Review: Adrift (2018)

Adrift (2018)

Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur | 99 minutes | action, adventure | Actors: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Grace Palmer, Jeffrey Thomas, Tami Ashcraft, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Kael Damlamian, Zac Beresford, Luna Campbell, Siale Tunoka

The true story of ‘Adrift’ centers on wild Tami (Shailene Woodley) and sensitive Richard (Sam Claflin). They have both been traveling the world for many years. Both with their own reasons and both without a definitive end goal. They met on a small island and soon decide to travel further together. A warm and heartfelt “love at first sight” romance ensues. The two seem destined for each other. But as a viewer you also know from scene 1 that the boat that Tami and Richard want to sail the South Pacific will be destroyed. The couple gets “adrift” with the shipwreck. With no possibility of contact with the mainland, badly injured and with little ration they have to survive on open water. Hawaii is the next island, but without a working GPS it is gambling and measuring to get there. If they miss Hawaii they will surely die.

In ‘Adrift’ the viewer is torn between the warm romance and the knowledge of the misery the young couple will end up in. Woodley and Claflin’s pure and subtle play allows you to completely drown in the love that ensues. The chemistry between the two is incredibly believable. In some movies you can really empathize and cheer for a protagonist. In ‘Adrift’ you empathize with both characters as a couple. You can hardly and would not imagine that one or both of the characters would not make it to Hawaii.

In addition, ‘Adrift’ remains insanely exciting until the end by playing with the chronology. You know that the ship will be destroyed, but the knowledge how that happens is very cleverly hidden for a long time. The flashbacks begin from the moment the two destined lovers meet to the point of the accident. In the present we see the aftermath of the accident and the struggle to stay alive. This actually makes it doubly exciting. The warm scenes from the beginning make the hopeless survival scenes even more painful. This makes the horrifying lonely and fateful feeling feel even more intense as a viewer.

‘Adrift’ is a fine piece of film work where strong acting and a clever plot sequence take you into a chilling story. And where a warm blossoming love and an intense bowl of misery can hardly leave you untouched.

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