was staying in a hotel in France with french TV, but anyway, it sort of made you guess how he was feeling, in a clever way. This is one of my all time favourite films, and I could watch it again and again without getting bored... so go and watch it...NOW!!
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It's all about love
jtbrat310 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I liked this movie, but I can't say the same for the reviews found on this website. Far too many of these fall into 2 categories: Those who thought the movie was a Crusoe-like story of survival and loved it, and those who thought the film was an ad for Fedex and hated it. But the movie is neither about "man against nature" nor about Fedex.

Cast Away is about love - about the difficulty of finding it in a world obsessed with success, about the freakish accidents that can produce or destroy it, about an ordeal that led one man to re-think what is meaningful in life, and about the need to bring to the pursuit of love the same resourcefulness and courage that enabled the hero to survive on an island for 5 years.

Tom Hanks is superb as Chuck Noland - creating immense sympathy for an ordinary guy trapped - not against his will - in a job that is eating him alive. How many actors could have made Noland's attachment to "Wilson" believable? Yet Hanks does.

The last section of the film, much reviled by many, is immensely touching. Noland has survived 5 year's of utter isolation hoping to be reunited with his fiancé and has resigned himself to death at least a few times before he is miraculously rescued. Anyone who remains dry-eyed during his meeting with Kelly, when their rich feelings are both acknowledged and of necessity abandoned - is unworthy of being allowed in the theater to see a film of such quality as this one.

That Noland's hard-earned wisdom about love and family will not be wasted makes for a marvelous ending to the film. It has required all of his ingenuity and endurance to survive on the island. It will now require strength of a different kind to accept the irrevocable loss of Kelly and open himself to a new experience, perhaps with Bettina. The last scene, with Noland standing at the crossroads, as the haunting theme is reprised for the last time, as Bettina drives toward her house and as Hanks looks into the camera with new-found resolve - is classic - though again, cynics are absolutely barred from enjoying it.
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I was deeply touched
little-bee00722 April 2007
******This may contain spoilers******

It's a superb,well directed and well acted movie!Well done,Hanks!!!

I'm a Hanks fan!!!I really appreciate his outstanding performance.I consider him a genius in acting.He never just acts.However,he gives life to his characters ,and makes himself exactly what they are.Forrest Gump,Saving Private Ryan,The Terminal,The Da Vinci Code,including this movie are all my favorites.I'm always deeply touched by his movies.And they often make me cry,make me think,and make me understand more about life and love.Cast Away is without exception.

I was moved by Chuck's spirits. His imagination(he names a volleyball Wilson and talks with him as a friend),his perseverance toward love,and his courage to face problems,all these enable him to survive and finally return to his homeland.

When Chuck and Kelly embraced each other in the rain, I burst out crying.They are true lovers.But,fate is cruel.His beloved fiancée,his only belief during those terrible days and nights is forever gone.His hope is disillusioned.He is standing at a life crossroads,thinking and hesitating.He has to choose a way to begin his new life.

I greatly recommend this movie.Don't feel boring,just be patient.I think movies are not only seen by eyes,but also by heart.Use your heart to feel what the characters feel.Then the more you see it,the more you'll be inspired and the more you'll find.Finally,hope you enjoy other Hanks movies!!!
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An excellent Robinson Crusoe variant
Taurus-Littrow13 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I've always been intrigued with Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe", particularly the importance of the items that Crusoe salvaged from the shipwreck, items that Crusoe could not have made himself and which make his survival and the relative elegance of the life he built for himself quite plausible. The real-life inspiration for Crusoe was one Alexander Selkirk who, in 1704, choose to remain on one of the Juan Fernandez islands - four hundred miles from the Chilean coast - rather than continue on a voyage with a captain and on a ship he did not trust. Selkirk was left with bedding, a firelock rifle, some powder, bullets, tobacco, a hatchet, a knife, a kettle, a Bible, his mathematical instruments, and some books. Selkirk's four years on his own were a bit more austere than Crusoe's fictional life, in large measure because of his relatively meager stock of good quality tools. Selkirk also lost a lot of his social skills.

