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.
11 out of 14 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.