Back in 2000, I loved the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away.” The story line is essentially that of Hanks stranded on a deserted South Pacific island after his FedEx plane crashes. You can imagine the trauma and despair but he eventually makes the best of the island, treasuring both the memories of his fiancé and some packages that wash up from the plane’s cargo.
Great movie really - but I always hated the ending. While he’s gone, life back home has moved on without him. That’s understandable. But when he manages to survive and return, it seemed to me that, even though he’d been gone for years and declared dead, some magic should have been added to the script so that he and Helen Hunt could wind up back together. Instead, he loses the love of his life. Again. Of course I didn’t want her current husband and new baby to be hurt either. How to do this? I don’t know! I SAID magic!!
Last week though, channel surfing while traveling, I ran across the final half hour of this movie and had to watch the ending again. It’s surprising how different my perspective is sixteen years later. If you haven’t seen the pouring down rain reunion scene between Hanks and Hunt, just know it’s heartbreaking as each of them come to terms with what they have to do.
But this time, as the movie winds down, I could appreciate the optimism gradually taking root as he realizes he can survive this too – and then some. I guess I had always blown off his closing lines: