Written and directed by J. C. Chandor, this new drama stars Robert Redford in an extraordinary role. Mr. Redford plays a sailor known only in the credits as "our man" who must fight to survive on the open sea when his sailboat becomes crippled by a collision with a loose shipping container.
Mr. Redford is the only actor in the film and there is barely any dialog but he conveys so much through his physical acting that the film is never boring. Unlike "Life of Pi" or "Castaway" (other tales of individual survival), our man is running out of time in a very realistic situation as his sailboat is further damaged by bad storms and his options are dwindling quickly.
Mr. Chandor films in tight spaces, above the sea and under it. His camera is everywhere pulling the viewer into the very real plight of this master seaman. Mr. Redford, I discovered later, did 98% of his own stunts and spend the majority of the film soaking wet. He is in great shape for a 76 year old ( at the time of shooting) to endure the physical aspects of the film.
The plot is simple. One man's survival and Mr. Redford's face show every ounce of strength, courage and vulnerability faced with impossible odds. The ending is quite remarkable and sure to be discussed after the credits roll.