This past weekend, Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" hit cinemas. At its core, the film is notable for the fact that it centers on one character battling to survive in space alone. The concept of survival on one's own is getting a significantly different treatment in another October release - J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost" starring Robert Redford.
The film is one of the most difficult to review for this writer as it is impossible to be indifferent toward the work, but it is equally difficult to completely embrace it.
As the film opens up, the viewer is shown a mysterious floating object in the middle of the sea that is counterbalanced with a cryptic monologue from Redford's character. The monologue hints at a character apologizing to an unknown reader and also gives off subtle indications of why he is at sea in the first place. Moments later, the sound of the water rushes at the viewer and the film gets going. Throughout its 107 minute running time, Redford's character will be thrust from one obstacle to the next as he battles to survive in the expansive and empty ocean. This is the epitome of "Murphy's Law" (everything that could go wrong will go wrong) and the character is constantly faced with storms, sharks, lack of food supplies, broken equipment, etc. With the exception of a few calls for help and one powerful moment punctuated by an expletive, Redford's performance is speechless and internal. Continue Reading