“All Is Lost” review

In our first film screening workshop  we’ve watched “All is Lost”(2013), film which was written and directed by J. C. Chandor. It was an interesting film for two reasons. First, there was only one character in it, “Our Man”(at least that’s how he’s called on imdb.com) played by Robert Redford. It was also intriguing because of the lack of dialogue in the film, there were only few short lines at the beginning of the movie. It is an interesting approach to filmmaking, something that is very popular in films these days. Some may even call it a modern silent movie. It proves that  great story can be told without any words, but with pictures and acting instead. As an animator I came across short animations that didn’t use dialogue, I would say that it is rather a popular trend, especially when it comes to student film, but seeing a live action movie like this was a new experience for me.

The character played by Robert Redford came across as a very strong and brave individual. I don’t see many people cruising around ocean alone like he did. He showed a great will to survive and through the most of the film he seemed to be calm and clear thinking, which really surprised me, especially in the storm scene, when his boat rolled upside down. Normally I would expect people to panic but he knew exactly what to do in order to stay alive and turn the boat. What is interesting is the fact that we, as the audience do not know a lot about the character. We don’t know his background, why is he traveling alone, we don’t even know his name, but we still empathise with him.

Cinematography was amazing in that film and I’m surprised it didn’t won any awards for this(however the film itself got a positive feedback from film critics). One of the shots that really impressed me was the one in the picture above. And there were many shots like this. It was a very good way of exposing character’s loneliness, vulnerability and mortality.

Overall the movie carries a message of not giving up but also it shows the struggle of the man vs nature, his weaknesses and death. The ending scene was quiet odd at first, as I’m used to seeing something slightly different in films like this, but then I’ve realised that if it was done in any other way it wouldn’t have worked with the convention of the film and would be totally out of place.


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