I was interested to see how Cast Away was going to solve the tool issues and how they would deal with a person living on his own for a long period of time. The solutions were simply marvelous: ice skates, volleyball, etc. Tom Hanks is superb in the role.

And as a bonus, the castaway's return home is a fascinating part of the story. The driveway scene between Hanks and Helen Hunt is very powerful and reminds me of the great Emma Thompson/Anthony Hopkins 'book' scene from "Remains of the Day". Highly recommended.
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pdjudd8 April 2002
I simply loved this film but was shocked by the bad reviews that people gave it. To this I say to them: You seriously misunderstood the meaning of it. Although I won't reveal any real details about the meaning because I think that you should try and understand it yourself. The movie was terrific and simply breathless the whole time. I felt awestruck about how the life of one man could be so changed after an experience that Hanks went through. I say that every element of the film was perfect. And for those of you who hate Wilson, you have to understand about how human he really was to Chuck. I was amazed on how well this movie was made and think that everybody should have an experience that should cause you to take stock of your life. I was so adamant to get this movie; I got it at 8:00 the day it was released. I give it an 8/10. Well done Robert
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Definitely worth a couple viewings.
LebowskiT100014 October 2002
I'll be honest, the first time I saw this film, I wasn't too sure if I liked it. I mean, I certainly enjoyed it, but I just wasn't too sure of how I felt about the film as a whole. I must say that this film was MUCH better the second time around. And just got better with each additional viewing. I am a huge Robert Zemeckis fan, so maybe my expectations were slightly skewed at first. But, all in all, I've watched the film enough times now that I can say "I love this film!!!"

When I really stop and think about it, the film is brilliantly executed. The scenery is absolutely breath taking, the special effects are so well done that you don't even realize that there are special effects present. This seems to be a trademark of Robert Zemeckis (case and point, "Forrest Gump"). The acting is very good, although, there's only 2 real sources of acting in this film, Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt. The rest of the cast was good, but their roles were very minor. Tom Hanks pulls off another great performance, as usual. You really can feel all of his emotions while he's stuck on the island. Also, not many actors have changed their physical appearance like Tom Hanks did for this film, I truly applaud him for his work. As much as I liked Russell Crow in "Gladiator", I firmly believe that Tom Hanks deserved it more (although that would be his third Oscar). Helen Hunt also pulls off a very nice performance. There is also a good deal of comedy in the film, and it is done very well.

This is one of the few films that I strongly recommend you watch. There aren't a great many films that I would say this, but this one I would. Although...if you aren't a fan of Tom Hanks, then you might have some trouble with this film because a great deal of the film is him alone on an island. So, if that is the case, then you are off the hook. So, I hope you watch the film, and I hope that you enjoy it. Thanks for reading,

