Award winning actor Robert Redford delivers an outstanding performance in his new movie, All Is Lost. From the opening scene, you are drawn in and invited to share his adventure that becomes the ultimate test of survival.
The director, J.C. Chandor, has successfully created a film that allows the audience to join Redford on his journey, and encourages the viewer to share thoughts and feelings along the way.
During an interview with U.S. News, Chandor stated, “It is about a person coming to grips with their own mortality and their own place in the world. It is a person questioning all those things. What those things are I, on purpose, have left out of the film, so you can bring your own narrative to it.”
The character portrayed by Redford is a man with a complicated history and you quickly become aware that he is traveling away from some challenging issues. In the film, he is only referred to as “Our Man,” and he attempts to leave everything behind by setting sail on a 39 foot sailboat, the Virginia Jean.
There is virtually no dialogue in the movie, just simply the actor’s voiceover. He is clearly struggling with emotions and thoughts of not having measured up to standards that he feels he should have. Sadly, these types of feelings are shared by thousands of people every day. The realness and raw emotion shown in this film are something that people can identify with, and thus become entwined with the character on his journey.
Redford awakes when his boat collides with a large shipping container while sailing the Indian Ocean. Water is seeping into the sailboat and “Our Man” calmly tries to patch the hole in the side of the boat. The situation intensifies and his level of discomfort increases when he attempts to utilize his radio to call for help. The equipment has been damaged by water and his hopes of being rescued are growing dimmer by the minute.
Soon thereafter, Redford is forced to deploy a life raft and abandon his sailboat. While he slowly drifts away from the Virginia Jean, you share the heart ache he is feeling and the increased fear and anxiety of what fate has in store next. The Bible makes several references to suffering and perseverance and teaches us why it is a necessary part of life.
Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering works perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. —Romans 5:3-5
The film itself has few spoken words, but the emotion felt by “Our Man” is shared by the audience, and we watch in anticipation to see if he will persevere through these dark hours. His adventure is eight days long, and the villain in the movie is simply mother-nature herself. It is full of emotions ranging from disappointment, to anguish and fear, while mixing in hope and perseverance.
If you have every felt that your mortality has been challenged, chances are that you will become kindred spirits with Redford’s character. Does “Our Man” survive this incredible story of being lost at sea? It is well worth a trip to the theater to learn the answer to this question.
All Is Lost is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and has a runtime of 106 minutes.