Imagine if fate takes an irrational twist on your life and whisks you away from civilization to a barren desolate island, where you live in constant fear of death and your loved ones consider you forever gone. ‘Cast Away’ brings to screen the horrible clutches of abandonment that a busy everyday man, who has no time for his loved ones and lives on strict routines, finds himself in. He crash lands on an island where he realizes the lines between life and death is blurring as moments pass by. ”Cast Away stars Tom Hanks, the ever-likeable golden boy of Hollywood, as he takes us on a journey that is partly spiritual and partly a survival narrative where a man gets engulfed into his elemental habitat – bare rugged nature. [In case you were wondering if Cast Away is based on a true story, the answer is No.]
Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a routine centric, seasoned professional who works with FedEx parcel services. He travels around the world solving problems mostly related to delay in shipments and inadequacy in meeting timelines. His longtime girlfriend, Kelly Frears played by Helen Hunt finds it hard to anchor their relationship as Chuck’s dedicated professional life keeps him away from her most of the time.
Chuck, while having Christmas dinner with his relatives, is interrupted by an urgent problem that needs his attendance in Malaysia. He is dropped at the airport by Kelly who gifts him her grand dad’s compass with a photograph of her on the opening flap. Chuck, in return, also gives her a small gift which he asks her to open on New Year’s eve. The flight meets with heavy turbulence and crashes into the sea. Chuck manages to get himself on a raft but soon loses consciousness. He floats through the sea the whole night before getting washed up on to a barren island. As he wakes he walks around the island and realizes that there is no one but him living there.
Chuck starts hunting for food. Using anything sharp or strong like a tool, he tries splitting coconuts, spearing fish and finding means to sustain life within. A few FedEx packets get washed up ashore from the crash, and Chuck tries opening each. He finds a few useful items including an ice skating blade set. Desperate to find a way out, Chuck attempts to surpass the heaving waves on what remains of the life raft. However, his attempt fails, and he returns to the shore with more disappointment hanging in the air. Realizing that the only way to make any kind of food edible is to cook it with fire Chuck sets out to find means for it. Determined to make fire, Chuck rubs woods for hours and severely wounds his hand. He screams and moves around the island as his hands drip with blood.
In his frustration, he throws the contents of the FedEx packets including a Wilson volleyball. In a quick act caused by a sudden thought, he places his bloody palm on the volleyball and draws a face on it. Chuck then continues rubbing wood for a fire and occasionally glances at Wilson the volleyball. He makes fire and celebrates it by dancing around it. At night Chuck calculates his probability for survival and understands the grave truth that it may never happen.