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Cast Away

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.

raywest

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.

raywest

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. In my opinion that shot could have been done better.

manthabeat

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.

raywest

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."

T Poston

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 Jack 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.

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Quotes

Chuck Noland: Aha. Look what I've created. I have made FIRE.

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Mistakes

The scene where Tom Hanks goes inside the cave for the first time during the storm, he has the flashlight from the dead pilot with him. The flashlight is in front of him when he sits down, but you can see shadows on the rock wall beside him in the wrong places.

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Trivia

Production was shut down for a year, to give Tom Hanks enough time to lose weight and grow out his "castaway" beard. During that time, director Robert Zemeckis used the same crew members to help film "What Lies Beneath."

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