Home Of Pure Retro Movie Love.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meep Pic Of The Week: Castaway (1987)

from Cannon Films
Original Theatrical Release Date (USA): September 11th, 1987
DVD Release: No, but you can find it on Netflix. 

Nicholas Roeg's Castaway from 1986 stars Oliver Reed as a scruffy, dissatisfied with-it-all writer who takes out an ad in Time Out London to find a woman who'll accompany with him on a deserted island for a year. Sexy Amanda Donohoe answers and the two hit it off right away.

The picture chronicles the couple's year of ups and downs, and explores the dynamics of a relationship in a way few films can as it eschews the day-to-day reality of urban life. The film is also stunning to look at. Roeg a former cinematographer himself gives the picture a vibrancy, but also an immediacy that is distinctive of his other films and frequent collaborator Ken Russell.

Like Russell's films, the picture is a unique in it's insistence to capture odd moments here and there that greatly add to the circumstances and the characterizations. And no actor other than Oliver Reed could ever match that oddity and intensity so well. Reed's Gerald is in turns magnetic, angry, pitiful and robust. He's full of contradictions and that's what makes him so interesting. He's also greatly matched with Donohoe. She spends most of the film undressed, but has equal footing with Reed. Hers is a strong character that is always a pleasure to watch undressed or not. Though that is truly a great bonus to watch!

The picture was based on the book Castaway, written by Lucy Irving based on her true experiences. Though the picture manages to capture both points of view. Gerald himself also had a book published about his experiences on the island as well. The picture also opens with a song by Kate Bush which she wrote for the film. Kate initially was going to star but decided against it considering all the sexual content.


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