Review: ‘Castaway’

Picture this: London is cold, wet and miserable. What else does a girl do but answer an ad from a man looking for a 'wife' to take to a tropical island for a year?

Picture this: London is cold, wet and miserable. What else does a girl do but answer an ad from a man looking for a ‘wife’ to take to a tropical island for a year?

Newcomer Amanda Donohoe spends most of the pic displaying the absence of bikini marks on her body (palm trees always seem to obscure the vital parts of Oliver Reed as Gerald Kingsland), and she copes well with a character whose motives and methods for going to the tiny desert island remain dubious.

Castaway is based on two nonfiction books – Lucy Irvine’s version, also called Castaway, and Gerald Kingsland’s The Islander – and tries to tread a path between the two conflicting versions of their sojourn.

Reed gives the performance of his career as a sexually frustrated middle-aged man in search of sun and sex, and is admirably complemented by Amanda Donohoe as the determined but fickle object of his lust.

Photography is excellent (especially underwater scenes) but though Castaway is a great ad for the tropical Seychelles, it won’t be remembered as a Nicolas Roeg classic.

Castaway

UK

Production

Cannon/United British Artists. Director Nicolas Roeg; Producer Rick McCallum; Screenplay Allan Scott; Camera Harvey Harrison; Editor Tony Lawson; Music Stanley Myers;; Art Director Andrew Sanders

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Oliver Reed Amanda Donohoe Georgina Hale Frances Barber

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