All is lost is simplistic, but its calming yet foreboding cinematography and earnest performance from Robert Redford elevate this straightforward story into a gripping tale about  resilience.

Academy Award-nominated writer/director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) takes the helm for this tense adventure drama about a man (Robert Redford) who must fight for survival after being lost at sea. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

The title of the film already gives the story away and you know what to expect right from the start. But even with this, the film manages to hold your attention.

All is Lost is as simple as a man trying to survive in open water after a string of unfortunate events. But Robert Redford’s ability to hold the screen make you curious if his character will cheat death.

It reminded me of Hemingway’s Old man and the Sea, except this time around the unnamed hero holds on to a boat – and his life – as the unforgiving nature take its course.

The plot twists are conventional and there’s little clue as to who the protagonists is, but the film’s stunning yet foreboding cinematography and Redford’s performance make you care enough to stay throughout his ordeal.  I kept looking at his hand to check for a wedding ring  – does he have a wife and children who are worried about him?

And that is what makes All is Lost powerful.

Its proof of the age old lesson in simple yet effective storytelling wherein the human condition, when portrayed right, doesn’t always need technical wizardry.

My Rating: 8/10

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