Remember the part in that movie Castaway where it takes Tom Hanks something like five days to get that fire going? Talk about baloney. You give me two sticks and twenty minutes and I’ll give you a roaring fire in just five minutes. And then I’ll use those other fifteen minutes to really start enjoying myself. So by the time you come up to me when those twenty minutes are over, you’ll see the fire, you’ll see me fully relaxed, and you’ll be like, “Rob, how long did it take you to get this fire going? Because it looks like you’ve been relaxing for at least fifteen minutes.”
Or that part where he catches the crab and kills it, and then he just cracks it open, uncooked, and lets all of that raw crab stuff ooze all out of the shell? I’m calling hogwash on that also. First of all, everybody knows that you have to cook crab. And didn’t he already have the fire going at this point? How hard would it have been to at least heat it up a little? Secondly, it took that guy way too long to catch one crab. And what does he do as soon as he catches it? He destroys it. Me, I would have captured it, made a little crab house, lured in another crab of the opposite sex, and I would’ve started a little crab farm. It’s something about giving a man a crab for a day or teaching him how to eat crabs for a lifetime. Jesus used to say stuff like that all the time.
You know what else bugged me about Castaway? His beard should have been much longer. If you told me not to shave for four years, I’d be more facial hair than man after just two. But Tom Hanks’s mustache wasn’t even really in the way of his upper lip. Not much. One time I tried to grow a beard and that’s exactly the type of unexpected growth I wasn’t prepared for, the upper lip. It was getting in the way of my eating, always picking up a little mayonnaise from every bite of sandwich, stuff like that.
And the volleyball, come on. I would have been playing with that volleyball, not turning it into an imaginary best friend. Think of how boring every day must have been. I would have found some wall and tried to see how many times I could bounce it off the wall without it hitting the ground. But Hanks didn’t do anything. Oh yeah, I guess he learned how to paint, like he cave painted that painting of Helen Hunt on the wall of his bedroom. Or bedcave. Caveroom, whatever. But again, that’s probably a little unrealistic also. Where were all of his practice paintings? There’s no way you go from being an illustration novice to all of the sudden busting out photorealistic Helen Hunts. It’s just not plausible. Maybe they could have added some obvious flaws, just for narrative’s sake.
Four years sounds like a long time, but Helen Hunt seemed to have moved on pretty quickly. I get it, you’re lonely, you don’t want to wallow in your own misery for forever, but let’s just assume four months maybe hoping they’d find something. Another two months coming to terms with the likelihood that he died, people saying, “Helen, you have to move on. You’ve got to meet someone else.” Best case scenario, you go on a few blind dates, set some stuff up on an Internet site, you meet someone, there’s an awkward adult going-out phase, dating, moving in together. And then an engagement, a marriage. What I’m getting at here is, by the time Tom Hanks comes back, Helen Hunt already has a new husband and like two kids. It just seems very rushed, like she would had to have hit the ground running maybe two weeks after the plane went down.
Finally, I’m calling bullshit on Tom Hanks not opening up that final package. The man figured out how to make a boat out of a port-a-potty door. You’re telling me he never figured out how to open and then reseal a stupid box? This man worked for FedEx. He could have probably set those boxes up in his sleep. Look, I understand, something to live for, that one delivery. But I would have been thinking, antibiotics? Maybe something potentially lifesaving? Maybe a zippo lighter? Of course he opened that box up. It probably turned out to be nothing, like a decorative scarf, something useless. And then he’s dropping it off at the end, like, here you go miss. Again, bullshit.
In conclusion, I hate to say that Castaway just isn’t very realistic. And I haven’t even gotten into how unlikely it would have been for him to survive that plane crash in the first place. I’m totally not buying it.