Cast Away has a few different elements and symbols that keep Tom Hanks’ character going, but what’s in the unopened FedEx package is never revealed.
2000s Discard It’s a beautiful survival-themed movie that ends up explaining or showing minute details later, but one thing that’s never addressed is what’s inside the unopened FedEx package. The now iconic Robert Zemeckis film follows Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) as he continually perseveres against all odds, trying to survive and maintain a semblance of sanity on a desert island for four lonely years after being the sole survivor of a plane crash.
For a movie that spends a considerable amount of time observing a situation with very little dialogue, aside from Chuck’s occasional conversations with himself, the universe at large and his volleyball partner, Wilson, is extremely emotionally resonant. The fear, the pain, the hopelessness and the final decision to keep moving forward, towards “keep breathing“As Chuck says in the second half of the movie, it’s honest and raw. This is how Discard It captures that human resilience, that innate, tunnel-visioned drive to do whatever it takes to see another day that makes it such a pop culture staple.
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Within the film, there are certain pieces that are set in motion and explained again in circles or explained later. Examples of this include Chuck’s increasingly painful toothache that he notices early on, his sailing trophies and awards shown at the beginning of the film, and the rope knots that audiences see when he’s on top of the mountain. of the island, which seem too much like a rope for the simple fact of coincidence. But one thing that is never explicitly explained is what’s in the unopened FedEx box with the artwork on the wing. Chuck opens all the other boxes he finds, but never opens that one; seems to leave it intact with a sense of reverence. According to the script of the film, the package contains sauce, which is intended to “spice up” the relationship to which it belongs. But audiences never discover that within the movie itself. And that’s because, in an ongoing situation that seems completely hopeless, humans have to find certain things within their own brain walls to move on.
Like his pocket watch from Kelly (Helen Hunt), his Christmas present for him with his favorite picture of her inside, Chuck wears the FedEx package with the wings as a symbol of what he’s fighting to stay alive for. , to come back. In the case of the package, it’s a much more abstract concept, as this Tom Hanks character doesn’t even really know what’s in it. But not opening it gives you hope that, one day, you will be able to return it. You’ll be able to thank the sender for what you thought was just a small piece of art to decorate the package for fun, but ultimately kept it alive during your agonizing time on the island. And, of course, it does eventually. You can look at the box and admire the wings, wondering what is in it.
After Chuck is safely home at the end of the movie, while mourning the loss of her relationship with Kelly (she married and had a child with her new husband, as she thought Chuck had died), she again finds reasons to “keep breathing,” because “who knows what the tide might bring? “Once again, returning the package to its sender in Texas gives him something to look forward to, a beacon of hope to keep moving towards despite the current pain. After the last scene where it looks like Chuck will end up chasing the woman which he deduces that he sent the package (whose ranch sign appears to have changed from “Dick and Bettina” at the beginning of the movie to “Bettina” at the end, implying that she became single), it even appears that all of Chuck dogged perseverance in Discard it has really paid off in so many different ways.
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