Question: When Kelly shows Chuck the map on the dining room table she shows him where he was rescued by the ship and where "his island" was located. How was it determined exactly where the island was?
New this month Answer: The island's location could be determined by compiling pieces of information, including the dates and locations of where the plane crashed into the ocean, when and where the cargo ship found Chuck, and how long he was adrift to and from the island. Chuck, an experienced sailor, was obsessed with tracking time. He knew when he left the island because he had created an analemma, a type of calendar that charts star movement throughout the year, seen on the cave wall. Wind factors, weather conditions, and ocean currents would also be on record for those times and locations, and, depending on how long Chuck drifted on open water, his course could later be calculated by computer modeling and the island's (or its approximate) coordinates determined.
Question: At the end when the pick-up truck drives away, there is an angel on the back flap of it, similar to the angel in the garden of the house where Tom Hanks delivers the parcel. Are we to assume that the parcel belongs to the woman in the pick-up, and that this is significant in some way?
Answer: It's a little complicated. The angel wings show that the parcel Tom Hanks just delivered to the ranch belongs to the woman (who is an artist) in the truck. As Hanks stands in the crossroads deciding which way he will go, his looking back in the direction that she just drove off implies he will go back to her house, probably to let her know what she did for him while he was on the island (giving him hope that he could someday deliver that package) and possibly to restart his life with her (she is pretty, after all). She was married to the guy who she sent the package to in Russia, but he was cheating on her. If you notice the gateway over the entrance to her property where another package was picked up at the beginning of the movie, both her name and her partner's was on the overhead ironwork. His name has since been removed, indicating that she is now single.
Question: Was the whale in the night scene in the raft an illusion? I only ask because it faded away instead of going under the water. Is this intentional or just bad special effects? Thanks.
Answer: I noticed this too. He is really seeing a whale. This scene shows what is coming as a whale wakes him up in time to see the ship. As for the special effects, that is still up in the air.
Question: Does anyone know what's officially in the mystery package and why Chuck never opens it, or is it just a 'McGuffin' like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?
Answer: No one knows what was in the package. I think Chuck doesn't open it in order to keep his sanity. The package is his only link to his life before being stranded, working for FedEx and making sure packages get delivered. He was determined to make sure it got delivered just as he was determined to survive and get back to civilization. Success in one meant success in the other. While Zemeckis has joked there was a waterproof satellite phone in it, the real answer from the script is, no joke, salsa verde. Its a care package with a note imploring Bettina's (the artist) husband (naked cowboy) to come back and spice up their life like the salsa.
Question: Where was Castaway filmed?
Answer: Cast Away was filmed on an island called Monuriki. It's part of a group of islands called the Mamanuca Islands, in Fiji.
Question: About an hour in, when he is opening the Fed Ex packages, we see him open a divorce decree and set it aside. I assumed this was in relation to the package picked up towards the beginning in Russia at the cheating husband's place, and we see at the end the artist girl is apparently now divorced. Yet he supposedly never opened her package. Wouldn't it have been the signed the divorce papers?
Answer: The director joked on the DVD commentary about there being a satellite phone in the last package. The joke being that if Hanks had just opened that last package, he would have been immediately rescued by calling for help. However, the comment was only in jest, and was never meant to be taken seriously. It was never shown what was in that last package.
Question: I've always had an sequence issue with the saved package that Chuck delivers to the lady "Bettina" in the truck at the end. To me it could either be the return divorce papers from Russia, or just happens to be some other delivery, since she appears to be a regular FedEx customer. Either way doesn't matter here for me. The issue/questions is, if the plane that crashed over the Pacific left the FedEx hub in Memphis, TN then why is a package that is destined for somewhere in Texas taking the long route way over the Pacific, rather than just go from Memphis to Texas the short way? The "Dissolution of Marriage Agreement" (1:02:23), shows from Law office in Santa Fe, NM destined for Jakarta Indonesia (over the Pacific). Has anyone else reconciled this delivery route dilemma?
Answer: Memphis is the "hub" for FedEx. It is a waste of time and energy and money if they send every package exactly where it is destined to go, directly. Instead, every single package goes to one place, where they are grouped and sorted do that they can fill trucks with packages all going to the same destination. In the movie, he brings it back to the original sender of the package, he does not bring it to whom it was originally being sent, which is why he brought it back at the end.
Question: In the easter eggs it says that you can find out what is in the un-opened FedEx package. I don't have the DVD, but what's in the package?
Answer: According to imdb.com, "Robert Zemeckis was asked at a Q&A session at USC what was in the unopened packaged. He replied that it was a waterproof, solar-powered, satellite phone."
Question: How does Chuck collect his supply of drinking water? We see him drinking from a coconut and a curled up leaf on the ground. We also see a small drip in his cave, but these small amounts don't seem like enough water to sustain life. We don't see how Chuck may have collected the rain water for future use.
Answer: As you pointed out, Chuck used a combination of methods to get just enough water and fluids to survive. In addition to the ones you mentioned, he was also drinking coconut milk, and he could also distill fresh water from sea water (and even urine) by using a piece of plastic, broad leaves, etc. to cover the pooled liquid and catch the evaporation. Eventually he would have enough make-shift containers to collect rain water during thunderstorms that he could store in the coconut shells for later use. Any fruits on the island would also provide fluids.