All is Lost
starring Robert Redford
written and directed by J.C. Chandor
I thought this was an interesting film. Robert Redford is the sole actor in this tale of a man sailing alone in a yacht in the Indian Ocean. Maybe he is doing a solo circumnavigation of the globe, who knows? His yacht is damaged by some ocean flotsam and later destroyed in a storm. He has to abandon ship and take shelter in a durable inflatable life raft. He slowly drifts north with the ocean current and using a sextant he plots his course on a sea map north into to shipping lanes approaching Madagascar. Two large freighters pass directly by him without noticing his small yellow craft in the huge expanse of open water. He has better luck - his last real chance to be rescued - with the third large ship. The ship sails right on by. Redford uses his last flare, then resorts to setting a signal fire. But the fire goes out of control and destroys his life boat. Knowing that all is now lost he accepts his fate and throws himself overboard to drown. But while sinking into the abyss he notices the burning wreckage of his life boat being approached by a rescue craft. It turns out that his signal fire was spotted after all and the big ship sent a dingy back for him. In the last scene he is pulled from the water by off screen hands
The economical use of space in a sailboat makes the Japanese look like amateurs.
The main reason I found this movie interesting (not very interesting - I don’t feel motivated to re-watch it like I do some movies) is that I have experience with sail boats and so much of what I saw in the movie recalled experiences sailing on Georgian Bay with my older brother: the cramped cabin; the equipment compartments squirreled away under every seat, behind every panel, under every cushion; the hatch with water spraying inside. The economical use of space in a sailboat makes the Japanese look like amateurs. Above all else is the constant background sound of lapping water, dripping water, rolling waves of water rocking the boat and causing various other residual sounds. Water, water, water! And sun, and air, and solitude. Not quiet solitude, since the environment is full of the noises I just described, but isolation from human voices, which is a remarkable and even disorienting thing in our hectic modern world. My brother no longer owns his boat. But I had to recommend All is Lost to him for nostalgic old time’s sake.