Cast Away is a 2000 drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. Hanks portrays a fictional FedEx employee who is stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes on a flight over the South Pacific. The film depicts his attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo, as well as his eventual escape and return to society. Hanks was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 73rd Academy Awards for his critically acclaimed performance.
In 1995, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a time-obsessed FedEx systems analyst, who travels worldwide resolving productivity problems at FedEx depots. He is in a long-term relationship with Kelly Frears (Helen Hunt), with whom he lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Although the couple wants to get married, Chuck's busy schedule interferes with their relationship. A Christmas with relatives is interrupted by Chuck being summoned to resolve a problem in Malaysia. Flying through a violent storm over the southern Pacific Oceanand having flown off course trying to avoid the stormChuck's airplane crashes into the ocean, making him the only survivor among five. Chuck is able to escape the sinking plane and is saved by an inflatable life-raft but in the process, loses the raft's emergency locator transmitter. He clings onto the life-raft as it floats all night in the storm before being washed up on an island. After Chuck wakes up, stranded, he explores the island and soon discovers that it is uninhabited. Several FedEx packages from the crashed plane wash up on the shore, as well as the dead body of one of the pilots (to which he gives a funeral). Chuck initially tries to signal for rescue and makes an escape attempt with the remnants of his life-raft, but he cannot pass the powerful surf. He searches for food, water, shelter, and opens the packages. He finds a number of potentially useful items but leaves one package, painted with a pair of wings, unopened. During a first attempt to make fire, Chuck receives a deep wound to his hand. In anger he throws several objects, including a Wilson Sporting Goods volleyball from one of the packages. A short time later he draws a face in the bloody hand print on the ball, names it "Wilson" and begins talking to it as if it were a person. Four years later Chuck is dramatically thinner and bearded with longer hair and wearing a loincloth. He has become an expert at spearing fish and making fires. Chuck has regular conversations and arguments with "Wilson". After a large sheet of plastic from a portable toilet washes up on the island, Chuck uses it as a sail in the construction of a raft. After spending some time building and stocking the raft and deciding when the weather conditions will be optimal, Chuck launches it and is able to use the sail over the powerful surf, finally escaping the island. After some time on the ocean, he encounters a storm that all but destroys the raft. The following day, "Wilson" falls from the raft and is lost. Overwhelmed by grief and loss, Chuck abandons his attempt to find rescue. Later, he is found drifting by a passing cargo ship. Upon returning to civilization, Chuck learns that he has long been given up for dead by everyone he knew; his family and friends held a funeral, and Kelly has since married Chuck's dentist and has had a daughter. After reuniting with Kelly, the pair profess their love for each other but, realizing a future together would be impossible due to her commitment to her family, they part. Kelly gives Chuck the keys to the car that they had once shared. Chuck then travels out into the country to return the unopened FedEx package to its sender. The house at the package address is empty, so he leaves the package at the door with a note telling the occupant that the package saved his life. He then departs and stops at a remote crossroads, apparently trying to decide which way to go. A woman passing by in a pickup truck stops to explain where each road leads. As she drives away, Chuck notices an illustration on the back of her pickup truck that is similar to the one on the parcel. Chuck is left looking down each road. The camera focuses on his face, as he looks toward the departing woman in the truck with a faint smile.