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Excellent film gave me goosebumps
UniqueParticle28 May 2020
Crazy that Tom Hanks didn't win the nominations that year! A captivating stranding of wonderfulness, gloriously directed by Robert Zemeckis! I like how there's a bit of comedy despite the circumstances. I love stories about unfortunate things happening where characters are stuck somewhere that deal with many things. Cast Away is legendary even many years later.
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well-crafted and intriguing
Special-K8814 March 2002
From director Robert Zemeckis comes this powerful character study of a man and his quest for survival. Hanks is a time-obsessed postal worker on a routine cargo transport. His life is forever changed after the plane crashes and he finds himself stranded all alone on an uncharted island. We're drawn into his long, arduous journey as he struggles not only to keep his sanity, but to stay alive so he can make it back to the love of his life (Hunt). A fascinating, believable, and thought-provoking portrait of a man and his fight to live, with a remarkably ideal performance from Tom Hanks, and steady, effectively leisure direction that allows viewers to accompany this resilient survivor on his emotionally wrenching journey. A small idea expanded into a one of a kind movie. ***½
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Tomorrow the sun will rise...
Dario_Gino18 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
My only major beef I had with this movie was the way it was marketed. Thanks to the trailers and previews to the film, we knew that Chuck Noland would in fact be rescued from the island. However, even with that said, the previews didn't really spoil the movie. Though it would have made the message(s) that much more powerful if they didn't give that much of it away. Tom Hanks is Chuck Noland; A FedEx efficiency engineer who flies around the world at a moments notice to troubleshoot whatever problems the company is having at any given place. Helen Hunt plays his loving girlfriend / fiancé, Kelly, who is very understanding of Chuck Noland's plight. One day, just before Christmas, Chuck is called away to Malaysia. This is when Chuck Noland's life takes a sudden and dramatic turn as his plane (most realistically) crashes into the ocean. As the only survivor, he washes up on shore of a small, isolated island in the south Pacific. This is a film that really forces the viewer to relate to the main character. On the surface, Chuck is not a guy most people would relate to; He has a high paying job which he actually seems to enjoy on some level, and a girlfriend he is completely in love with. His life is as good as it can get up until the tragic plane crash. Now his life is turned upside down as he struggles to find the basic needs of survival. There are no cuts to the rescue efforts, no "meanwhile, back in Memphis" scenes. It's all Chuck on the island for the second act of the film. There are four basic needs of survival. Most people know about the first three: Food, Water and Shelter. Chuck realizes that companionship is really the fourth need, which he finds in the form of a vollyball he calls "Wilson". The acquisition of food, water and shelter are all epic struggles for Chuck Noland as we see him try to break open coconuts with rocks and make fire to cook crabs. We suffer with him as he does his own dental work. This goes on for four years... Finally, one day a piece of metal (from the plane?) washes up on the island and it gives Chuck an idea of how to escape. He builds a raft out of Coconut trees and uses the piece of metal as a sail to escape from the island. He spends several days out on the ocean hoping to be rescued. Along the way, he losses his only friend of the last four years, Wilson, in a strange but very emotional scene. Shortly thereafter, on the brink of death from dehydration, he is rescued. In any other movie, this would be the happy ending. But this is not any other movie. Chuck finds that Kelly has moved on with her life. And now he must find a way to move on with his. When he first arrived on the island, he only needed to find ways to physically survive, but now rescued, he needed to find ways how to emotionally survive in a world that moved on without him. The final scene, just before the credits roll, reveals the most powerful moral I have ever seen in a movie. This is a film that proves that no matter how much suffering, pain, or tragedy that someone may go through, their life will always be worth living. And it does so without invoking religion or astrology or any other kind of pseudoscience. This is a moral and spiritual film that all people can relate to in some way or another.
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a masterpiece for hanks and zemeckis
SallyNabil27 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
it's not my first time to see this movie but it's been a long time since i last saw it, so i found myself, this time, pondering over the high spiritual meanings in this zemeckis masterpiece and decided to share my thoughts with you.

the idea that obsessed me after watching the movie is the spiritual aspect versus the physical one i.e spiritual loneliness versus physical/real one. the movie is inspired by Daniel Defoe's "robinson Crusoe", where the hero goes through a tough spiritual trial on an isolated island for 20 years, an experience which embodies the maxim of "necessity is the mother of invention".

tom hanks is an employee at Fed Ex, he goes on a business trip to deliver some parcels, unfortunately the plane crashes, he miraculously survives but is thrown on an isolated island for four years. on the island he begins to search for every means to survive both spiritual and physical death. he manages to make a house, a fishing net, to light fire and finally make a boat that would take to the middle of the sea where he can find rescue.

