While watching Robert Redford’s semi-silent film “All is Lost,” I had several conflicting feelings about it. Here are my thoughts about the movie.
The story starts out showing a man below deck on a sailboat sleeping, while drifting somewhere in the Sumatra Sea. We are never told who this man is, or why he is sailing by himself in the ocean. Suddenly something smashes through the hull of the boat, water starts pouring in, and the radio transmitter is immediately disabled. When the man goes above deck he finds that a drifting container that apparently has tennis shoes in it has clipped his ship leaving a gaping hole. At this point we receive the only dialogue of the movie. He describes his predicament and apologizes. Who is he apologizing to? Family, friends, associates; we really don’t know.
The rest of the movie is spent in survival mode. The “Castaway” character tries to repair the hole in the hull, enable the transmitter, and navigate the ship, but when none of this works he begins to resign to the fact that he must use the lifeboat. He collects some supplies, such as canned goods, a jug of water, and a handheld sextant that he hopes will help him navigate. The man waves bye-bye as he releases the rope connecting the lifeboat and the ship, and a sense of despair consumes.
As the lifeboat drifts in what apparently is a shipping lane, it encounters several storms where the rubber life vessel is tossed around cork in a tub. To make matters worse, his water becomes contaminated when the lid opens up. The despair becomes worse.
All seems lost, but wait; a container ship is spotted coming directly at him (perhaps it is Captain Phillips). He shoots several flares that he has brought with him, but they are unnoticed. Another container ship approaches, flares are shot, and no one responds. The despair is greatest. Is it time to throw in the rope?
Redford does a great job portraying a man; I should say an old man, trying to survive. My only qualm with the movie is that we get the idea and the movie seems slow at times. I thought that some narration of the events may have helped develop the movie and not bore the viewer so much. With that said the movie it is fine piece of acting and will probably be nominated for some 2014 Academy Awards. Thumbs up. Run time 100 mins.
My Rating: 3 of 5 Damn Containers