Real life is boring. I can't say Cast Away was a bad movie. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Tom Hanks is a gifted chameleon who can completely become the character he's portraying, and make you laugh or cry or sometimes both--in short he makes you CARE. So I readily dismissed one friend's categorization of this movie as “torture” a few years ago, and fully intended to rent it and decide for myself.

Here I am, FOUR YEARS LATER, and I've finally seen it. I knew going in what it was. I knew there would be a long period of time in the film with little dialogue, and one actor. I knew about the volleyball. I even more or less knew the ending, thanks to my dad's commentary on it after watching it on television a few weeks--no, I think FOUR MONTHS ago. He had spilled a spoiler-ripe opinion of the ending in one breath, before I could even say I hadn't seen it. When I pointed this out he pondered it for a moment, didn't register it, and repeated his assessment.

The story is a good one as is the message. Still, after the 12 hours I spent yesterday watching basically one long movie, the 2+ hours I spent tonight felt very long. And even when the end is in sight, it seems even slower. As the credits rolled, I wrestled with how I felt about this movie. And then it hit me like a ton of FedEx packages. It was INTENTIONAL.

Hanks' character is obsessed with time in the beginning of the movie. He has deadlines to make, and lives between the lines of his planner. The film and the score are fast-paced, and seem right, because that's what we're accustomed to in our entertainment, and our lives. Then he gets marooned on an island(if anyone considers THAT a spoiler, let me know). The film suddenly lurches to a halt. There's little if any music, naught but the sounds of nature. And it's EXACTLY how it would be if any of us were alone on an island trying to survive. It's realistic to the point of BOREDOM, and we're supposed to be feeling what he's feeling. So ultimately I have to say I liked it, because it did what it set out to do very well. We're forced to slow down, and it's maddening because we move too fast.

If you're looking for a typical Hollywood escape, this isn't it. But if you see it, and make it to the end, you might just learn something important. Is it a sin to lose track of time? It all depends on what you consider important to spend it on, and whether or not you’re right....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you weren't really helped by knowing so much about the movie and ending. It winds up being a trip where you're counting the mile markers...takes much longer than it should.


12/18/2004 2:28 PM  

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