All Is Lost (2013) : “You’re gonna need a new boat”

I must confess before watching J.C.Chandor’s All Is Lost, I felt a certain scepticism towards it, expecting to be bored by the prospect of one man’s struggle to survive against the ocean; and I can happily admit I was wrong. The film was gripping throughout, with Robert Redford’s incredible, naturalistic performance, which he delivers magnificently despite the lack of dialogue which mainstream audiences may have some issues with. With other contemporary survival dramas, such as Captain Phillips, which also has a gripping plot and performances but with dialogue, some may think what is the point of Chandor’s film? The key point is that film does not have to rely on dialogue to be entertaining, that art does not necessarily have to be sacrificed for the sake of entertainment. Chandor manages to convey narratives and themes that have been seen before but in a much more poignant and beautiful manner, with some outstanding and interesting choices in cinematography, marking this film apart from its contemporaries. When all is said and done, this film is a masterpiece that has clear influences from its predecessors in realism, however beyond a first or second viewing, I believe that one man on a boat might simply not be enough to stimulate mainstream audiences.


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