Adrift movie review (2018) | Baltasar Kormákur

adrift movie review

Adrift movie review – Shailene Woodley maintains the uplifting atmosphere of a survival drama.

In this fact-based lost-at-sea adventure, Divergent star Shailene Woodley delivers a career-best performance and director Baltasar Kormákur maintains interest high.

Tami is her name. Having no money in her pocket and nothing new to see in San Diego, she decided to cruise around a little and glimpse the aquatic side of the world several years ago (never mind when exactly). And she has a tale for you!

adrift film 2018

Tami is starred by Shailene Woodley, who also played the female lead in Adrift, a survival drama directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Woodley appears in almost every scene of this based-on-a-true-story picture. On the road up, she’s a free spirit falling in love with fellow far-from-home traveler Richard (Sam Claflin), and on the way down, she’s holding on for dear life against nature’s cold indifference. The screenplay of Adrift moves back and forth in waves, so we begin with the mire. The luxurious yacht they were hired to sail from Tahiti to California has been almost totally destroyed, and it is meandering somewhere in the Pacific after being wrecked. In time for the well-planned twin climax, we learn how our two nautical heroes got into such a bind just as things are coming to a head.

The interlacing is clever, and Kormákur’s shooting technique reflects it. When the bulk of your film takes place on a tiny boat, you have to get creative, and his camera is frequently diving into the water or framing Woodley and Claflin in unusual ways. The storm sequence was really scary; my head throbbed after just a few minutes, and I nearly became sick. I’m confident they’ll appreciate this as a compliment.

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It was a combination of factors, not the least of which were the aftereffects. The rampant seas terror had such an impact because we’ve come to really care for Tami and Richard by this point. Their French Polynesian courtship isn’t groundbreaking moviemaking, but it is sweet and genuine. Kormákur allows the vast distance and a particularly romantic Tom Waits cover to do much of the work, while one can’t ignore how Woodley and Claflin, who are rarely seen in anything other than bikinis, look larking about in the surf or snogging on the fo’c’sle.

adrift movie 2018

There are also the tense periods of danger, in which macabre gashes are discovered and we all breathe through our teeth as one. (This oddity, for which I can’t find a term, happened at least three times throughout the New York mixed press and public screening.) When we’re watching competent folks confront their next problem before time runs out – whether it’s a malfunctioned rudder or a decreasing water supply – Adrift is best. Richard is stranded on his back because to an injury; Tami is therefore left to perform all of the difficult tasks while they attempt to guide their nearly capsized boat to Hawaii.

Adrift is not as powerful an existential gut-punch as All Is Lost or the just-presented Arctic, but it makes up for it in terms of emotional intensity. Woodley, whom I’ve never considered a great actress, pushes herself to the limit and goes from traumatized to triumphant. It’s far superior than anything else she’s done before. The line of sobbing adolescent girls behind me suggests that this might be a hit. Now more than ever, I am more determined to travel by rail than ever before.

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Film Credits

adrift movie

Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur

Written by: Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell, David Branson Smith

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin

Release date: June 1, 2018 (United States)

Running time: 96 minutes

Language: English

4/5 - Movie Rating!

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