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Cast Away

Cast Away

 

Title - Cast Away
My Admission - $6.00
One Line Review - It's Ambiguous As Hell.

 

Review - With Cast Away, Tom Hanks and Robert Zemekis have created a very watchable and likeable film.  However, what seems to me as senseless ambiguity will leave you either mad or indifferent about the film and the time you spent watching it.

Tom Hanks is a Fed-Ex employee Apple would like to hire.  Dedicated and thorough, he's a virtual slave to his job.  Beepers, cell phones, Christmas Eve trips to the end of the world, etc.  On this Christmas Eve, however his plane crashes into the ocean and he, thankfully, washes up on some beach in the Pacific.  There he lives for 4 years before he's rescued and returned home to a world that has moved on.  Pretty simple, right?  How could they possibly make a mess of this?

Well, the mess begins with the trailers and film reviews no one was able to escape.  They say that Hanks is a man whose a slave to time and that his 4years on a deserted island are supposed to change that.  He's supposed to return to a world that he's out of sink with and how he must cope with that newness of familiar surroundings.

That's a bunch of crap.

In my opinion, Tom never overcomes his reliance on time.  In fact, time is so integral to Hank's character that he's rushing to meet a deadline in order to escape the island.  The whole man-outta-time angle is trash.

What really fell apart for me was Hanks' return to civilization. He's now a quiet, thoughtful man, who rarely expresses himself and when he does it's very brief or curt.  He offers no revelations or even commentary about how things have changed for him or how the world is different.  I felt that this information was the core of Zemekis' story and to omit that would cripple the film.  It doesn't, exactly, but Cast Away begs for more.  If they made Cast Away 30 or 45 minutes longer and let the audience experience the hardship or challenge of returning home and to some semblance of a life they would have benefited from their 3hour tour.  And the final scene would have at least carried the power it was meant to convey. Instead you get a little over 2 hours of pretty beach, gentle humor, and quiet tripe.

I will venture to say that if you watched the film repeatedly you may find answers in the quiet spaces.  Those silent metaphors one finds when they completely deconstruct a film, but Cast Away, by it's very nature, creators, and promotion should have stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods.

-m-



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