Reject: What was in the unopened FedEx package
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 Castaway is a beautiful survival-themed movie that ends up explaining or bringing in minute detail later, but one thing that was never touched on is what’s inside the unopened FedEx package. Robert Zemeckis’ now iconic film follows Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) as he continually perseveres against all odds, trying to survive and keep some semblance of sanity on a desert island for four years after being the only survivor of a plane crash.
For a movie that devotes a considerable amount of time to observing a situation with very little dialogue, besides Chuck’s occasional conversations with himself, the universe at large, and his volleyball mate, Wilson, that’s extremely emotionally resonant. Fear, grief, despair and the ultimate decision to keep moving forward, to “keep breathing“as Chuck says in the second half of the movie, is honest and raw. Castaway captures that human resilience, that innate, tunnel-sighted willingness to do whatever it takes to see another day that makes it a pop culture staple.
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In the movie, there are certain parts that are kind of set in motion, and circled or explained later. Examples of this include Chuck’s increasingly painful toothache that he notices early on, his sailing trophies and awards displayed at the start of the film, and the rope knots audiences see when he’s on top of. coincidence island. But one thing that is never explicitly explained is what is in the unopened FedEx box with the artistic wing design. Chuck opens all the other boxes he finds, but he never opens this one; he seems to leave it intact with a feeling of reverence. According to the film’s script, the package contains salsa, which is meant to “spice up” the relationship to which she belongs. But audiences never find out in the film itself. And that’s because, in an ongoing situation that seems utterly hopeless, humans have to find certain things within their own brain walls to keep them going.
Much like his Kelly (Helen Hunt) pocket watch, his Christmas present with his favorite photo of her inside, Chuck uses the FedEx package with the wings as a symbol of what he is fighting to stay in. life, to come back to it. 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 him hope that one day he will be able to return it. He will be able to thank the sender for what he thought was just a small piece of art to decorate the package for fun, but it ultimately kept him alive during his agonizing time on the island. And, of course, he ends up doing it. He is able to look at the box and admire the wings, wondering what’s inside.
After Chuck got home safely at the end of the movie, while still mourning the loss of her relationship with Kelly (she got married and had a child with her new husband, as she thought Chuck was dead ), he again finds reasons for “keep breathing,” because “who knows what the tide might bring? “Once again, sending the package back to its sender in Texas gives it something to look forward to, a silver lining to keep moving forward despite the current pain. After the last scene where it looks like Chuck will end up chasing the woman who he deduces that he sent the package (whose ranch sign changed from “Dick and Bettina” at the start of the film to “Bettina” at the end, implying that she became single), it even seems that all Chuck tenacious perseverance in Castaway has really paid off in different ways.
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