Last Watch Date - May 14, 2023
Total Times Watched - Four, maybe more
Something about islands really gets me. I wonder if people who grow up in the tropics / islands have silly fantasies about moving to the freezing mountains. Or even a temperate area with four seasons. Maybe they watch movies like The Revenant or 127 Hours and think "wow that looks so cool!"
It sounds really idiotic to romanticize tropical islands in that way, but here we are. What you WON'T find me doing is romanticizing Memphis, Tennessee. The movie runs around 2:20 and just under half of that is NOT on an island. For as famous as this movie is for having a volleyball as one of the main stars, it's not actually IN the movie all that long.
So uh yeah, let's go to the cast of this bad boy because you've mostly got Tom Hanks and a volleyball. There isn't a ton of dialogue in those parts, though he does talk to the ball as if it's talking back to him after a bit. The other major actor in this is Helen Hunt who really knows how to play that confused lover. I always liked her, so maybe I'm biased.
The pacing is pretty good in this movie. It's three very distinct acts with their own pacing. We start out as a fast-paced FedEx commercial, then have an island adventure, followed by a slow climax. It works, though. I'm sure folks could get tired of the island adventure. That happens to be my favorite part, although I really prefer the early island discoveries and struggles. I kind of wish it lasted longer on that part. I could really do a whole movie of only that.
Ultimately this is a movie about romance, love lost, longing, and survival. There's a good balance between realism and fantasy, both in the island parts and the regular life parts. You can see the desperation, the joy, the hope, and the sadness as they unfurl. I'm not sure what could be changed in this movie to make it better. With that said, it's not a perfect movie by any means. Sounds kind of stupid, BUT THAT'S HOW IT IS.
Yeah, watch it! It's got something for everyone and it's a classic.