but the movie can't just be summarized in those few words it is the battle of man against the wildness of nature and the harshness of isolation. furthermore, it is man's journey inside himself, the hero discovered his abilities and re figured his true self when he was stuck in a situation where he can't find any hand. he was a strong person who didn't give up to the difficulties surrounding him everywhere. he rather managed to maintain hope, even if it is fake, find himself a source of consolation to overcome his loneliness and fill this void, emptiness, vacuum ...etc, he , thus, invented the character of "wilson", kept communicating with the picture of his beloved. i think,otherwise, he would have gone mad.

when hanks goes back to his comfortable,civil life and joins his old community i felt that, may be, he is more lonely than he was on the island, then come the final scene to confirm my feelings. he is standing all alone at a crossroad not knowing which direction to follow or who to go to.

Robert zemeckis did an excellent job in this unique movie. the shot sizes, the camera movement, the transitions, every visual element in the picture was perfect. the cinematography was also great especially the water scenes, the lighting was so convenient for the setting of the events.

on the other side, tom hanks controlled this movie from the beginning to the end; though he scarcely spoke throughout the movie his performance was outstanding in addition to the physical effort he exerted in many scenes. it was very intelligent to make him lose a lot of weight, since he stayed four years on the island eating only crabs and coconuts.

i remember the scene when hanks kept switching the lighter on and off several times after he came home, which sharply contrasts with the suffering he has gone through to light fire on the island. as for the final scene between Helen hunt and hanks, i found hunt so cold, just didn't like her.

to cut it short, the movie was a masterpiece
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A wonderfully silent drama with Hanks and Wilson spiritually sensational
Stampsfightclub12 October 2007
At the turn of the millennium technology started to get bigger and better. Films were starting to develop in a way that was never predicted, but so did the actors. After watching Robert Zemeckis' Forrest Gump 1994, I thought I had seen a true drama, but that was clearly only the beginning.

Tom Hanks (Big, Forrest Gump) stars in his Oscar nominated performance as Chuck Noland, a Fed Ex executive who is stranded on an isolated island after a thunderous plane crash.

When doing background research on this film, I was surprised to see that Russell Crowe had beaten Hanks to the Oscar in 2001. As good as Crowe was in Gladiator, I personally thought Hanks made the most sensational performance of his career here. Hanks' character Noland is truly remarkable. From being a comfortable and hard working executive at home with his long time girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt), to being an isolated figure in different circumstances. The change in character allows Hanks to express his full acting potential and dive deep within the soul of the character. It is a true battle of human intelligence and human power that Hanks does so well to give and some scenes really got to me, it is such a powerful role and does well to rival his other Oscar wins.

The text's semiotics are remarkably significant. Having left the wreckage of the plane with only a few supplies, Noland builds himself around what he can salvage and none is more recognizable, than Wilson. A silent volleyball, which was encoded into Cast Away so Hank's could use dialogue to express his traumatic emotions.

The plot is made exciting through various scenes. The plane crash is very dramatic and beautifully directed by Zemeckis and scenes shot on the island, when Hanks is alone and wandering what to do are silent and chilling, justifying the drama genre.

The beautiful island is contradicted by the drastic situation, a truly magnificent incentive.

