Starring: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Grace Palmer, Elizabeth Hawthorne (Rated M – 96 min).
Not to be confused with around six other films called Adrift. Isolation is a phobia for many, imagine being lost at sea floating on a small waterlogged sail boat over forty days. Well this true story is exactly that.
In the lead here as global adventurer Tami Oldham, riveting Shailene Woodley is one of these impressive modern young actresses acting beyond her years in everything which she appears. Personally I enjoyed acclaimed film The Descendants (2011) and on the small screen, Big Little Lies and The OC.
Following her ambitions, life flitting around the world has become part of an excellent unexpected life so far. While in an extended stopover in Tahiti working on the docks helping incoming/outgoing pleasure craft, Tami meets mature British sailor Richard Sharp. After a whirlwind romance over a short period of time travelling together, Richard asks Tami to accompany him on a job he has accepted to sail a friend’s boat 4000 miles to San Diego.
Against her better judgement to stay put and not go ‘Home’ to the US, Tami agrees because she fell in love. Unfortunately midway through the journey heading into a forty foot swell hurricane, tragedy occurs on board disabling the boat becoming still in the water. Survival is the key with limited supplies on a leaky boat.
This movie is told in two parts, flashbacks linking how the pair go about their carefree love affair to taking off into the big blue. If one has a seasick feeling watching Adrift on the big screen, you are excused as the cinematography by Tarantino collaborator Robert Richardson is incredible. Seasick meds with your popcorn may be an option.
The book which the screenplay has been adapted is authentic bristling to extremes of human spirit to following your heart. Sam Claflin, a terrific actor especially with such talent as Woodley. Not perfect but this is a solid drama with an unexpected twist. Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur is the right man to helm after previous intense tales of survival – Everest (2015) & The Deep (2012).
Shane A. Bassett