Small Screen Reviews
What’s It About?
The true story of a young couple who are asked to sail a yacht across the Atlantic to San Francisco, only to get caught up in one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.
Who’s In It?
Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, & more recently Big Little Lies)
Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games, Their Finest, & more recently Journey’s End)
Director: Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband, 2 Guns, & more recently Everest)
There can be nothing more humbling than the prospect of mankind confronted by the sheer raw power of nature, whether that be from flooding, storms, earthquakes, volcanoes or the ocean itself. And this has been wonderfully captured in previous films such as J A Bayona’s The Impossible or Robert Redford’s seafaring All Is Lost.
Having captured the terrifying dangers of scaling Mt Everest in his last film, director Baltasar Kormakur is no stranger to capturing the raw, visceral horrors of nature, and he takes it on with gusto in his latest project, Adrift.
Based on a true story, Adrift sees American nomad Tami Oldham meet sailing mad Brit Richard Sharp in Tahiti. As the pair fall into the first throes of love, Richard is offered the chance to sail a yacht from Tahiti to San Diego for a decent sum of money. But what begins as a wonderful romantic trip for the two of them, soon turns into an utter disaster as they unwittingly get caught up in one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.
After Richard is severely injured, their hopes lie on Tami to find a way to civilisation and ultimately survival. Kormakur, as with Everest, limits the amount of CGI and goes for as much natural action as is allowable, which certainly adds to the drama and tension on screen. Admittedly we have seen plenty of this type of stuff before – think A Perfect Storm, The Mercy, All Is Lost – so there is little scope to surprise, but nevertheless Kormakur certainly delivers.
He is able supported by a breathtakingly raw performance from the ever-impressive Shailene Woodley, while Sam Claflin is amiable enough if severely underused. However, the film is hampered by a somewhat weak script with some jarring lines of dialogue, which threaten at times to sink the project.
In A Nutshell:
A tense and dramatic film, with a brilliant raw performance from Shailene Woodley but a limited script.
Baltasar Kormakur’s cinematic action sequences
A weak script
An underused Sam Claflin
Release date: 05/11/2018
Certificate: 12 / 12A