Castaway (1986) – Originally written September 2003
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So this is the film which was fronted as the late, great Oli Reed’s comeback. With Amanda Donohoe, Oli stars in a wonderful film about an Odd Couple who for certain reasons decide to live together on a desert island.
Oli is superb as the 45 year old man who just wants to be alone on his dream island with the gorgeous Amanda Donohoe, and she’s also superb as the girl who’s forced to live with the volatile Oli Reed.
The difference in viewpoint between the two central characters is stunning, and drives the film along well as whilst Oli is blatantly interested in both her, enjoying himself and fulfilling a few desires, she’s keen on being much more active and building things. The comparison of the two continues as the film progresses until eventually a boat containing two men appear. Truth be told, it is the appearance of these two men (Jason & Rod) which leads to the film going slightly downhill for the customary dip which most films experience. The psychology of Donahoe as she blatantly gets upset at a missed opportunity to sleep with one of the men is slightly infuriating for the audience as well as the characters, and it’s clever to see how the two characters behave differently amongst visitors and this is actually quite an interesting portrayal of how we change amongst guests compared with in close company.
Eventually, the two almost die of malnutrition, and yet once again some random strangers turn up, this time in the face of nuns. It becomes blatantly obvious this time however that Donahoe does actually quite like Oli at times, when he’s not being aggressive and violent, or excessively lazy. It is the upgrade in living enviroments and food provided by the nuns and their friends, that allows the two to regain their health and the film perks up now as the end of their year approaches.
Eventually the film runs through to it’s climax, via a few memorable moments, and the film is completed, as, looking back, it seemed destined to throughout.
It’s hard to sum up this film really. After a slightly weak review as the one I’ve just written, most people will probably have stopped reading by now. I guess, it’s probably just worth saying that whilst films on desert beaches are by no means in short supply, this one is more enjoyable than most other efforts and is head and shoulders above both Tom Hank’s most recent effort and the Beach with Leo Di Caprio. Enjoy one of Oli Reed’s finest roles and find yourself inspired to escape society to a beach of your own.