Irish Film Institute -Castaway


Castaway is based on Lucy Irvine’s book about her year on a desert island with Gerald Kingsland. The opening section of the film is set in London and provides a crisply concise sketch of the protagonists’ backgrounds. Gerald (Oliver Reed) and Lucy (Amanda Donohoe) have very different reasons for joining forces. He seems immersed in a fantasy from the start, and perhaps sees the island existence as an ideal environment for his hedonistic lifestyle. Lucy, on the other hand, is attracted to the idea of escaping from her oppressive existence. For her, living on the island represents a challenge to prove herself and to discover a completely different way of life. Right from the start, the film hints at the differences between the couple, with his chauvinism and her feminism suggesting that their experience might well prove not to be as idyllic as anticipated. And so it turns out. The desert island setting, by removing all the trappings and essentials that cushion our civilisation, has the effect of throwing the characters back on their naked selves and hence highlighting their differences still further. Like Bad Timing, it is another Roeg study of characters in a foreign land whose relationship disintegrates.

U.K., 1986.
120 mins.

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