I dismissed Cast Away when it first came out. I don’t remember all the reasons why, but I do remember wondering how it could be interesting, I’ve see it done before in Shipwrecked, and similar themes in things like Treasure Island. I was wrong though, there is much more to this movie than island survival. I urge others who have felt the same way to give it a look and find what you can of yourself in it… maybe you won’t see it, but this film has come to mean so very much too me. I see myself in many parts of Chuck Noland, now more than ever, and as such I am trying to adopt his motto in the film. Here it is… slightly paraphrased for my own usage:
“I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope, and all my logic said that I would never see her again. So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. I’m so sad to say I don’t have her, yet I’m so grateful that she was with me… And now I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”
It is so simply stated, such a difficult thing. I am telling myself I know what to do… I gotta live, I gotta keep breathing, I gotta keep going. No matter how much I tell myself there is no way out, and I don’t know where to go from here, tomorrow is going to happen, whether I am ready or not. And just as Chuck when he made his way home, no matter who is around him, or what comfort is provided, I will feel alienated, I will feel alone, I will feel lost, and I will not know how to proceed… but I just have to… I hope I can find a way to do that, though hope may be gone, I cling to it, and the chance that with that new day, with that next tide, I will find what was lost, or simply what I need to keep on going…
The movie is a statement on relationships, and how we function in the world. It’s also a statement on what it means to be alone, and what it means to hope. The movie is so monumentally depressing and uplifting at the same time. Give it a first look, or if you didn’t like it give a second go, you may just find more than the story on the surface. I know I did.