No. 9: Cast Away
Given its deficit of dialogue and, like, characters, it’s amazing that this 2000 millennial flick did more than $230 million in U.S. domestic box office. Cast Away translates that famous critique of philosopher Blaise Pascal’s into a modern scenario: the misery sewn by western man derives from his inability to sit quietly in an empty room alone.
In Act I of Cast Away, Tom Hanks is that man. A Fedex supply-chain guru, Hanks lives his life in hyper-drive — and drives the lives of others — with a merciless digital stopwatch. Suddenly marooned on a deserted tropical island, his only company is the most terrifying kind: his own thoughts. Hanks faces down a cacophony of past events, people, paragraphs, fantasies, fears and phantasmagoria that bubble up from the depths of his psyche.
First swept away by the sea, and then back to civilization by it, Hanks ends Act III standing in the middle of a cross formed by two rural roads in one of the plains-states. Transformed — indeed, resurrected — he takes in his lack of identity and place with a deep-seated peace, and gives himself up to going with the flow. Natch’, going-with-the-flow is made super easy in the Hollywood version because a red-headed beauty played by Lari White sits at the end of the road to which all signs point.
Karma points: The angel-wings icon that accompanies Hanks from beginning to end. At Soul’s Code, we’re suckers for angels
Check it out yourself: Cast Away