If you were brought by the waters to an uninhabited island after a plane crash, what would you do? This is the case of Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks), a systems engineer in FedEx. One Christmas, he has to fly to Malaysia to resolve a problem there. While on flight, there is a violent storm and his plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean. He has gone unconscious and when he wakes up, he realizes that he is all by himself on an island. He is without any gadgets for communication. While waiting for the rescue to come, he has managed to adapt to his new environment to survive. He has waited for four years, not giving up on the thought that he will see his girlfriend again and marry her. Will that thought become a reality?
This movie shows mostly Chuck’s survival instincts. Most of the scenes revolve around his attempts to solve the different problems that stare him in the face every day. It also reveals how he can be so angry at practically everything around him. On the lighter side, the movie shows the many interesting ways of using things, which he has gotten from the FedEx boxes that have been part of the cargoes on the plane. Most of them are sent as Christmas gifts. There are scenes that can make one smile with the thought like, “Oh, yeah! I can use it for that!” or “Why did I not think of using it for that before?” A volleyball, for example, has become Chuck’s important companion on the island.
It makes one wonder if it is really possible for a human being from a civilized society to survive in a totally different environment for that long period of time. The film, however, has tried to rationalize its possibility by focusing on Chuck’s motivation to live and his innovative ways to keep himself alive and sane. Although the theme of the movie is a serious one, a number of scenes are funny. Chuck has monologues that start as serious, then as he continues to talk, it becomes funny because of his anger and/or frustration. Come to think of it. They may be funny for the viewers, but they are actually serious for Chuck. It is like when I scare people. It may be funny for me, but it is actually really scary for them. I should not be scaring people too much!