adrift

DIRECTOR: Baltasar Kormakur (everest, 2 guns, contraband)
STARRING: shailene woodley, sam claflin, jeffrey thomas, and elizabeth hawthorne

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

★★★

In the aftermath of sailing into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope of rescue, Tami must now find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved.

In some parts of Vanuatu I am known as the burley machine all because I puked my guts up during a storm while out on a fishing trip. Watching Adrift with the roaring winds and the thunderous waves brought it all back. 

The story is more romance than adventure as Tami, the constant traveller, meets and falls for Richard, the handsome and slightly older British sailor. Its their mutual wanderlust spirit that draws them together, and they agree to sail Richard's friends boat back to the USA from Tahiti to fund their adventures together. Disaster strikes as they sail straight into the path of a horrific hurricane which leaves the boat a floating wreck and both Tami and Richard injured. 

Even though its an incredible true tale of survival the real crux of the story takes place as Tami and Richard drift listlessly in the ocean following the storm. The film makers use every trick in the book to make the story engaging and some of the techniques they use are original and they really work. But I still found myself looking at my watch as it still felt like a story that doesn't hold up to being a full cinematic feature. 

I don't think I've seen finer performances from Woodley or Claflin than in Adrift. You fully believe that they are star crossed lovers; the chemistry is electric. I've often found Woodley a bit overly emotive and Claflin too earnest but they were just brilliant. 

 

Even though its a terrific story it doesn't hold up as a feature length film despite the great performances from Woodley and Claflin. 

★★★

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