I wanted to see Adrift because I do enjoy shipwreck or ocean disaster based films. They usually end up being grand visually and are a great reminder of how cruel nature can be. Adrift is based on a true story and looked like a mix of a romantic film and a survival film. It is pretty much that. I think the plot and timeline jumping does not always work but the film is anchored by a truly great performance by Shailene Woodley and some harrowing but memorable moments.
The film is about the true story of Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp. Both quickly fall in love with each other and share a common love for sailing. On one expedition, they sail into a dangerous hurricane. The hurricane was so fierce that it leaves Richard with incapacitating injuries and Tami left to steer their ruined boat to survival despite all odds being against them. She soon realizes that this is a mental as well as a physical battle. The film stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin.
Baltasar Kormákur does not always impress with his directional efforts although Everest worked for its cinematography and subject matter. Its more or less the same for Adrift. The cinematography of the oceanic terrain is beautiful and the storm scene was done very well. The plot is a bit thin and often not as focused on the duo’s survival as it should. The timeline jumps back and forth between present events and the couple at an earlier time. I don’t think this always works. Yes, there is good chemistry between Woodley and Claflin, I just didn’t think going back to their love story was as effective for focusing on the aftermath of disaster.
This is by far the best Shailene Woodley performance I have seen. The film is what it is because she takes hold of the role and is so convincing. Her determination, hopelessness, drive, and struggle is all displayed perfectly. There are two distinct passages in the film that deal with her hallucinations at sea. I thought they were fantastic and real standout moments in the film and displayed psychological toll of being adrift for so long. Not a perfect film but does what it needs to do right.