Starring: Robert Redford
Director: J.C. Chandor
Running Time: 105 mins
All Is Lost is an American film about a man who, while on a voyage at sea, finds himself in a perilous situation after his boat collides with a shipping container.
This film is yet another example of the brilliance of the survival genre, but it takes even this to another extreme. The concept and effect of this film is very interesting, as from the start, you’re left completely in the dark as to who this man is or why he’s on this boat, and that really lets your imagination run wild throughout the film, making this a very free and intriguing story to follow.
The way in which this film is made is completely unorthodox, and yet it works incredibly well. Honestly, there are about 8 lines of dialogue in this film, and Robert Redford’s character ‘Our Man’, is the only person ever shown for the whole duration. This may seem potentially boring, but it actually has the opposite effect.
The genius of shooting the film and writing it as such a quiet and solitary story really upped my intrigue throughout, because this is all there is to focus on. There are no distractions whatsoever, so you’re able to really get into the story and understand to perfection what is going on, making it all the more entertaining to watch.
Something else that is done slightly oddly but fantastically is the ambiguity of ‘Our Man’. From the off, you have no idea who he is, or why he’s in the situation he’s in, and that really lets you loose in terms of interpreting the character.
Some people have said that deciphering the man’s identity was the objective of this film, however I felt the fact that he has no identity allows you personally to step into his shoes. The level of intimacy you share with the character throughout furthers this feeling, and with countless first-person shots, it truly feels like you are the man lost at sea, which in turn makes the emotional impact of the plot unbelievably heavy.
And of course, there’s the astounding performance by Robert Redford. With very little to work with in terms of dialogue or direction, Redford manages to capture perfectly the desperate feelings of the man through his actions and facial expressions, bringing you ever closer to the experience of this horrific shipwreck.
In the end, Robert Redford is just a man who mimics everything that you would do in this sort of situation, while also being the intellectual and saving your skin a couple of times, but this really makes you feel even more like you are the protagonist, and this is a personal experience, something I would say I’ve never seen in a film before.
Overall, I’ll give this a 9.1, because it was an incredibly exciting, thrilling, emotional, and surprisingly personal and intimate story that will stay with you for a long time.