Tom Hanks will forever be America's funny, charming Uncle. He's a guy you want to be like, makes you feel better when you see him, and most importantly, you are sure he would like you too. He's the kind of guy who could be stuck on an island with only an ugly sweater and a volleyball, and you'd still want to watch him do his thing. And if you've had dreams like this, I know I have, you're in luck, because there's an entire movie with this exact premise; Cast Away.
Chuck Noland (Hanks) is a hard-working, oft traveling FedEx honcho. He's well liked and respected, and all signs point to Chuck having found the woman for him in Kelly Frears (Hunt).
It seemed like just another routine flight aboard a FedEx plane, to which a smiling Chuck says to Kelly, "I'll be right back." The rest as they say... is history.
It as at this point that we get to see the true talents of Tom Hanks really take flight (no pun intended). After a truly amazing plane crash sequence, this becomes Tom's movie.
Hanks literally transformed himself for this role, gaining and then losing 50+ lbs, and growing his hair and beard so long it that surely made ZZ Top question their own follicle abilities. After years on the island, the result is a rugged, fish catching, shelter making, fire starting, tiny shorts wearing survivalist who would no doubt make Bear Grylls proud.
Hanks is nothing short of mesmerizing on screen. As one of the most recognizable people in the world, it's not easy for an actor of his stature to completely fool the audience in thinking it's somebody else on that big screen, but Mr. Hanks rises to the challenge again. This is not Tom Hanks, this is Chuck Noland; A man thrown into a situation few will ever experience. And in becoming Chuck, Hanks has shared with us one of the greatest performances the cinema has ever seen.
I will not go into the specifics of what takes place on that island. That is for your eyes only.
This is simply a great performance in a phenomenal film.
Go watch Cast Away.
Thank me later.