Cast Away (2000)

Watched this last night on DVD, causing Jon to stay up later than he wanted to. Probably one of the scariest airplane crash scenes I've ever seen. I really liked the part on the island, which had no music and very little talking (until the Tom Hanks character starts talking to a volleyball he calls Wilson). The end was less satisfying than I was expecting; I wanted people to show some interest in how he managed to survive for four years alone on a island. I'd want to know all the details!

What are we supposed to learn from a Robinson Crusoe-like story, though? To appreciate what we have, I guess. And maybe to marvel at the survival instincts of humans? I'd like to learn to tie more knots.


  1. After the movie, I found myself wondering what the point of Chuck's experience was, given that Kelly said he was the "love of her life", but that due to his absence, they wouldn't be together. The strong possibility that he'll end up with the artist, Bettina, and that she'd in the meantime divorced her cheating husband, Dick, gives some sense to things, since he would never have met Bettina, or she wouldn't have been available, without the years in between. But it's hard to understand what Kelly gained, since we're not shown how her new life is better than the one she would've had with Chuck. And there aren't any hints given that a Chuck/Kelly marriage would've been anything but ideal. So the implication that it was fated, and all for the best, seems to leave as many questions unanswered as it answers. But anyway, it was a very good film, and I really enjoyed the island scenes and found myself yelling out to Chuck not to leave his flashlight on, or set something down, so the tide won't take it away, etc. And like Erin I really would've enjoyed an extra 20 minutes or so near the end, showing his readjustment and people's curiosity about his life.

  2. I have always really liked Cast Away. I like the idea of ending it how they did with him at the crossroads. He can choose to take any road he wants, and whatever he decides to go do, see and be, is all up to him. Contrast that with his struggle to get _anywhere_ while he was stuck on that island, and you realize that he is now ultimately free. Even the fact that Kelly is no longer available for him leads to another level of freedom. Sometimes certain freedoms are chosen and sometimes they are forced upon you. I have always thought, too, that Bettina was instrumental in his surviving all those years, as much as Kelly was. While Kelly is who he was trying to get home to to love, getting home so he could get that package delivered to Bettina was a source of purpose. I also love how you never see her face, and you never know what's in the package. I like the idea that some mysteries in film don't have to have a director's definition to them. They are whatever the viewing public dreams them to be.

  3. Josh, about that package: The director said in an interview at USC (as noted on's trivia page for the movie) that inside the box was a waterproof, solar-powered satellite phone. I thought he may've been kidding on the spur of the moment there, but on the other hand, Chuck did write on the box something like "This saved my life", which could lead Bettina to completely misunderstand its role in his experience! Presumably after they're married they'll find time to at least discuss it a bit and work out that misunderstanding. :)


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