run time: 106 mins
rated: PG – 13
considered: Action, Adventure, Drama
starring: Robert Redford
movie summary: After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face. (www.imdb.com)
my thoughts: Somewhere out in the middle of the Indian Ocean is the little sailing boat Virgina Jean. Her older wiser experienced captain is Robert Redford. One morning he wakes up and his cabin is filling with water. He discovers a huge hole in the side of his boat and goes out on the deck to find a cargo ship container has struck his boat. Over the next few days Redford patches up the hole and continues on his course. After smooth sailing he runs in a powerful thunderstorm that destroys his sails, rips another hole in the side of the ship, and the powerful waves actually flip his boat several times. He has no choice but to abandon ship and set up shop in the floatation device.
Two days later the storm blows by and he is able to survey the damage to his boat. The ship is slowly sinking, so he must rush abroad and grab supplies to survive on the raft. He grabs navigation tools, maps, canned food, fresh water, and any survival tools he can fit into a bag. He returns to the raft and watches as his beloved ship sinks into the water.
Over the next three days Redford is able to chart his course with navigation tools and writes his locations on a map. He is hoping to float north to the Sumatra strait, which is a pathway that cargo ships use when transporting goods. Later that night, one vessel goes by but Redford’s red flares are not bright enough to attract attention. He runs into the same problem occurs the following day with another vessel roars by without noticing him.
Redford has been out at sea on the raft for what seems like five days now. The sharks are circling his little yellow tube, the water supply is dry, and there is no more food. He plots his position on the map to find out he has floated through the passage way and now is headed back out to the open sea. Sun burnt, starving, and out of energy, Redford decides to write a final letter and send it off in a bottle. Despite his best efforts and knowledge, he must face the fact that he will not survive much longer.
When I first watched the trailer for this movie I said there was no way I would ever watch it. After reading a great review on a different blog site (www.dtmmr.com) I was convinced this was worth the watch. The most impressive thing about this movie is how Robert Redford spends 95% of the movie in soaked clothes but still tells, acts, and shares his story of survival without any words. Think Cast Away and Life of Pi but better. He has the tools and experience to survive, but all the obstacles he faces will test his desire to live. You are drawn into the story by wondering what will go wrong next and how he will deal with it.
my star rating: 7 out 10