While watching the movie "Cast Away," did you want to jump through the screen...

Discussion in 'Other Not Listed Situations' started by Homanda Range, May 19, 2016.

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  1. Homanda Range

    Homanda Range New Member

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    ...and shake some sense into Tom Hanks?

    Granted, most folks don't dwell on the possibility of ever being stranded on an uncharted island (and those who do are probably wondering about no more than how the Professor was able to make a radio out of a coconut, especially with Gilligan getting in the way).

    And so, no one could ever rightly expect Tom Hanks's character, Chuck Noland -- an outwardly puffy, pampered suburbanite who spent nearly all his waking thoughts on the quickest way to get a FedEx package to Moscow -- to possess any serious survival skills, other than those he may or may not have learned in the Scouts.

    It should be noted that Chuck is a brilliant math whiz -- at least, compared to most people -- but the only way in which all his fancy "book-larnin'" helps is when it comes to figuring out ocean currents, and in calculating the nearly immeasurable radius a search team would have to cover in order to find him. Otherwise, his academic knowledge doesn't do a bit of good when it comes to filling his most basic, immediate needs: water, food, and shelter.

    Assuming you've seen Cast Away, what do you think Chuck did right -- and where did he go wrong from the outset?

    Obviously, the guy had to learn, through trial and error, the best way to start a fire with the tools he had available -- and learn how not to open a coconut. At the risk of spoiling the movie for those who haven't seen it, it is, ultimately, a miracle he survives at all -- and yet, by the end of four years, he is an accomplished fisherman with a solid roof over his head, who is quite bored by the daily drudgery of lighting a fire and finding food and water.

    Knowing what you know about basic survival -- and knowing that most people are like Chuck (that is, clueless) -- are there any things Chuck did in the movie you found yourself applauding?

    And when did you find yourself wanting to jump through the screen, push Chuck out of the way, and show him what he was doing wrong?
  2. evergreen

    evergreen Member

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    My dad was military and when he was home he would teach me basic skills. (Like bow shooting in the spare room with cardboard boxes piled together for the arrow as an example). He always taught me that man is a social creature, and that in isolation tests the military used, that men would do things like hum to themselves when stressed, or talk to themselves when lonely. I kept that in mind while watching Tom Hank's and Wilson. I cannot deny that I may elect to keep myself happy with a soccer ball if that's all I had to talk to.

    I liked how he made sure that Hanks explored every item he could get off the plane. This is important (and also done on the series Lost). I get the ideal of privacy, but when you are in survival mode, you use what you can.

    Lastly, hope... with the FedEx package with the wings. You have to have something to wake up to, and keep living for.
    Homanda Range likes this.
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

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    I watched this movie a long time ago Homanda, & I really can't remember much about it except that I quite enjoyed it. I am a stickler for authenticity in period movies though, & I am a primitive skills instructor (Retired) so no doubt I would have been making comments at the time :)
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  4. hippyzomby

    hippyzomby New Member

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    I would rather be stranded on a island than in the woods.
    I am probably dumb for that but I watched the forest and I would not want to go through that. Island much more appealing than forest.
    He had a nice cave, crab to eat water to drink it was nice well my point of view nice. Its sad though because when he gets home everyone brings him seafood.
    I would have been mad like bring me a whopper or big mac.
  5. Homanda Range

    Homanda Range New Member

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    Your dad sounds like a very wise man.

    Man is a social creature, indeed. I am reminded of the very first episode of "The Twilight Zone" ("Where Is Everybody?") in which Earl Holliman, who can't remember so much as his own name, finds himself in a completely deserted town. To watch his mental degradation is heartbreaking -- and is a good reminder (especially to hard-heads like me) that "no man is an island" (pun very much intended).

    By the way, I wish I had learned bow-shooting. My dad taught me everything he knew about firearms -- an irreplaceable skill, to be sure, but with two main drawbacks: 1) they're loud, and 2) one cannot exactly retrieve a spent slug and use it again. (I have been meaning to take my state's crossbow-hunting course, so that I can legally buy a crossbow.)

    I agree with you completely. I think that's the first moment when I wanted to jump through the screen and talk some sense into Chuck -- after he hesitated far too long before opening the FedEx packages.

    And that, right there, is the entire reason we prepare, isn't it?
  6. Homanda Range

    Homanda Range New Member

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    This might be of interest to you, Keith: I have been to Australia a number of times, and on every seemingly endless flight, Cast Away was always on my mind. I figured, if I survived a plane crash, and was lucky enough to wash up on an island, I would be Chuck Noland -- sans the beard, of course. :)

    (I will have to look up more of your posts; I would be most interested in hearing some stories about your experiences as a primitive-skills instructor -- and what led you to it.)
  7. Homanda Range

    Homanda Range New Member

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    Oh, I don't think you're dumb at all! I would choose an island over a forest any day, for all the reasons you mention, as well as the fact that there are far fewer creatures that could kill you on an island than in a forest. I would opt for judicious avoidance of the occasional shark or jellyfish over trying to avoid bear, snakes, or even hungry (if skittish) mountain cats.

    Plus, if we're talking about the tropics, the temperature would be fairly steady. I could envision dying of frostbite faster than sunburn. (After all, even skin cancer would take a while.)

    You made me laugh there! The scene with the seafood seems almost cruel (much as his friends are simply unthinking, and their goof not deliberate). I would have been craving the biggest, rarest steak in the world, a full bottle of A-1 Sauce, and an ice-cold six-pack of beer. And then we could talk about dessert!
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member

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    I would rather be stranded on my own than with other people, its other people that are the problem for me not being alone.
    the trouble is that the majority of the population are always surrounded by other people so if the time ever came when they were left alone they would go mental.
    I have spent most of my life alone and for me it is normal .
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