I’m watching Cast Away (2000) again, hankering for a film that depicts the ocean, and being alone in the middle of it. It’s because I had recently listened to an audio book of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, in which an Indian boy gets stranded on a lifeboat after a shipwreck—along with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a magnificent Bengal tiger. These survival stories show that, face-to-face with the vastness of Nature and the infinity of one’s aloneness, one would… go absolutely crazy.
Or maybe another way of putting it is, the mind turns to other things: away from ego, from gossip, from Social Issues, from ordinary desires and hence from suffering. The price of heaven is to leave behind everything that makes us human.
But in both Cast Away and Life of Pi, there is a “rescue.” Eventually, our hero returns to civilization, to the anchoring normalcy of laws, norms, routine, maybe even, family. It’s like coming back from the dead, but now with a kind of angel’s perspective. And having lived their story along with them, you feel as though you partook of some of that wisdom as well.
But I must say: Chuck’s reunion with Kelly just about destroyed me!