Monday, December 30, 2013

All is Lost Review

My first reaction when I heard of the movie All is Lost was "again?" Another survival movie about a man that is lost at sea? It seems like we just had a movie like this. Oh, yes. We did. It was called Life of Pi and I loved it. Plus Cast Away still exists and now we have a space survival movie in Gravity. Was this movie really necessary? I remained hopeful as I went in, but I was very skeptic and thus I kept these questions at the front of my mind. Did it set itself apart from these other movies? Surprisingly it actually did. It's not necessarily a movie I will remember for a long time, but I left satisfied.

The beauty of All is Lost was the mystery behind it all. In most survival movies, you will get an introduction to the person and their story. You'll know their name; you'll know their background; you'll know how they got themselves into the situation. Stuff like that. With All is Lost, you didn't know any of that. You jump right into the situation. There is this older sailor on a fairly large and sophisticated sailboat. He is in the middle of the ocean all alone, a long ways from land, and his boat has crashed into a crate. We don't why he is there. We don't know exactly what happened. We know nothing about his past. We don't know anything about his family or friends. We don't know what he is doing. We don't even know what his name is. He's just crashed his boat, and now he is trying to fix it and simply survive.

Personally I feel that this a very interesting way to tell a story. Not only is it very creative and bold to tell a story with a beginning, but it also forces the viewers to be creative themselves. As I was watching this movie, I was forced to think of various circumstances to complete the story. Who he was. Why he was there. What was his purpose in all this. I was given part of his story, and now I was forced to paint the rest of it myself, and I found that I enjoyed that. I also appreciated the detail in the part of the story we got. The movie included a lot of little aspects that most movies would jump over. We got shots of him eating, reading, sleeping, shaving, checking random things. Stuff that you would do if you were actually lost at sea, but stuff a movie normal just skips over. Also there was very little dialogue. There was a little bit of narration at the beginning, but that was it. He said a few words here and there, but not much. I also felt that was rather realistic because if you were lost at sea all by yourself, you wouldn't talk out loud that much. It would be all in your head. And once again, the creativity of the viewer is forced to play a big role. You could tell that there was a lot on his mind, and he must've been talking to himself a lot in his head. But you weren't let into his head at all. Instead you just had to creatively imagine what he was thinking or saying to himself.

Our actor, of course, was the great Robert Redford. I was rather impressed by his performance. You may initially think that if you were offered a part in a movie where you didn't have to deal with any other actors or even say very many lines that it would be easy. But then when you think about it, it would probably be rather difficult. Perfectly expressing a lot of different emotions and feelings without saying anything would be hard. Not having the support of any other actors would also be hard. Robert Redford was forced to single-handedly carry the whole movie on his back. Robert Redford nailed the role. He did single-handedly carry the whole movie himself, and he was able to express all those emotions without speaking. I was invested in his character even though I knew nothing about him.

In the end, I walked away from this movie rather impressed. Robert Redford did an excellent job and I hope the performance gets him the Oscar nomination that is being buzzed. The movie may not be the most original idea, but the prospective in which they did the movie was. I'm not sure I was completely satisfied with the ending, but I won't dive into that here. If you've seen the movie yourself, talk to me privately and we'll discuss it. I will award All is Lost an 8 out of 10 and recommend you give it a shot once you have the opportunity.

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