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Tom Hanks is usually a name synonymous with a certain hit movie, whether this is his name making the film or his good judgement is a debatable matter.
Nevertheless Cast Away, his latest offering is a bizarre film in many respects. Focusing almost entirely on Chuck Nolan a busy, powerful man within the international postal service Fed-Ex. Ruled by the clock Chuck is a demanding man and even has to schedule his girlfriend into his life at Christmas.
No sooner has Chuck opened his gifts than he has to leave for a business flight, this flight lands unexpectedly in the Pacific Ocean leaving Chuck as the only survivor on a tiny island. With the clock and creature comforts left far behind Chuck now must adapt, quickly or risk losing everything.
The film begins quite slowly, but in a standard fashion right up until the plane crash, which acts as a fulcrum for the whole film. Hanks rapidly turns into a Robinson Crusoe on the island with long hair, beard and loin-cloth. A definite change takes place with no dialogue on the island and the thespian skills of hanks are tested thoroughly, as he must deliver Chuck's emotions with his body alone. Hanks does this admirably coaxing the audience to laugh, cry and defy circumstance with him.
The direction of the film is by the acclaimed Robert Zemeckis who is not afraid to explore human emotion and subtle issues of the mind. Having done so in a number of other movies, here he goes very deeply into the psyche of a human and how one would change with no company, time or large amount of hope.
The story can prompt the thoughtful viewer to contemplate how much we take for granted and how powerful the human spirit can be. A complex film that will suit a contemplative viewer.
Rating   .

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