Adrift Movie Review: A True Story of Lovers

By Brennan Dube | @Brennan_Dube71R

In the midst of the heavy box office season we get a lighter film based on a true story of lovers who sail directly into Hurricane Raymond while sailing from Tahiti to California on a small sailboat. Here is my review of ‘Adrift.’

‘Adrift’ stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin. It is directed by Baltasar Kormakur who also directed ‘Everest’ which came out in 2015. This film is as previously stated a true story and follows the story of two avid sailors, Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp. With being a true story of course there are potential handcuffs on filmmakers in regards to what they can and cannot do, but overall ‘Adrift’ offers movie goers a simple to follow lost at sea type film. The movie opens directly from the moments following the storm and it uses flashbacks to help carry the story along.

From the get go, I saw straight through the relationship that was brewing between Claflin and Woodley. This has much to do with the script and dialogue provided as I found it to be dumbed down and quite clichéd. Woodley and Claflin offer average to well done performances that are otherwise dampened by a weak dialogue. The fact that for the majority of the film these characters are either isolated alone on the boat or just alone on land makes us as viewers only really have two characters to follow. It is rather difficult to legitimately make a movie that only follows two people with absolutely no supporting cast, but Woodley and Claflin made it passable in ‘Adrift.

The visuals and cinematography in this film are really well done. There are some absolutely gorgeous shots of the ocean and horizon that clearly had proper execution and make for pleasant scenes and backgrounds on screen. The pace in this movie is also pretty well executed. Director Kormakur ensured that there was a steady flow and there was never really a dull or boring act in this film. The flashes ensured that the story possessed good movement and they also helped to set up the climactic twist.

Speaking more on the strengths of this movie, the twist that does occur, while being quick and arguably predictable, does have good shock factor that really helps to play on your emotions. Although as an entirety, emotions and a strong sense of connection with these characters is sometimes missing from the movie. I mostly blame that on bad writing. It is vital that with these kinds of dramatic romance films that also carry suspense and thrill, that you care for these characters and what they are going through and ‘Adrift’ didn’t do that for me. Due to the fact that these characters’ relationship is not all that well built leads this film to lack in terms of intensity and suspense.

The big plus: The fact that this is a true story keeps the shock value and heart strong in ‘Adrift.’ Also enjoy a well built up twist that leaves you satisfied with the outcome.

Where it lacks: Less than stellar dialogue and poor relationship building leaves you sitting back in your seat instead of on the edge of it during its most intense moments.

Score: 60/100

In conclusion, ‘Adrift’ offers a solid story with good performances hurt by mediocre dialogue. Being a true story, ‘Adrift’ manages to hold your interest throughout the entire film. The beautiful visuals and ocean pictures provide pleasant to watch scenes. Although the movie lacks a good level of suspense and emotional connection, it is a mostly average film.

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