A tropical paradise becomes a nightmare of loneliness for FedEx exec Chuck (Tom Hanks) when a plane crash leaves him stranded on a Pacific island for four long years. With only a volleyball called Wilson for company, Chuck must wage an ongoing battle against elements - and the idea that he may never see home again. Directed by his fellow Forrest Gump Oscar-winner Robert Zemeckis, Hanks' virtual one-man show makes this a convincing and moving story of survival.
Cast Away tells the story of Chuck Noland (Hanks), a FedEx trouble-shooter whose charter plane crashes somewhere over the South Pacific.
As the sole survivor of the crash, Chuck finds himself struggling to stay alive on a deserted island which becomes a nightmare in paradise after four long years.
This is the first collaboration between Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks since the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump in 1994.
Hyped at the time of release as an Oscar contender, Cast Away never lived up to the dizzy expectations, but still comes out as one of Hanks' most absorbing and moving films in recent years.
Unusually, the film steers clear of melodrama and emotional overload and, instead of the cliched story of lost love, it concentrates on the relationship that the protagonist develops with a volleyball called Wilson.
But there are no cheap laughs to alleviate the raw desperation, just beautiful scenery and water landscapes to form a stunning backdrop to the determination which makes the character one of the most appealing Hanks has played.
This is as engaging and convincing as solitary acting gets and Hanks achieves everything the director could have wanted.
Few actors could sustain audience interest for a period of two hours with no supporting cast, but Hanks does it beautifully. His island solitude is expertly sustained, wordless movie-making.