The ending too is wonderful as it paves the way for many possibilities

a spellbinding film
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Contains SPOILERS !!!!
minimoke28 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
The end of this movie confuses some, making them feel that they have wasted their time. To me it is the most memorable part of the movie. As Chuck stands in the middle of this isolated intersection, he finally gets it. He finally sees why life has given him a second chance. He held on to three things while on the island. A picture of Kelly, which gave him hope, Wilson, who gave him companionship, and one last Fed Ex package, which was his since of duty and purpose in the world he could not return to. Wilson was lost in his attempt to rejoin the rest of the world, Kelly was lost in his absence, the package did save his life by providing that sense of purpose, which he followed through to the end, by taking it back to where it had shipped from four years earlier. Only then, when this beautiful woman entered into his life did he realize that the sender of the package, not a picture of Kelly, represented his future. The movie ends with Hanks forming a thin smile on his face, because he sees how he (and the movie) have come full circle.
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Underrated, excellent movie
freakerm10 March 2010
Its such a shame that this movie would receive such bad press. The idea of just a man by himself on an island may seem boring and long-winded yet this movie isn't. It touches so many emotions, laughter, sadness, fear, tension. When released it was said to be one long advertisement for FedEx however this movie proves to be so much more than this. With a fantastic soundtrack, great storyline, great acting from Tom Hanks, this movie truly is something fantastic. Maybe a bit of a cliché, other than that the movie appears to be faultless and to find that it didn't make it onto the top 250 saddened me as the movie truly is something to be perhaps even considered a masterpiece.
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When you haven't got anywhere, all you've got is nowhere
DavidSim24018313 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Cast Away was Tom Hanks' second film with director Robert Zemeckis. The last time they collaborated was on the 1994 multi-Oscar winner Forrest Gump. I must admit I was never exactly a huge fan of Forrest Gump, despite being a great admirer of Zemeckis' work. It was a film that painted a rather naive portrait of America and its relationship with the common man. And the special effects (however impressive they might have been) were only a nifty selling-point to wow the Academy award winning crowd. One of the most commercially calculated and overrated films ever made.

Happily, Zemeckis seems to have learnt from his mistakes with Forrest Gump. Because Cast Away is a much more accomplished piece of storytelling. A fascinating portrayal of a man cut off from civilisation, and when he finally returns to it, he's just as shipwrecked. This is the type of film Tom Hanks should be winning Oscars for. Because the film rests entirely on his shoulders. And best of all, there's none of the false optimism that plagued Forrest Gump.

Hanks plays FedEx Express worker Chuck Noland. He is a man who lives and dies by the clock. Always on the go. One minute he's sorting out packaging schedules in Russia. The next he's delivering much needed vaccines in Malaysia. Its a hectic lifestyle, and one that doesn't leave a lot of time for a social life.

Nonetheless, Chuck is in a happy relationship with girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt), even though she gets exasperated when they can't even finish a dinner date because his damn beeper goes off. And that's exactly what happens on Christmas Eve. After he's just proposed to Kelly, he's called away for a job. At the airport, he tells her "I'll be right back." Famous last words.

The plane he is on is caught in a storm, and dive-bombs into the ocean. Chuck survives in an inflatable life-raft, just barely, and is washed ashore on an island. Now all alone, Chuck must gather every resource at his disposal to survive. To make it through to the next day.

Cast Away is an outstanding film. One of the great survivalist tales you'll ever see. Robert Zemeckis' direction has never been so astute and intelligent. In fact for my money, Cast Away may be the best film yet to emerge from Zemeckis' mostly excellent body of work.

Before we even get to the island, there are the scenes of the plane crash and Chuck's valiant voyage in his rubber dinghy. The crash is a tour de force of action and effects work. Zemeckis shoots it in a series of frenzied camera angles and jolting close-ups. Its a startling scene, so affecting for its suddenness. And the scene where Chuck nearly gets shredded by an out of control engine turbine stays in the memory and doesn't easily fade.

Only for Zemeckis to outdo himself by staging the equally striking scenes of Chuck in his boat, caught in the ravages of a fierce thunderstorm. And its a brutal scene of frightening imagery. A scene of almost complete darkness, illuminated only by flashes of lightning, highlighting the tiny speck of Chuck and his boat on the vast ocean.

But its when we get to the island that Cast Away really opens up. Zemeckis' direction is clipped and concise. He never shows us more than what we need (and want) to see. The film goes through the motions of Chuck's trials and tribulations. But there's an almost terrifying immediacy to these scenes. Some of them are only about ten seconds in length. Little interconnected vignettes.

