Genre: Adventure, Drama
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Paul Sanchez, Lari White, Leonid Citer, David Allen Brooks, Jelena Papovic, Valentina Ananina, Semion Sudarikov, Tom Hanks, Peter von Berg, Dmitri S. Boudrine, François Duhamel, Michael Forest, Viveka Davis, Nick Searcy, Jae Choe, ...
Rating IMDB: 7.6
Chuck Nolan (Tom Hanks) is a systems engineer for Federal Express, and the film begins with him showing their Moscow (Russia) staff how FedEx does business. After returning to Memphis (FedEx home base) and visiting his girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt), he is again called away to Malaysia. He is able to ride in the "jump seats" of a FedEx jumbo jet crossing the Pacific Ocean, and is the only passenger.During a fierce storm, the plane is blown off-course and ultimately crashes into the ocean. Noland, the only crash survivor, washes on to the shore of a small tropical island. Chuck explores the island, and recovers a number of FedEx packages that wash ashore from the jet cash; he also discovers the body of one of the pilots. Chuck gives him a proper burial, and then opens the packages. At night on one of the island's beaches, Chuck sees the lights of a ship. Using a small flashlight he recovered from the body of the pilot, he tries to signal the ship but is unsuccessful. The next morning, he attempts to leave the island in the rubber raft that he inflated as his jet was sinking. Owing to high breakers on the coral reef surrounding the island's lagoon, his raft is washed back on to the reef and get's punctured, leaving him with no means to escape the island and badly injured by the sharp coral. Shortly after his escape effort, he establishes a rudimentary camp and begins to open the FedEx parcels. Several of the items he eventually uses to survive (for example, the sharp end of a pair or ice skates serve as an ax). Another parcel contains a volley ball that eventually becomes his companion (he calls his companion 'Wilson,' he name of the company that manufactured the ball). One of the FedEx parcels is marked on the outside with a pair of wings and for unexplained reasons he leaves this parcel unopened. Ultimately, his three most prized possession, the items that kept him alive in spirit were the volley ball, the box with the wings, and an heirloom watch given to him by his girlfriend (it has her photograph fastened to the inside cover). While trying to make fire from rubbing wood together, Chuck cuts his hand. In a fury, he grabs a volley ball and throws it. His bloody hand leaves an imprint on the ball and from this, he fashions a face naming it 'Wilson;' to mitigate his isolation, this artifact becomes his companion.Shortly thereafter, Chuck learns to make fire, and soon is able to catch crabs, open coconuts,collect drinking water and spear fish. In a small cave, Chuck sets up his new home and learns to become self sufficient. He suffers from a painful toothache because he so disliked dentists that he put off attending to a tender tooth before leaving for Malaysia: Eventually, this tooth becomes so painful that he is compelled to use the sharp end of an ice skate blade to knock it out of his mouth. One evening, he plots out the direction of his jet to try and figure out where the crash occurred. He estimates that if the search and rescue team looked for the downed cargo plane, they'd have to search an area twice the size of Texas...making him doubt that he'll ever be found.Four years pass, and Chuck continues to survive day-to-day. His weight has pared down considerably, and his hair has grown out. One day, he comes across two plastic walls of a broken port-a-potty. Remembering the wings on the FedEx parcel, Chuck develops a plan for a raft with the port-a-potty's walls acting as a makeshift sail. He chops down trees, ties them together rope made from tree bark and augmented with video tape he found in one of the FedEx parcels. Chuck plans his escape when the prevailing winds change from southwest to northeast. While biding his time for the proper weather, Chuck begins to prepare food, water, and other necessities for his escape. He brings his 'companion' Wilson aboard along with the FedEx parcel with the wings. Owing to the direction of the winds,with the aid of his sail and a pair of makeshift oars, he affects his escape over the coral reef. Chuck has no real idea of where he is headed but figures that he would rather die at sea that spend the rest of his life alone on that island. In a storm, his pal Wilson is knocked off the raft and floats away while Chuck is asleep. Chuck is awakened by the splashing of a whale and finds Wilson gone but faced with the prospect of losing Wilson or losing the raft, he lets Wilson go but is pained by his decision. The storm all but wrecks Chucks raft and it slowly begins to come apart and sick into the sea. Finally, when he has just about given up all hope of rescue, Chuck is nearly run down by a large ship that ultimately rescues him.On returning to Memphis, Chuck is guest of honour at a large company-organised welcome reception. He has been told that Kelly is now married (with children). Kelly intended to meet Chuck at the celebration but she doesn't feel up to it and her new husband comes to apologize for her absence. Kelly's new husband was one of Chuck's dentists before he was lost at sea. Kelly's husband meets with Chuck in private to tell him that Kelly is rather in a state of shock and is having a difficult time coping with the reality of his rescue. He tells Chuck that she needs more time to regain control of her emotions. Looking out of the window he sees Kelly in tears being comforted and led away in the car park.Later that evening, Chuck takes a taxi to Kelly's home. She was expecting him to come and she invites him in for coffee. They talk for some time about trivia and he discovers how much her life and ambitions have changed and how she coped with his presumed death. Chuck gives Kelly back the watch she had given him telling her that it is a family heirloom and should remain in her family. He elects to keep her picture. She gives him the keys to his car that she has kept in good condition all those years. They apologise to each other for all that has happened and he drives off slowly in the pouring rain.Kelly runs after him shouting his name and they meet at the end of the drive as Chuck reverses back to see Kelly once more. They declare their undying love for each other but, sitting talking in the car, Chuck realises that Kelly must continue her new life.Chuck later describes the meeting with Kelly to a colleague and friend, and how he understands and accept that while they will always love each other, their lives have gone in different directions and they cannot be together. He confesses to the utter despair and helplessness he felt on the island, his failed attempt at suicide, and how that watch and Kelly's picture helped keep him alive and that while he has just experienced the loss of the person he loves again (he went though a feeling of loss while on the island), he learned to take one day at a time. Today he is faced with the prospect of finding a new life.Taking the FedEx package with the wings, the parcel he never opened, he travels west to Texas to return it to its owner. Finding no one at the farm from where it was picked up, he leaves it at the door along with a note telling the owner that the parcel saved his life. Driving south to the main highway, he comes to a 4-way junction and gets out of the car to look at his map. A pretty woman in an old pick-up truck stops and asks him if he is lost. He confesses he hasn't made up his mind where he was going. She tells him where the four roads lead, She then takes her leave and drives north. As she pulls away, Chuck sees a pair of wing painted on the tail gate of her truck. After staring for a few seconds in each direction, Chuck turns and faces back north in the direction the woman drove. In his eyes you can see he understand his path is north, to follow the wings. Chuck continues to stare in the direction the woman drove and the scene fades to black.