For last week’s edition of Movie Man Dan, I blogged about “Forrest Gump,” an Academy Award winning film starring Tom Hanks. This week, I am continuing with another Tom Hanks film but this time, the movie is not as funny or lighthearted.
I saw something on the internet which really caught my attention and actually made me laugh out loud. On Facebook, it was several pictures of Tom Hanks from different movies he has starred in throughout his career. There was a picture from “Apollo 13,” “Captain Phillips,” “Cast Away,” and his newest film about the plane which crashed in the Hudson River, “Sully.” Under all of the pictures, the caption simply stated, “Note to self, do not travel with Tom Hanks.” This caption could not be any more accurate because in all of those movies I mentioned above, Tom Hanks finds himself in major life-threatening problems, whether he is traveling via space craft, boat, or plane.
With this idea in mind, it leads me to my selection for this weekends blog, the 2000 Academy Award winning film, “Cast Away.”
Starring one of the most talented actors of all time, Tom Hanks, “Cast Away,” begins as Chuck Noland, Hanks’ character, is an associate with the globally well-known company FedEx. He lives a successful and enjoyable life, as he has a consistent solid income and is married to the love of his life, Kelly (Helen Hunt). As part of his job, he must travel, with several packages that are also getting delivered, across the world. Noland has done this many times throughout his career so the idea of this was nothing new. However, this time around, things went horribly wrong.
While traveling by plane at night, the members on board experienced a major storm. Suddenly, the plane faces major turbulence and experience major technical difficulties, causing it to emergency crash into the open ocean. This scene is the first dramatic scene of the movie, and I could not even imagine being in this position, stranded at sea, at night time, all alone after your plane goes down.
Soon after the plane goes down, Noland makes his way to an emergency raft, deploys it, and lays on it for protection. He later falls asleep that evening and when he awakens, he is washed up on a deserted island. The other members on board also wash up to shore, but unfortunately, they happen to be dead. Finally, the last things that wash up on shore are several FedEx packages holding several random objects that Noland is forced to use to survive.
This movie is like no other, and for those of you that enjoy dramatic, thought provoking movies, this is the one for you. I am forcing you to watch this movie, as I am telling no more about what happens. However, like every week, I will share the evident themes I noticed in this week’s film.
One of the biggest things we as an audience can pick up on during his stay on this island is how we take everyday goods and utilities for granted. Noland has no electricity, plumbing, appliances, or even available water, and lacking these things is a true test for his survival. I sometimes can barely go an hours span without my phone, let alone the following aspects. Most importantly though, Hanks in this movie simply shows the power of the individual. There are several times where Noland’s situation goes from bad to worse, and it almost drives him to the point of quitting. However, he proves that the mind can make or break someone, and without a little persistence, determination, and guts, any single one of us can live a life full of missed opportunities.