Chuck writing HELP in the sand. Shouting for help to no-one in particular. Spending his first night on the island surrounded by the sounds of crashing waves and bird-calls. Exploring the summit of the island. Gathering washed up FedEx packages for supplies. Cracking open a coconut (something that takes a very, very, very long time). Fishing. Sheltering in caves. Cutting himself. Bleeding. And the monumental feeling of ecstasy Chuck feels when he makes a fire for the first time.

Tom Hanks really turns in one of his finest performances here. Certainly his best since Big (another film he should have won an Oscar for). What makes his performance all the more impressive is its almost in complete silence. Which makes his isolation seem even more potent and poignant. And a little eerie too.

Zemeckis also comes up with an unusual method to draw upon Chuck's slowly unravelling mental state. A volleyball that washed ashore too. A volleyball Chuck names Wilson. It becomes like a character in the story. Its Chuck's only companion, and as he feels affection for this inanimate object, you'll find you will too.

Zemeckis constantly keeps coming up with grander and grander developments. None more shocking than when the film flashes forward four years and Chuck is much more lean and hardened by his experiences. Tom Hanks deserves some commendation for losing so much weight for the role.

And his method of escape is clever. Building a makeshift raft from timbers and using a portable toilet cover washed ashore as a sail, Chuck overcomes crashing waves and turbulent storms in his fragile craft to get home. The scene where he loses Wilson is a moment of surprising poignancy. Watching him float further and further away. Ultimately Chuck is saved. But the story doesn't end there.

Once Chuck is home safe and sound, he finds the world has moved on without him. Kelly has remarried, and Chuck is unsure of his place anymore. The ending is bravely not a happy one. There is something very bittersweet to Chuck's sudden salvation crashing into harsh reality.

If you haven't seen Cast Away, you're missing out on a modern classic. An expertly crafted tale of survival that's enthralling from beginning to end.
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Remarkable and a story that everyone would want to hear about
ronggur-silalahi24 September 2013
Castaway is one of those classic movies that everyone must see. The plot is uncommon and it was very interesting. Tom Hanks played a great role as Chuck Noland. The fact that he had to face and understand the difference between life in the real world and living in an island with nobody else but a ball named Wilson, made the movie remarkable. Every second is mesmerizing and really made me wonder how scary and difficult it is if I were in Noland's position. This movie also contained love that played a main role to Noland's survival, which makes the audience to feel not as desperate to watch Noland getting lost with the power of love that brought him hope. Also the transition of time as Noland lived his different life being an outcast was really interesting. Not only by appearance, but also mental and behavior. It's a classic the everyone must watch. Tom Hanks played it really well. It also made me question his future fate as the movie goes on, telling about his journey and survival day by day. A very well done movie, it's definitely a story that everyone wants to hear about.
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Take The Time For It...
suspie12 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Cast Away is one of the better movies Hollywood released in the

last couple of years. However, reading some of the comments

posted here by other people, it looks like not everyone here "got it".

This movie, in the most part, is aboult desolation and what it does

to a person. So in order to appreciate this story, take the time to

watch it. Sit down and relax, unplug the phone and other


A lot of people have said how good of an actor Tom Hanks was in

this piece, and he really was. Others have said how good Bob

Zemeckis's direction was, and it is. But what stands out for me so

much is Bill Broyles script. It is very clever and wraps up all

storylines neatly without getting to preachy. A very, very sound and

quality script that unfortunatly cannot be appreciated by everone.

*SPOILERS* PS- Some asked earlier what the point was of the package

delivered in Russia. It's from the woman Tom Hanks delivers the

final package to.

