The Ethical and Critical Perspective on the Movie Cast Away

The personal perspective deals with an emotional, subjective opinion such as what do I think of the picture. It’s the first response or first thought that crosses your mind on viewing the movie or film. It has personal bias and prejudices. The historical perspective helps to determine the importance of the work based on the time that it was created in. When was, this created, what was the social setup at that period, the technical perspective tries to draw a relation with the medium and the message.

What medium has been used to create the message and how has the creator expressed himself through the medium chosen.

The ethical perspective looks at the moral and ethical responsibilities of the producer or artist. What are the moral responsibilities of the creator and is his portrayal of the image ethical? The cultural perspective relates the symbols used in the picture to the society. What symbols has the maker used or what is the message conveyed by the symbols? The critical perspective is a rational conclusion that the viewer draws from the image.

It is a personal reaction free of bias and prejudice. What have I concluded after critically analyzing the picture and how different was my first opinion from the second.

Cast Away is a story of a workaholic who must learn to live without work, without clocks, and without people after being stranded on an island. The amazing thing is that most this movie contains no dialogue and is filled with many visual cues to get the message across as the film progresses.

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Four major visual cues move this story along and are consistent visuals throughout the movie, a watch containing Kelly’s picture, a Wilson brand volleyball, wings painted on a FedEx box and the crossroads shown in the first scene of the film and the last. They each symbolize important aspects of this story. While there are many visual cues throughout the movie, these four critical visuals speak volumes to the meaning of the story being told. They move this story forward as Chuck Noland, played by Tom Hanks, an experience most people’s worst nightmare, survives and meets a major crossroad in his life. These visual cues affect viewers emotionally and allow us to sympathize and relate to Chuck Noland and his ordeal.

Using the six perspectives, this paper will analyze these visual cues used by the creators of this movie that evoke an emotional response of sympathy for the main character. Personal Perspective I appreciated this video and connected with it because of the use of imagery and visual cues to tell the story. The first time I saw it, I was amazed at how the small amount of dialogue moved the story along and yet remained an interesting and intriguing story with profound statements and meanings This allows a viewer to feel the pain and suffering he is experiencing with his tooth and the difficulty in doing this himself. I also see the flames as a flicker of hope that he will have one less pain to deal while he continues to learn how to survive on the island. After Chuck successfully creates fire, he raises his arms and proclaims look at what I have created. The illuminating effect in this scene is brilliant. It shows a sense of oneness with not only the fire but survival as well you get a strong sense that he will survive the island because he can now create fire. He is on his way to being a survivor since he has reached the Biological and Physiological Needs stage of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which is the most basic level to reach before moving up in the hierarchy. The movie producers visually show us his success in achieving this level with this illuminating effect he has the power to create fire and thus survive the island.

Several FedEx packages conveniently washed up on the shore that helped Chuck while he was on the island. There were several items that he used and sent visual messages about their potential, but the one that is most easily remembered is the Wilson brand volleyball. The ball was given a face after Chuck hurt his hand and then in a tempered rage, picked the ball up and threw it with his bloody hand. He scraped a face onto the ball, and he had an instant companion.

I liked every scene on the island and wanted more of them. There’s a lovely moment when he squats on the ground, contemplating a crate that has washed up, and the shot is composed as the homage to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Hanks’ favorite film. I also liked the details of his escape. A shot of the giant bow of an ocean tanker, looming over his raft, could have been the setup for the movie to end. But no. As the trailers reveal, he returns home, where I can’t bring myself to say, just on the chance you’re still reading and don’t know. Let’s say that the resolution of an earlier story strand is meant to be poignant and touching, but comes across flat and anticlimactic. And that the smile at the end of the film seems a little forced.

I would have preferred knowing much less about “Cast Away” on my way into the theater. Noland’s survival should be an open question as far as the audience is concerned. You might assume that the 20th Century Fox marketing department gave away the secrets over the dead body of director Zemeckis, but no: Zemeckis apparently prefers to reveal his surprises in the trailers. He got a lot of flak earlier this year when the ads for his previous film, “What Lies Beneath,” let you know Harrison Ford was the villain; there was a ghost, etc. At that time, he was quoted in David Poland’s Web column: “We know from studying the marketing of movies, people want to know exactly everything that they are going to see before they go see the film. It’s just one of those things. To me, being a movie lover and film student and a film scholar and a director, I don’t. What I relate it to is McDonald’s. The reason McDonald’s is a tremendous success is that you don’t have any surprises. You know exactly what it is going to taste like. Everybody knows the menu.” A strange statement, implying as it does that Zemeckis is a movie lover, student, and scholar but that he doesn’t market his movies for people like himself. This is more depressing since he usually makes good ones.

Critical Perspective, the movie itself, can be summed up in one sentence. A FedEx employee survives a horrific plane crash, washes up on an island, escapes and makes his way home to an entirely different life. However, there is so much more to this story, and a clear majority of this was accomplished by using visual cues that without analysis may not be seen with much meaning. You will find that all images have something to tell you because every picture created, no matter how banal or ordinary it may be at first glance, has some meaning to communicate. The visual cues in Cast Away successfully communicate and promote the significance behind the story and allow viewers to connect with Chuck and his plight for survival. This movie has a powerful overall message about taking life for granted and meeting crossroads that will change our path forever. It tells a story of how every one of us will have crossroads to encounter and resolve. The crossroads scene at the end of the movie is so powerful it is visually meaningful and symbolic to this message. The use of visual cues throughout this film was used phenomenally well and allowed viewers to connect with the story on a deeper level. Movies affect us emotionally because of the powerful visual messages, on a screen as large as a house and with the sound quality that is better than being on a set, tell stories that we understand. The moral of this story is something that most people relate to and understand even though the circumstances may be much different.

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The Ethical and Critical Perspective on the Movie Cast Away. (2022, May 12). Retrieved from

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