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Movie Scenes

Cast Away Scene: Moving Through Hard Times

Cast Away is a movie about a man stranded on an island and his return to the woman he loves.

My favorite scene in the movie is when Chuck is recounting how the tragedy impacted his romantic relationship to his friend, Stan. How Kelly had to let him go after his plane crashed and enough time passed. And how Chuck, after trying to commit suicide, decided that he wanted to stay alive. Not just for the hope of seeing Kelly again, but for the hope that comes from a new day.

The scene starts at 2:08:27 in the movie and ends at 2:12:20. The scene clip is available on YouTube.

Scene Meaning

After a period of intense suffering, you experience clarity. And with this clarity comes a message from the purest part of existence. Chuck experienced this clarity, this “warm blanket” feeling, after trying to kill himself. This feeling gave him hope. This feeling is challenged when he returns home and learns that Kelly is married., but he remembers what he learned from his experience on the island to move through another hard time.

Scene Lift

In 2019 my will to live was challenged. But, when I was in the emergency room bed, the warm blanket feeling came over me. It told me to keep breathing, that the sun would rise and the tide would bring in many more good things. Unexpected things. Over the years, this feeling has been challenged. But I remember truths associated with that feeling during hard times. That life is worth living. That gratitude is essential for moving forward. And that the best is yet to come. Believing in these truths and enduring has brought me here, a good place. Now it’s time to open myself up to all the goodness. Like how Chuck opened himself up (followed the butterfly) and met Bettina.

Scene Script

This is my fan version of the script. I wrote it to connect with the scene on another level and practice screenwriting.

INT. STAN's LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

We focus in on Chuck's hands. He thumbs the rim of an empty whiskey glass half-filled with ice. The glow of a fireplace warms the sound of the rain outside. 

CHUCK
(reflective)
We both had done the math.

We see that Chuck is still damp from his time with Kelly. A hand towel hangs from his neck.

CHUCK
Kelly added it all up, knew she had to let me go. I added it up, knew that I had lost her. 

We see Stan in a leather chair, listening to his friend.

CHUCK
Cause I was never getting off that island. I was gonna die there. Totally alone. I was gonna get sick, get injured, or something. The only choice I had—the only thing I could control was when, and how, and where that was gonna happen. So, I made a rope, and I went up to the summit to hang myself.

CHUCK
(mockingly)
I had to test it, of course. You know me. And the weight of the log snapped the limb of the tree. So I couldn't even kill myself the way I wanted to.

CHUCK
(sternly)
I had power over nothing.

CHUCK
And that's when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow, I had to keep breathing, even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that's what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day that logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, gave me a sail. And now here I am. I'm back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass. 

He looks down at his glass.

CHUCK
(eyes glassy)
And I've lost her all over again. I'm so sad that I don't have Kelly. But I'm so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I've gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring.

By Robert Gibb

Practicing screenwriting and writer @ Scene Lift

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