Sunday, November 17, 2013
STARS: Robert Redford
DIRECTOR: J.C. Chandor
GENRE: Action--Adventure/ Suspense
Going to a movie called All Is Lost, you may psych yourself into being depressed by the time you hit your seat. Sometimes a title is meant to mislead you. Not here. Robert Redford's character is in trouble from the get-go. He's piloting a small yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean , and his craft has just collided with a huge railroad type shipping container. Now there's a hole in the side of the boat, and it's taking on water.
Plot aficionados, this won't be your cup of tea. Because there is only one question--will he or won't he survive? If you enjoy character-driven drama, you're S. O. L. as well. We learn next to nothing of the man. Not his name, nor why he has embarked upon his foolhardy journey. He apparently has a family somewhere. But then, most people do.
All Is Lost is pure action and a man's will to survive. Redford gets jostled about in the craft during storms and knocks his head. He tries unsuccessfully to send a mayday call on his radio. He climbs up and down the mast and does other manly type things. He charts his course on a map and sees that he is drifting toward the shipping lanes, and potential rescue. But will help arrive in time before he runs out of food and water, or becomes some shark's dinner entree?
There is one moment of comic relief where the man rears back and lets fly with an expletive to ring through the universe. You would too in his predicament. It's a truly existential moment. Why are we here? What the hell is going on? The only entreaty to the gods that seems to make any sense is: F_ _ K!!!!!!
All Is Lost is a unique kind of movie that won't challenge you much, in the sense that if you nod off for a minute or two, you haven't missed anything. You may wonder why Robert Redford would make such a film. I think it's because he wanted to demonstrate what a tough and spry old fart he is at age 77.
GRADE: C +