CastawayTom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland in this realistic drama about a unique journey through life and the hardships he encounters as the stranded survivor of an unfortunate accident.  Chuck’s fast paced lifestyle as an expert Fed Ex manager gives director Robert Zemeckis, who also directed Hanks in Forrest Gump, a forum for some creative camerawork with extraordinary settings and backgrounds including Russia.  Helen Hunt demonstrates her formidable acting skills only in a few key parts of the film as Kelly Frears, Chuck‘s love interest.

Hanks reaches an interactive peak with the audience when his dialogue is minimal as he endures the mental and physical challenges in his environment.  The scene that introduces Chuck’s dramatic physical change on the island is a little cheesy, but the following scenes involving this new phase in Chuck life convey power emotions.

Filmmakers make the same emotional point of Chuck’s romantic feelings towards Kelly not once, not twice, but three times after experience in his second life phase on the island.  The look on Chuck’s face in an interior airport scene should tell you enough, but filmmakers insist on adding a sweet, but unnecessary scene during one of Chuck’s restless nights and again when he discusses his life status with his friend Stan, played by Nick Searcy who appeared in From the Earth to the Moon, a HBO miniseries produced by Hanks.

Writer William Broyles Jr. (Apollo 13, TV’s China Beach), easily conveys how Chuck experiences the same basic emotions as a human in both of his environments.  The essential human emotions and the basic needs Chuck experienced on the island would’ve made a wide social angle where he would teach himself and the world to appreciate what they have more and not be so materialistic.  But Chuck has too much to deal with in his personal life to have the strength to teach others the lessons he learns.

This highly recommended two-hour and twenty-three minute film gives Tom Hanks’ enormous popularity gives him the opportunity to take a risk in film that most other actors can’t.   Some people may crave more details and closure, but if you concentrate the human elements in the plot, the details don’t really matter and you see how the plot prompts the audience to choose their own path in life. A risky tour-de-force only Tom Hanks could achieve.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

This entry was posted in 2000s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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