A lone sailor (played by Robert Redford) is at sea off Sumatra when his craft is in a collision with a cargo container dropped from a passing freighter. He must use his determination and ingenuity to address the damage to his vessel so that it remains seaworthy. Time passes and little things start to compound – he finds himself in a series of difficult situations that he must resolve to ensure he survives his voyage.
This is a fascinating and compelling movie. Robert Redford’s performance is masterful – he hardly utters a word throughout this drama, but he doesn’t need to. His thoughts are quite clear from his behaviour and actions. Also, often I found myself experiencing this drama right along with him. The utter futility of a man’s efforts against the force of nature is presented very well here and as I watched it, I found myself wondering what I would do in the same situations. The lone sailor is presented with a series of challenges and one of the surprising things is the way he finds the motivation in himself to keep trying and keep having ideas to resolve his issues. In some places, particularly during the storms, I found it hard to follow the drama and what was happening, but not during the calm scenes. It’s very good and would have been exhausting to make, I’m sure. I also would bet this one is completely overlooked in the upcoming 2014 Academy Award (Oscar) season – although I do note it has been nominated for sound editing. Well done everyone.
Made in 2013. Directed by J. C. Chandor