Horrific Survival Tactics Displayed on Film

Movies have a powerful way of showing audiences what it looks like to go past one’s limits in life-or-death situations. Since films are a form of entertainment, most people may likely detach themselves from gruesome scenes about surviving because it is not part of their reality. The actors and the characters they portray onscreen, however, still highlight the ways disaster can hit anyone at any time and force people to make tough decisions regarding their livelihood.

In “Cast Away,” Tom Hanks plays an engineer named Chuck Noland who knocked out his tooth using the blade from an ice skate and a rock. Most viewers would find it difficult to imagine going through such a dreadful ordeal. In the character’s mind, however, he made the best choices he could based on his limited resources and desolate circumstances. Without the extraction, an aching mouth would have possibly distracted Chuck from implementing other survival tactics, such as fishing and building a boat to try to sail away from the island. This movie character had to save himself from death, starvation, insanity, and depression.

Using a knife in “Buried,” Ryan Reynolds plays a contractor named Paul Conroy who cut off one of his fingers to save his family from harm. Honoring the self-mutilation requests of an inhumane captor may seem like a huge price to pay when ransom was the initial demand prior to this incident. However, the character in this movie was already facing a bad situation before sacrificing himself for the sake of others. With next to nothing to lose, this character presumed that he had everything to gain by being cooperative in hopes of escaping the coffin and Iraq alive. In this scene, he clearly valued life and freedom more than one small body part.

Ethan Hawke plays rugby player Nando Parrado, who joined his friends in eating the frozen flesh of dead airplane passengers, in “Alive.” While the cannibalism factor of this movie disturbs audience members to their core, Hawke’s character demonstrated primal survival instincts by consuming what was available to fuel his body. Since the unimaginable circumstance of being trapped on cold mountains can push human beings to reconsider how far they will go for another hour or day of life, most moviegoers can sympathize with the decisions made in this film.

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