And why does Tom Hanks keep one package closed. Because it

becomes his goal in life. To deliver that package. Not because the

package is so important, but to motivate him to "keep breathing"

just as Wilson is substitute for his concious and gut.
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Don't even think of casting away this movie! This harrowing tale of survival deserves to be told.
ironhorse_iv3 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The movie tells the story of a Fed-Ex worker, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks), whom find himself, away from his normal life with his love one, Kelly (Helen Hunt) when his plane crash into the middle of pacific ocean and he washed up on a deserted island. Chuck has no choice, but to learn how to survive in the harsh environment, and find the courage to escape his island dwelling, when he's able to. Without spoiling too much of the movie, the structure of this film is divided into three parts: Chuck's life as a FedEx employee, the struggle to survive on the island, and the resolution with Chuck trying to regain his own life back and living with what has change. Each one has this 'show, don't tell', modality of storytelling. The movie doesn't have that much dialogue, which in my opinion works. This allows the beautiful, yet haunting visuals shots to tell most of the film's story. The way, the movie opens up with a quick POV montage shot of the package travelling the work, show how Chuck Noland's lives life under the punctuality of a running clock. The way, Director Robert Zemeckis shot the islands film in slow wide screen, show how hopeless and isolated Chuck really is, where time doesn't really matter anymore. I like how the movie moves from a very fast moving shot to shot pace in the beginning, to slow, near one location standstill. The movie has a lot of spiritual aspect of the film that makes this a great watch. Lots of symbolism like how the angel wings package serves as a McGuffin. It could symbolize an angel watching over him during this whole ordeal or how it shows that he must fly away from the island, and return back to normal home. Again, this could symbolizes, how much driven, he is at his job. It's really up to debate, what this item was really about or what's in it. Glad, they didn't use the deleted scene from the script that actually has Chuck open the box. It would had kill the movie for me. Another symbol is that of Wilson, the volleyball. The character was created by screenwriter William Broyles, Jr. while researching island survival techniques in a beach in Mexico, in which this time, a volleyball washed up on shore. While, talking to a volleyball might seem weird on paper, it makes a lot of sense, as it show, how much people are willing to go for a sense of normal connection, when isolate from others. From a theatrical POV, Wilson also serves to realistically allow dialogue in a one-person-only situation. The movie really does makes a good job to it seem like Wilson, could be a person. In my opinion, he's the most famous inanimate object, put on film. It was heart-breaking, what happen to him, toward the end. Only Tom Hanks can make us feel something for a volleyball, and make it seem believably. In any lessor actor, this might come across as silly or boring. This movie is very engaging, because of him. Tom Hanks is a master of showing great range of emotion with his facial features and the way, he moves his body. You can tell, how much trauma, he went through, the way, he looks at things, or how he reacts. Not only that, Hanks went through, great stress to get his body ready for the role. Hanks gained 50 pounds during pre-production to make him look like a pudgy, middle-aged man. After a majority of the film was shot, production was halted for a year so that he could lose the weight and grow his beard. He look like he had been living on the island for years. This was a very extreme weight lost, that might cause a lot of Tom Hank's health problems in later years. Hanks even was nominated for Best Actor that year for a Oscar. While, Helen Hunt isn't in the film, much. She did a great job as a supporting role. You really can tell, the struggle, she has, with trying to love Chuck, while also trying to move on. The film gives fairly realistic feel for being stranded alone. It's somewhat educational. I like how the movie begins and ends at crossroads. Two possible paths to an unknown future. It's all very symbolic. This movie has a lot of replay value. There are tons of little clever things that change into the timelines of the movie, you can only pick up on, if you watch it, a few times, such as how Chuck wears his shoes, during airplane flights, the irony of the dentist that cause him so much pain or the name of the ranch where the angel wing package came from. Then, there are those slight things, that foreshadow a lot of what will happen, later on the film such as seeing Chuck's sailing certification or the off comment mention of a tooth ache or the song 'Return to Sender' playing the background. While, the movie doesn't have that much music. Alan Silvestri's minimal score was beautiful to listen to, and good enough to win a Grammy Award in 2002. I like how he use nature sound effects to reinforce the feeling of isolation with his music. The weird product placement didn't really hurt the film. This film features a Fed-Ex cargo plane crashing in the Pacific Ocean, but it didn't hurt the company, as the film's success ensured help increased brand awareness. One thing that kinda did, hurt the film, is the trailer that really did spoiled too much. Seriously. Don't watch the trailer until you've seen the film. I like how the film, later helped developed the show, Lost. Overall: A great movie that showcase the triumph of the human spirit under harsh conditions. It's brutal, haunting and painful, yet compelling, enigmatic, & uplifting. This film definitely makes my list of films that I can watch again and again.
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At the edge of the world, his journey begins.
Lady_Targaryen20 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Chuck Noland is a FedEx employee who lives his life as a workaholic, always working and missing many important dates, for the sadness of his girlfriend Kelly Frears. One Christmas night, when he needs to work, he becomes the only survivor of a harrowing plane crash.

