‘All Is Lost’:
Redford’s on a boat, not as much fun as Andy Samberg thinks
There are very few environments on Earth where making a mistake could cost a person his or her life. All Is Lost explores one of those environments. Robert Redford stars as a solo sailor taking on the capricious sea – a place where life thrives, but man cannot without the help of a boat and fresh water.
The story is very much like a Jack London story if it had been set at sea. The film is generally silent with Redford having very few lines, no real dialogue and ambient sounds punctuated by instrumental emotional cues. It is difficult to say whether or not those instrumental cues were necessary when Redford does such a good job of conveying his thought process with facial and body gestures.
The one misstep that the film makes is that it starts at the end. As in all stories that start at the end, it is as if there just isn’t enough trust in the story itself (and Redford’s acting) to carry the audience through to the end. Unfortunately, by giving the ending away at the beginning, the actual end feels like a letdown, and an ambiguous letdown at that.
Spoiler Alert: All Is Lost demonstrates the idea that when a person in a deadly environment makes a mistake, even if that person is an expert, more mistakes will follow as he or she tries to correct for the first error. The situation degrades rapidly, and the end result is death unless the person is able to get out of the dangerous situation usually with the help of another.
In man versus nature, it is easy to guess who wins one on one; it is even easier to guess who will win 8 billion to one. There aren’t any real surprises in All Is Lost, but there is a good storyline and great acting by one of the few celebrities who could actually pull this role off.