Cast Away

The thing about the movie Cast Away...the poignant thing about it is: you know, from the very first moment that Tom Hanks is going to survive the plane crash and live on the island for what seems like an eternity and survive and go home.
You know this in the first seconds of the movie and everything that occurs in the first 25 minutes just pulls at your heart. His indifference, his lovely but flawed relationship with Helen Hunt, his obsession with timeliness. You can't even watch the movie without noticing that he is paunchy and knowing that he won't be for long. And even if you've never experienced loss (and how could you not?) you begin, in those first moments he's on the doomed plane, to fret and worry.
Then something on the plane explodes and all hell breaks loose. The crew brings Tom his oxygen - he crawls to grab the pocket watch Helen has just given him, the shit hits the fan and we sit through every second of the plane crashing.
It is spectacular. That he survives is amazing. That he has clung to the life raft is even more astounding. He bobs to the surface of the ocean, the engines are whining, there is fire on the water and he is safe. But only for a second as one of the plane engines explodes and he is thrown into the sea again. We know he survives but are gripped with fear as he crawls back into the raft in an awful storm.
It's a fairy tale, of course. But I forget that every time I see it.
It's a parable, a moral, but I fall for it time and time again.
34 minutes into it I am ready to cry. I suspend disbelief long enough to accept that he has survived a catastrophic plane crash and is washed ashore on a deserted beach.
This happens to me with movies. I can watch them over and over again and still be amazed.
36 minutes in he is cast away.
He goes through his pockets and checks his beeper first and his pocket watch second.
My heart breaks because I know what is ahead of him.

Fortunately, for my emotional state, I am watching Cast Away on television and there are commercials to break the tension.

Comments

You know, on Friday I was thinking how I'd really like to watch Cast Away again.

True story.
That ending is a killer.
I find it so hard to watch anything like this because I find the tension palpable. It can be difficult for me to suspend reality. It drives me insane, but it cannot be stopped.

Your description really lists the reasons why...
Anonymous said…
I adore that film. Everything about it.

oddly, I saw it in the theater, then aw it n cable like a year later, and I remembered the ending having an additional scene. Clearly I imagined the ending I wanted and so vividly that it became real.

just sensational.

b
The Coffee Lady said…
oh god. When the ball bobs away forever.
Anonymous said…
Exact same thing when you watch The Titanic. No surprise, you know how it ends, the ship is going down but you still go through all the emotions whether you've seen it once or a million. I love your blog!

Marsha from Massachusetts (1st time poster)
Poppy Buxom said…
Never seen the movie, but it's exactly the kind I'd get from Netflix because the intensity is just too much, so I downsize it. And put it on pause to go to the bathroom or to make popcorn.

Stupid intense movie! That will show it.
cary perk said…
It must be Castaway Week.

I just watched it on Saturday night. That first 36 minutes is killer.

I love the part where she chases his car in the rain and they have that really good kiss!

Great movie!
SoFla Cat said…
It's one of my all time favorite movies! I've always wanted to write something about it, and here you did express it so well.

The coffee lady mentioned one of the best scenes....
"Wilson! Wilson!"

And the kiss in the rain scene that cary perk mentioned. Oh how that scene made me cry, more like SOB!
barbra said…
I have only watched Cast Away once. I haven't watched it again, because I can't bear the thought of going through all that time on the island with him again. I am a wimp that way.
Anonymous said…
Thank you. I'll think of this particular movie (I had forgotten on purpose) in the next couple of weeks.
Paola
Jen said…
Cast Away appears somewhere in my long internal list of Hours Of My Life I Want Back. :0
MsCellania said…
I will only see it once.
My sister and her husband are Fed Ex pilots.
I don't think I could get beyond 33 minutes.
Amy A. said…
Funny. I have been thinking about watching this movie for awhile now, but just can't bring myself to do it.
For all those reasons it is a fabulous movie. And it holds a modern-day movie record for having one of the longest stretches of scenes of no sound. Cool, eh?
ssheers said…
I love how at the end, after he's been rescued, somebody hands him a lighter or matches, he looks at it, and we all remember the amount of trouble he went through to light a fire when he was on the island.
alice c said…
I like to multi task by watching films like this with my husband. I fall asleep and he tells me what happens at the end.
Eleanor said…
Ah, yes, this post is reminiscent of my friend Dominic's feelings for "Shawshank Redemption".

Now that really takes me back to my early blogging days.
I watched Shawshank Redemption again the other day! Brilliant! A movie BB is avoiding with a level of dedication I find inspiring.
jenny said…
I've only seen Cast Away once but it's the one Tom Hanks movie I can think of that I really liked.

I've never seen Shawshank Redemption either...are we missing something?
laura said…
I get sucked into cast away every single time it's on.
Duyvken said…
I never could get into this movie because I think I'm allergic to Tom Hanks. Are there any actors you find it difficult to watch? Tom Cruise, Renee Zellwegger and Angelian Jolie also irritate me. I am too young to be this crotchety!!
Miz S said…
Josh gets all hot under the collar when he sees that movie. He keeps yelling suggestions and criticizing Tom Hanks for not COLLECTING WOOD and FINDING A SOURCE OF WATER and PROTECTING HIMSELF FROM THE SUN.

Josh says he would be a much better castaway than Tom Hanks.
Anonymous said…
Clearly a movie that people (and an actor) that people either love or hate. The crashing scene is so frighteningly realistic, it's astonishing. At least, it seems realistic. Thank god I don't know. Quick, I need some wood! Knock on wood!

jbhat
Anonymous said…
I meant a movie and an actor above, please pardon the error.

jbhat
Maggie May said…
i love this movie.
Krispy said…
watching Into The Wild is a similar experience, except one watches with hope that the ending will be different, you spend the entire movie convincing yourself that it just has to end differently, but you know he dies all along.

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