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Cast Away (2000)

Let us never allow ourselves the sin of losing track of time

Directed by:

Robert Zemeckis

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 143 minutes

UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

What a DVD gives you is the freedom to skip back and forward through a movie, watch the whole thing repeatedly, or even listen to some choice insights from the director over the top of what’s already going on. These aren’t features that will always be guaranteed to enhance a movie – but, in the case of ‘Cast Away’, they definitely do.

It’s one of those films that always seems to have something new to offer upon each viewing. For a feature with only one character to involve yourself with for over 2/3 of its running time, there’s a helluva lot going on here. In years to come, this movie, much like its star, may well be looked back upon with even greater fondness than it was first received.

Tom Hanks delivers the performance of a lifetime as Chuck Noland, the punctuality-obsessed FedEx man forced to fend for himself on a remote island for four years when his plane crashes into the Pacific. His only supplies are the contents of the packages washed up with the wreckage, his only friend an inanimate volleyball named Wilson, and his only jumper a God-awful piece of knitwear of the type your Granny hands out at Christmas.

Hanks, despite his major Hollywood status, has always had a knack for playing the everyman, and you’ll feel his every emotion as he struggles to survive his enforced exile from civilisation. Much of the scenery is rugged and impenetrable rather than conventionally beautiful – Hanks may be playing a modern day Robinson Crusoe, but this is no tropical paradise.

It's Got: A home dentistry scene to rival anything in ‘Marathon Man’.

It Needs: To be watched more than once – there’s quite possibly too much to be absorbed here in just one viewing.

DVD Extras A fascinating audio commentary from Robert Zemeckis and crew, ‘Making of’ featurette, Tom Hanks interview, 2 documentary programmes, On Location, focus on technical effects, storyboard-to-film comparison, conceptual artwork and trailers. Listen out along the way for Zemeckis’ hilarious response to what might be in Chuck’s remaining unopened FedEx package. DVD Extras Rating: 9/10

Alternatives:

Papillon, Six Days Seven Nights

Summary

A lengthy but engrossing film experience. Just try to make sure you don’t watch it too soon before flying.

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