Astrology: Film: ‘All Is Lost’ (2013)

Lionsgate

Lionsgate

You won’t find a more graceful Saturn archetype than the one expressed in J. C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, a movie – more like a cinematic meditation – about Saturnine wisdom, solitude, old age, endurance, survival and mortality.

The carrier of these traits, as referred to in the closing credits, is “Our Man,” played by Robert Redford, the sole character in the movie. All we know about him is from his voiceover at the beginning of the film, in which he apologizes, as though reading a letter, to loved ones, asking them for forgiveness and assuring them that “I fought to the end.” Those last words are prophetic, as he begins an ordeal both small – given he’s the only participant – and massive, in terms of its collective resonance.

With so much Saturnine energy evident in the movie, the man may just as well be a Capricorn, a mountain goat that delights in getting to the top and winning, and a sea goat in its more spiritual manifestation. And, in All Is Lost, there’s plenty of sea to spare.

The man is somewhere in the Indian Ocean, sailing solitary on his yacht which, when we enter his world, has been gashed by a rogue shipping container. It’s the breach that sets things rolling and, for the rest of the movie, the man loses his supplies and, by extension, his ties to the outside world. All he’s got for companions are destructive, natural calamities such as storms and winds that howl their domination over his increasingly creaky boat. Saturn people like working alone by choice, but here it’s more than the man has bargained for.

For Saturn, details and organization are critical, and the movie, for the most part, is a bearing witness to tasks – a good Saturn word – which the man methodically gets done. At times tedious to watch, these little jobs – his desperate attempt to create a makeshift condensation contraption to produce desalinated water is enough to bring one to tears – are the only things he can control to keep him the CEO of his own survival.

The man’s Capricorn mindset also explains his calm and meticulous shave, in front of a mirror, as he begins to fight the fates. Look the part and rise to the occasion – the Goat’s motto – even if the only thing awaiting one is death. The movie’s ending, which may strike viewers as too ambiguous, isn’t the point. It’s about getting there. Here Saturn provides the sea map: grim, unforgiving and demanding every ounce of his attention.

All Is Lost is about Our Man’s facing an increasing tide of limitations. The movie, however, in exploring his existential crisis, is quite limitless. He is, after all, Your Man.

Astrology Film Rating: ♄ (Saturn)

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