In the boisterous age of blockbuster paradigm we, the fortunate ones, are often getting the opportunity to be gifted with titles such as All is Lost; a film that is written and directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call). – Thanks to one of my close friends, Travlis Hallingquest, discussing with me the mentioned film and injecting in me a sense of encouragement to see it.
In the contemporary entertainment sector for films like All is Lost and Mud, there still is a room. Talking with TheCredits.Org, Anita Elberse and quite passionately also voicing it in her incredible book, Blockbusters that without big-budget spectacles such as Harry Potter series, Iron Man, and The Dark Knight Trilogy, films like Gravity wouldn’t exist. I highly recommend the book, for it is the environment she talks about; that “big” budgeted films are creating room for “smaller” budgeted films.
J.C. Chandor’s All is Lost starring the 77 year old Robert Redford, no name given to the character. Less important anyway, if even the character had name, considering the fact that he’s after all, a man; a human alone in the ocean in a boat. That’s what matters. – The director’s bold act of artistry is that we can take the film and nominate it as a silent motion picture, almost. Smaller in scope than Ang Lee’s masterpiece Life of Pi, but the director here, keeps the tone of hardship conscious. The utter silences and empty horizons, blue and often gray skies, and the searing sun are all what’s left with our character. Then, of course, it’s the storms, and with them the poetic waves.
Character development, technique of storytelling and scene to scene execution and of course Redford’s innocuous and dissimilar performance, all remain enterprisingly moving. Our director, here, is obviously cognizant of the true nature of aloneness, heartache and response of the beautiful, yet sadistic nature. Floating above the sea, deep in it is hidden the film’s subtext, the inner emotions. Perhaps, for our character, a sense of darkness, hopelessness, somewhere in his life has been stirred. Whatever the reason, it remains intact, we will have to wait to speak with Chandor himself, yet it is very possible, he may not even know our hero’s past and within those moments the meaning behind his every emotion.
There is also a sense of audacity in the film. A unique personality it is gifted with, respectively. Our Man is not obviously on a suicide mission. There is a will to survive attitude and the character’s discipline; holding on and moving on; his attitude towards the nature, despite the nature’s attitude towards the man. From a different perspective, All is Lost, should be seen, in my opinion, from the nature’s perspective. Nature versus the man’s audaciousness and quietude. Also as in it is hidden as stars in the bright sky, metaphors and clues. The ocean perhaps is a metaphor to life itself. – The ups and downs. It’s the life testing the very tolerance of man; the weakness of man’s strong heart. Letting go is the more arduous decision, as darkness all along, asks soul to return towards it. Yet, if hope is conscious, light is somewhere there. Even under the water.