Sunday, December 8, 2013
All is Lost
ALL IS LOST: Robert Redford, directed by J.C. Chandor (106 min.)
The only dialogue we get is in the prologue, a voiceover from Robert Redford. He is apologizing to his family, for what exactly we aren't quite sure. Aside from a radio SOS call and one loud yell of frustration, these words in the prologue are the only words spoken in All is Lost, a captivating, thrilling high-seas tale of will power and, ultimately, despair. Redford is the star - the only character - in the film, known only as "Our Man" according to the imdb page. We never learn anything of his past, his family, or why he is at sea to begin with. We only know what is happening to Our Man as it happens on the screen. All is Lost thrives on immediacy, and fascinates thanks to a performance from Redford I never saw coming.
I want to tread lightly here in regards to plot description because the events that unfold are paramount to the impact of the film. Describing the direction of the story would be to spoil everything. Situations arise and Our Man winds up in a life raft with fewer and fewer supplies. Despite the fact we don't know anything about him, we learn important aspects of his character. He is a resourceful man, a patient man who thinks calmly and carefully. He makes very few mistakes, but even one mistake can be dire in such a desperate situation. Even after an injury occurs he doesn't panic. But every man has his breaking point, and we watch Our Man reach this point near the end of the second act. I must say I would have crumbled days beforehand.