All is Lost, opens with Redford (Our Man), a veteran sailor on a small sail boat that collides with a floating shipping container at sea, creating a hole in the starboard side of the boat. Water gushes in and here begins the tale of how to fix a gaping hole and basically survive against the ocean and the unpredictable weather. The saga takes place over eight days focusing on survival techniques, slipping and flipping in the sail boat during storms, fixing the hole, fishing, emergency flairs, lifeboat, creating water, navigating with the use of the sun and maps and basically using everything known to sailors. Avid boaters and sailor fanatics will enjoy the constant battle though will find some inconsistencies.
Redford, is the only actor today able to recreate this incredible film that is wordless, contains no flashbacks, lead-in's, dreams or even a basic story as to why Our Man is out at sea alone. There is nothing other than a man with a boat struggling to survive. Redford's charismatic presence in All is Lost is a feast for the eyes and ears. There is no Wilson that Tom Hanks had in Cast Away (2000) and instead it is just Redford, alone, as a lion against the sea. Life of Pi (2012) came to mind when viewing this film only without the imaginary animals.
Both the physical and psychological endurance in this role is profound with Redford's facial expressions and actions bring the film to life. Additionally, images of Butch Cassidy jumping off the cliff come to mind - in other words doing whatever it takes to survive. As for words, the script contains a voice over in the beginning and only one curse word.
Since the film is wordless, it is suggested to view at a high end theatre where people do not talk. It was and is irritating when people babble on throughout the film. This Charlie Brown teacher drone-on is perhaps why initially my thoughts on the film were less than favorable. The lack of the well told story bothered this movie goer and perhaps the silence with a talker gabbing was initially disturbing. Even the subtle glances back did not stop the self absorbed. However, sitting here a day later, thinking back, the movie is an extraordinarily powerful expose on the will to survive, the will to beat all odds and the will to fight.
The final scenes are beautifully filmed and opened to interpretation. Like, Gravity (2013), All is Lost, (2013) reminds one of how infinite is the universe and how vast the sea is when alone against the elements. Sheer determination at the end of the day is all one has in life. It is the journey that matters and not the destination.