Cert: 12A Runtime: 106 mins Director: J.C Chandor Cast: Robert Redford
Never Give Up
When watching cinema you expect action, drama, love and horror on the big screen with multiple people. Imagine just a film with one man on a boat. Well you don’t, as All Is Lost with Robert Redford exists in the world. A few months ago there was a lot of buzz about this film. Finally I have watched it and I can share my thoughts. What is All Is Lost all about you say? Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner’s intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meagre supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.
All Is Lost is a fascinating story about the indomitable will of the human spirit to survive against all odds. The film opens with a monologue (after which almost no words are spoken throughout its 106 minutes of runtime).The concept is a brilliant one; one character, one sinking boat, surrounded by ocean & yet striving to live whichever way he can. The absence of dialogues does add more responsibility on the actor’s shoulder as he is our only source to connect with the story, which we do from his reactions in the face of danger. And who would’ve thought that the 77-year old Robert Redford will be up for that incredible task, but he manages to do exactly that & that also in a great style as he takes us on a journey of emotions without uttering a single word from start to finish. The most impressive part about the cinematography was its underwater photography & the calmness it adds to the entire film. Music has a slight presence in the film with few strong cues but it somehow felt undeveloped in the final film nonetheless.Even though the film isn’t without its flaws, most of it can be brushed away as the director doesn’t try to narrate a story here but asks the audience to feel it through our only source, the solo character. On an overall scale, All Is Lost is an amazing survival feature that has no boredom to it despite the absence of a human voice throughout its runtime, has a far more tragic tone than what I was expecting, and works solely due to a spectacular, age-defying performance from Robert Redford who, at 77 years old, was still able to maintain a solid grip on the viewers’ emotions in a way that most actors half his age have been unable to do in their careers, so far. Absolutely worth your time & money.