Written by J.C. Chandor, "All Is Lost" was mentioned at several film festivals as one of 2013's best. I enjoyed the movie very much and came to think of Redford's boat trip as a metaphor for life's journey.
The film begins with Robert Redford speaking these words. This is a message which he eventually writes, places in a jar and drops into the ocean.
13th of July, 4:50 pm. I'm sorry... I know that means little at this point, but I am. I tried, I think you would all agree that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right. But I wasn't. And I know you knew this. In each of your ways. And I am sorry. All is lost here... except for soul and body... that is, what's left of them... and a half-day's ration. It's inexcusable really, I know that now. How it could have taken this long to admit that I'm not sure... but it did. I fought 'til the end, I'm not sure what it's worth, but know that I did. I have always hoped for more for you all... I will miss you. I'm sorry. (Quote taken from IMDB)
After that, there are only a few words throughout the whole movie.We then flash back to eight days prior. Redford is sailing in the Indian Ocean when a shipping container hits the side of his boat and floods part of the cabin. He treats this as a nuisance at first and before long, has the situation under control when he removes the container and patches his boat. Great acting here as it's easy to see by Redford's body language and facial expressions that he's unperturbed and has the situation under control.
His troubles only begin. Redford continues to sail while struggling through storms, tumultuous seas, personal injury, loss and other challenges of the sea. It's intriguing to see how he, as an experienced sailor, overcomes every obstacle he faces while dealing with his predicament and the elements.
There is not a dull moment in this movie. It would be hard to imagine for some, that despite the fact that there's no dialogue, no car chase, no sex, no police shootout, no explosion and no cursing, that this plot can be riveting. It is.
The movie is well thought out and cleverly assembled and edited. After each action packed, stressful segment, the audience is given a break with some calmer, more hopeful scenes. There are successes and failures There's hope and lost hope.
The conclusion of the movie had some audience members laughing. I'm not certain whether it was because of a certain amount of relief that the ordeal was over or whether it was how the end was handled. We knew throughout the film that Redford's odds of survival were getting smaller. Yet, his ingenuity and skills kept him going.
I appreciate that the audience was given some credit for having imagination and intelligence. We are not smacked in the face with a long back story or the need to have every detail that led up these eight days at sea explained to us. We don't know who the man is or why he's in the middle of the ocean. We learn about his character, skill, strength and tenacity through his actions in the face of adversity. At the end of the film, we are left with a lot to think about.
This movie is suspense at it's best...no gore, no vampires and no ax murderers...just excitement. The acting is brilliant. I highly recommend seeing "All Is Lost".