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Cast Away

Starring: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Genre: Drama
Year: 2000
Rating: 4 / 5

Reviewed by Guest Scribe Jules

Warning to the reader - I was perhaps the only person in America that did not like Forrest Gump. Plus, I went to the theater to see Cast Away with a healthy dose of skepticism about what appeared to be an attempt by Tom Hanks to be the little known 17th Survivor. I would have liked to see him ally with Rudy and perhaps beat Richard (although I wouldd venture to guess he would not have been desperate for the cash), but this is no cheesy game show. Hanks turns in a top-notch performance as a man marooned on a deserted island who must learn to survive by his wits alone. The caliber of his acting is so strong that we forget that there is a camera in his face and probably a crew of 500 behind it.

The first ten minutes of the movie are a glossy FedEx commercial, but the plot gets interesting soon enough. As Chuck Noland (Hanks) a high-powered, time-obsessed FedEx troubleshooter waves goodbye to his girlfriend (Helen Hunt), telling her, "I'll be right back," everyone in the theater knows that will be impossible. Shortly thereafter, Noland is struggling to stand on a secluded beach, simply lucky to be alive. In the process of staying alive, Noland learns a patience and self-control most of us can only dream of, since he no longer has the luxury of being driven by the clock. The transformation he undergoes allows him to better handle the emotional turmoil he faces when, against all odds, he returns to civilization. The bottom line is Hanks' performance is a stunner, the visual effects are overwhelming, and the story has meaning. Zemeckis and writer Williams Broyles, Jr. deserve credit for avoiding the predictability and thin plot lines normally displayed by filmed entertainment about people stranded on islands.

It may sound like a cliché, but I left the theater with an appreciation for life as we know it, as well as the importance of human companionship. I pray that I will never have to befriend a volleyball.


Tom Hanks..........Chuck Noland
Helen Hunt..........Kelly Frears
Chris Noth..........Jerry Lovett
Nick Searcy..........Stan

Certification: Rated PG-13.
Running Time: 143 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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