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Mariner's Library

All Is Lost

Directed by J. C. Chandor

Robert Redford is a single-handed yachtsman who wakes up to come on watch only to find water flooding into his boat. He is in the middle of the Indian Ocean and has hit a rogue container which has smashed its way into his hull, in every sailor’s nightmare (see this month’s lead feature ‘Containers’).

He levers the yacht away from the box, patches the hole and climbs the mast to try and rig up jury communications – as the ingress of saltwater has ruined his nav and comms system.

If things weren’t bad enough a tropical storm is coming his way.

He suffers a MOB, dismasting, and concussion from a knockdown…

I won’t reveal more, even though there’s much more to reveal, for fear of spoiling your viewing fun.

A lot of armchair admirals panned this film in order to display their own knowledge and experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it, however. After all, who hasn’t seen a maritime blockbuster where the sails hang limply in a ‘storm’, waves crash aboard in a flat calm, and sailing vessels seem to go faster than their maximum hull speed? 

No one’s pretending All Is Lost is anything other than a piece of theatre and as such it works very well. I guarantee you’ll be on the edge of your bunk.

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