The Secret Affair in Cast Away

The Secret Affair in Cast Away

Kelly Frears should be ashamed of herself

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Cast Away is ostensibly a movie about survival. Chuck Noland, as played by Tom Hanks, is marooned on an uninhabited island and is tasked with attempting to survive physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, for all of the ?I have made fire!!? and the raft building and the spear fishing, Cast Away is really a story about love. Chuck Noland?s love of life. Chuck Noland?s love of a volley ball. Chuck Noland?s love of Kelly Frears, as played by Helen Hunt.

As made clear in the film, cutting your foot on some coral reef might be painful, but losing the woman you love is absolutely fucking devastating. However, the final goodbye between Chuck and Kelly is not as romantic as the movie would lead you to believe. The film presents the end of Kelly and Chuck?s relationship as the heartbreaking result of his plane crashing into the Pacific Ocean, his subsequent time spent alone on the island, and her reluctant decision to move on with her love life, but the reality is that their relationship was over long before he stepped foot on that FedEx plane bound for Malaysia.

Kelly Frears was cheating on Chuck Noland. The timing of the events of the movie make this abundantly clear.

Chuck Noland?s plane crashed on Christmas Day, 1995. He was rescued sometime in February of 2000, as evidenced by the message he left on the island (seen above) and Kelly telling Chuck that the Tennessee Titans just recently lost the Super Bowl on the game?s final play by one lousy yard (actually not accurate, Mike Jones really tacked Kevin Dyson about three yards away from the goal line, Dyson?s stretch after his knee hit the turf made the play look closer than it really was). That Super Bowl was played on January 30, 2000. This means that from the time Chuck Noland?s plane went down to the moment he was so rudely offered sushi and crab legs at his welcome home banquet (giving a man who survived solely on raw fish for four years more raw fish upon his return is a sick joke), exactly 50 months went by.

Just as soon as Chuck returns home, the evidence of Kelly?s affair is laid out in plain sight.

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Exhibit A: Upon returning home, Chuck is greeted by a man named Jerry Lovett, Chuck?s old dentist and Kelly?s current husband. For whatever reason, Jerry tells Chuck that he performed a root canal of him some five years ago (one year before the plane crash). Chuck, unsure why this information is relevant, is also dismayed and saddened to learn that Jerry and Kelly have a young daughter together.

Exhibit B: The unnamed daughter of Kelly and Jerry is seen briefly in the picture below, a screen capture of the moment immediately following Kelly fainting upon hearing the news of Chuck?s survival:

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Now, it?s not altogether clear how old the daughter is, but one can make a reasonable assumption based on the following information:

  1. She is sitting up straight, with full control of her neck and limbs. She is not an infant.
  2. She is being fed out of a bowl, not a jar of baby food. She is old enough to eat solid foods.
  3. She reacts to her mother?s fainting, indicating that she is cognizant of the event?s surrounding her.
  4. She has a full head of hair

It?s safe to say that the child is no younger than one year old, and she is probably closer to 13?14 months.

Exhibit C: Pictures around Kelly and Jerry?s kitchen include pictures of their wedding date, including one in which the two are clinking champagne glasses. Kelly drinking champagne shows that she was not pregnant at the time of their wedding.

Exhibit D: Kelly shows Chuck a map of the area where he was stranded. She indicates that rescue boats searched the area for weeks. It?s safe to assume, if we believe the movie, Kelly and Jerry weren?t dating while rescue boats searched for Chuck?s body.

So we have our timeline, best understood in reverse order.

Chuck was missing for 50 months.

Kelly and Jerry have a 13 month old daughter. Their daughter was born when Chuck had been missing for 37 months (Just over three years).

Kelly was pregnant for nine months prior to her daughter being born, as mothers tend to be. Kelly got pregnant when Chuck had been missing for 28 months (Just over two years).

As evidenced by the photograph of the champagne wedding toast, Kelly and Jerry were married at least two-four weeks prior to Kelly getting pregnant. Kelly was married to Jerry when Chuck has been missing for 27 months (Just over two years).

What does all this mean? Well, if you?re to believe Kelly and Jerry, It means that despite losing her fianc in a horrible plane crash on Christmas Day and not knowing whether or not he was still alive, Kelly Frears began dating Chuck?s old dentist, got married to Chuck?s old dentist, and had a child with Chuck?s old dentist once she was begged to ?move on? from Chuck?s memory. That seems like an awfully quick turnaround period, does it not?

Assuming that Kelly is to be believed, she grieved for three or four months (an ultra conservative grieving period). She panicked every time the phone rang, hoping maybe it would be some news about Chuck, good or bad. Finally, after four full months of nothing but tears and heart ache, at the urging of her family and friends, she accepts a date with Jerry Lovett.

Four months have passed since the crash, and two years pass from the first date to their wedding date. Two years! Two years seems like an awfully short turnaround for a woman to be married when she?s not even sure if her fianc is still alive or not.

I believe that it?s entirely more plausible that the following happened:

Chuck Noland was in a relationship with Kelly Frears, sure, but he was married to his job. There were times when he seemed to care more about FedEx than he did about Kelly. Their relationship started to fray, if only a little bit. Kelly began wondering if this was the man she wanted to be with forever.

One day, in the midst of this quiet romantic turmoil, Chuck had a terrible toothache. He saw a dentist who recommended he undergo a root canal. The surgery was performed by non-other than Jerry Lovett. Chuck, unable to drive home after the procedure because of the heavy anesthesia, called Kelly to pick him up.

Jerry couldn?t take his eyes of Kelly. She noticed that. It made her feel good, in a really bad way. Chuck hadn?t looked at her like that in years. Chuck was cold. Chuck was balding. Jerry?s hair was perfect. Jerry was a doctor. Jerry didn?t leave the country at the drop of a hat because FedEx asked him too.

The two began a torrid affair. Every time Chuck left on business, Kelly and Jerry were together. They plotted in secret how to run away together, how she would break the news to Chuck, how she would tell her family. Then came Christmas Day, 1995. Chuck?s plane went down. Their prayers had been answered. They were able to start their life together without any of the baggage that came with an outed affair.

Crash landing on that island was the best thing that ever happened to Chuck Noland. Imagine if it all never happened? Imagine if he proposed, and Kelly refused, her heart now fully connected to Jerry?s? Worse still, imagine if he proposed, and Kelly accepted, and Chuck remained oblivious to her yearnings until one night he comes home early from a business trip in Houston to find Kelly and Jerry tangled up in the bed that he paid for?

Imagine what that would do to a man? Imagine trying to get your heart to love and trust again after something like that. It would be impossible. The crash gave them both an out. Kelly Frears cheated on Chuck Noland, but Chuck Noland cheated death. The crash saved Chuck?s life. The crash let Chuck love again.

For more me, on movies:

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Peeling back the complicated layers of a modern Christmas classic

Making ?Sense? of Bruce Willis Movies

When you think about it, he?s always been dead the whole time. Kind of.

The Genius of the Road House Script

Everyone thought Dalton would be bigger. Why?

Rewatching ?Taken? and The World?s Worst Runner

Kim Mills and her shocking inability to move like a human being


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