Alone in an island, the poor Chuck needs to be creative and learn how to survive in the exotic place, having many difficulties and problems in the beginning with basic stuff, like how to make fire or drink water from the coconuts. Chuck stays in the island during 4 years, when he decides that his only option to not die in that place, is to try to scape.

I personally like this movie a lot. The cinematography is beautiful, and you can see that many of the scenes were shot in a natural habitat.

Tom Hanks by the way, is great as always: It is incredible how much weight he lose from the beginning of the movie to the end, and also his convincing dialogs with Wilson the Volleyball, as if he was speaking with a person. (Wilson, the ball, by the way, became an idol! LoL)

And is also incredible that FedEX didn't pay anything for the director to make this movie: basically all the story only turn around about it.
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Definitely a favourite
tay-sedai21 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Cast Away stars Tom Hanks and, more importantly, a very special volleyball, a.k.a. my beloved Wilson. I love this movie because it's dramatic and inspiring but also because it's not utterly swamped down with swells of dramatic music. In fact, the whole time Hanks's character is on the island, there is no music, and this actually has a profound and unique effect. Don't get me wrong, I love a good soundtrack, but sometimes I think that there is definite overkill with music in scenes that don't necessarily need it.

I loved seeing the slow, forced transformation of Hanks's character throughout the movie. He went from sort of chubby, overworked and neglectful of his health to this hardened survivor with a huge, bushy beard. He even has to knock his own abscessed tooth out on his own, when back home he had the opportunity to go to the dentist and have painkillers and do it the "easy" way.

The only spot where some people feel this movie fell down was the ending, where Hanks's character makes it back to the US and his true love. But to be honest I think the ending was great. I don't believe it was an overdone Hollywood ending, and it also gave me hope for Hanks's character's future. It helps that he didn't get back with his love, because she had moved on with a family of her own. I actually found it quite wrenching.

All in all, I think this is a really well done movie. And I still love Wilson.
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Just a wonderful movie
MovieCriticOnline13 March 2020
If you don't tear up by the end you may check to see if you have a working heart. This is just an amazing journey. So many emotions. It's about survival, love had, love lost.

I don't want to go over what most others already pointed out. You just need to watch it and patiently wait until the end as it carefully wraps up the amazing journey. My only criticism, which is small, is that they didn't need the very last scene, as it had already wrapped up. It would have been more powerful without him finding "new love."

Robert Zemeckis is a gem of a director.
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I saw "Cast Away" for the first time on October 8, 2006
kellyleighcrutcher8 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If I could rate any higher than a ten, I would. I really liked the character 'Wilson' that Nolan (or was it Noland?) created. When he lost 'Wilson' at the end of the movie, to me, it was like seeing a living character being killed. I don't know why, though. I literally began crying. Wasn't 'Wilson' his only friend for. . . how many years was he on the island? Four? I don't know if I'm the only one who cried at that scene or not. I grinned when I saw the other Wilson volleyball in the car with him in a later scene. His 'relationship' with 'Wilson' would continue, I guess, is what I was thinking. What awards did Hanks win for this role?
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