Gina M. Orlando
ENG225: Introduction to Film (GSJ1115D)
Instructor: Sharon Hanscom
April 29, 2011
An Analysis of Cast Away
In the 2000 film, Cast Away starring Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland, as a “FedEx systems engineer whose ruled-by-the-clock existence abruptly ends when a harrowing plane crash leaves him isolated on a remote island” (Washington Post, 2000). Through analysis of this film, we explore how Chucks’ consistent existence in everyday life is dramatically changed as he struggles to survive on this remote island where he discovers his own personal journey has merely and only just begun. By viewing this 32 scene selection films’ technical and literary elements, and in addition to its contents, technique and form, viewers suddenly become aware of an enhanced comprehension of the director’s vision of an unforgettable journey of hope, courage and survival. Story Telling
Since story telling consists of many components in the film making process, it is essential to understand some of the components therein. One major component of story-telling is its narrative structure. This basically is a broad term that covers a wide variety of styles and techniques that are used to tell stories in film. It is more than just merely telling a story. According to our text, Film: From Watching to Seeing, authors Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011) explain this by stating, “Any screenwriter must consider all the material from his or her story (characters, events, settings, etc.) and select the most significant elements” (p. 2.3). With this extra comprehensive definition of narration and by viewing the film Cast Away, the audience’s view of narration consist of all three elements (characters, events, and settings) which all appear to play a major role in the narration structure of this film. For example, the characters Chuck Noland played by Tom Hanks is quite the center of attention, as well as Wilson his created imaginary friend whom is a soccer ball found on the beach’s shore line from the crashed plane Fed Ex debris. In addition to this, there are many and numerous amounts of events that carry on throughout his struggle for survival on the remote island. And lastly, a large portion of the film takes place on this island and this is where the setting takes place. Overall, the audience may indeed agree that it is difficult to say that all these elements may just consist of one being more prominent over the other. Personally, I believe that the characters and events play the most prominent part of the narrative structure of this film, although, it is very difficult not to include the setting (the island), not to be just as a major and outstanding component as well. Additionally, there seems to be some narration that is cut into pieces. Some of those pieces first begin with his consistent nature of a Fed Ex engineer in the United States, then to the Fed Ex plane crash leaving Chuck Noland to a despairing time on the sea, as well as his extensively long struggle and survival time on a remote island, and at last, back home to the USA. Hence, the narration of this film does tell a story. In addition to the element of narration, includes the element of how a plot is designed, either in a chronological order or a non-linear form. As stated just previously, this film occurs to be presented in a chronological order. According to our text, Film: From Watching to Seeing, authors Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011) define chronological order as, “The order in which events would logically occur, from beginning to end” (Ch. 2, Summary and Movie Clips). With this in mind and as a review again this film shows Chuck Noland in the beginning as a Fed Ex engineer in the USA, to a despairing time at sea after the Fed Ex plane crash, to his extensive struggle time on a remote island by himself, and finally his destiny to back home in the USA. Therefore these events occur in a chronological...