Director: Robert Zemeckis
Genres: Drama, Adventure
Cast: Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt
Box Office: $233,630,478 (USA)
Trivia: Actual lines of dialogue were written for Wilson the Volleyball, to help Hanks have a more natural interaction with the inanimate object.
Chuck Noland: I couldn’t even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over nothing.
[Chuck talks to Wilson, the volleyball]
Chuck Noland: Hey, you want to hear something funny? My dentist’s name is James Spalding.
Kelly Frears: I always knew you were alive, I knew it. Everybody said that I had to let you go. I love you. You’re the love of my life.
Chuck Noland: I love you too, Kelly. More than you’ll ever know.
Chuck Noland: We live and we die by time. And we must not commit the sin of losing our track on time.
First off let me say that the plane crash sequence is an intense and visually stunning scene. It is suspenseful and frighteningly real. Needless to say, this is one film you’ll never see on plane ride. The ocean shots are beautiful and Ken Ralston’s visual effects are beautiful and hauntingly realistic. Since half the movie is Hanks alone on the island, Hanks carries the movie. It is his great performance that makes the character of Chuck Nolan and the situation he is in work. This film took great risks by focusing on one man in one setting but the film ultimately succeeds. One great thing about focusing solely on Hank’s character is that we see him change and his character is fully developed and fleshed out.
The tale of survival is excellent, although there are long episodes of almost nothing going on, which is exactly what would happen if one was stranded on a wild island. The hardships that Hanks has to go through are painful and grim, but through Wilson he keeps hope that he will finally return home where he belongs – with his fiance. This dream keeps him alive even in his lowest points, but when he finally loses Wilson in an attempt to return home, he feels guilty, as if he has betrayed “him”, as he gives up hope because of the crime he has committed.
The film’s silence says more than anything else. But of course, like all great movies, the film has an even deeper meaning about letting go. And all of this goes back to Hanks’ brilliant portrayal. Hanks is one of the wealthiest actors in Hollywood and he deserves every penny. From Philadelphia to Apollo 13, he has the ability to bring believability and respect to all the characters he plays. It is a truly captivating performance and will certainly go down as one of his best performances of all time.