Today, I am out of words. Day after day of continually writing similarly structured content that eventually drowns into a gateway of monotony that is drained of all importance. I like this film, here’s why. I don’t like this film, here’s why. Where does the substance of meaning arise? When is this going to make any difference to anyone? I’m in a far corner of the internet writing about films to a few dozens among billions of people on the planet, many of whom will look at this post and leave without reading more than a couple paragraphs—if not skip to the end to look at the flashy number. It’s enough to make myself question the effort I put into the things I’m most passionate about, especially those that will sit in a glass case to collect dust for all eternity.
And so fate deems that I find Castaway on the Moon. I had never heard of this film prior to today and the premise seemed just weird enough to be worth a glance. The first thirty minutes were dull. I had little hope that it would be anything more than a 6/10, especially considering how general the storytelling was and how simple it all seemed.
It was the arrival of the female lead that changed everything. Through a series of coincidences and strange lifestyle choices, the two eventually come into contact with one another, which sparks the entire point of the film. Well, I say “point,” but one could take any number of things from this film with them. For me, it was about companionship. It was about determination. It reminded me of all the past toxicity present with the friendships I had with people I could not touch. Parallels between the conscious self-esteem and the pressures of incompetence rose even further through the desire to impress others as well as the environment one lives in—ruthless and opportunistic.
In one fell swoop, Castaway on the Moon gave further evidence to the everlasting viewpoint that the moneymaking world is a cold one, where one’s worth is only predicated on their worth to business. I could make money on this blog—however little—but the thought of having advertisements plastered all over the site fills me with dread. The soulless confines of profit and profit and profit and profit and profit is such a disgusting and cruel life to live. Nothing matters if it doesn’t yield profit. People don’t matter if they don’t aid in profit. Quality is trumped over trendiness. Formula is the safe bet over substantive experimentation. If you don’t perform, you will be replaced. You have nothing if you don’t have money. You’re nothing. Kill yourself.
He almost does. The film begins with a man throwing himself off a bridge into a vast river below, hoping to drown himself. He ends up on a little island below a bridge, with no way to make it back to civilization. Over the course of the film, he slowly realizes, after some turbulence along the way, that the island has become a refuge away from that horrid society. He’s capable, finally realizing the capabilities of his species in self-survival. He becomes stronger, more astute, and begins to find himself inseparable from the land uninhabited from the outside world, ironically attached to a structure that serves as a means of arrival and departure from said world. He no longer abides by the rules determined by money. He is his own man, for the first time in his life.
With this comes the second plot: communication. A shut-in discovers the “alien” man and watches over him for months on end, eventually finding the courage to communicate with him via messages in a bottle. While she resides in a home supported by (presumably) her mother, she’s in a very similar situation as the male lead; she does not have money serve as the basis of her life. Completely a NEET, it’s shown her mother gets her anything, so, in essence, she also lives within her own world, isolated from human beings and perusing around the internet under fake identities. It’s only appropriate that these two characters are the ones who would most understand each other’s circumstances (though the woman holds most of the control here).
In short, it’s lovely. I always find myself struggling to truly communicate the level of artistry on display when it comes to films (or other fictional media) that touches me in a profound way. It feels almost like a disservice to try and communicate the beauty within the shots, sequences, and interactions present within and create a level of expectation to those in a state of ignorance. So much of this film caressed me in such a fantastical, almost self-serving way that only further heightened the insecurities I have with the earth’s population and the complete domination of Capitalist regimes. I, in only a way great movies could, fantasized about life without the desire for anything the present society demands, to live about one’s days under the sun, off the land, and simply. I certainly couldn’t do it, as I adore the internet too much for that.
What is probably the most humorous part about this entire thing, which is almost like a mash-up between personal diary and the quality of the film, is that I originally intended to write maybe three-hundred words. I’m at about nine hundred. I find that when I come into a topic I feel I can go along with, it’s hard to stop. This is a film that is fun to write about. For the sake of not revealing too much, however, I’ll leave it at that. It’s a gorgeous film—not so much aesthetically as it is in its messages. I empathized so dearly that it hurt to see the film end, which is more rare than you could know, especially for me. Give it a shot; sometime, somewhere. It may end up putting you onto your own moon, as well.
Oh, and look at that, it’s on Youtube. Wish I knew that hours ago when I watched it!
Final Score: 9/10
The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.
For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.