Film Review – ADRIFT (2018)

ADRIFT (2018, USA) ***
Drama, Adventure
dist. STX Entertainment; pr co. Huayi Brothers / Ingenious / Lakeshore Entertainment / Pantagruel Productions / RVK Studios / STX Entertainment; d. Baltasar Kormákur; w. Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell, David Branson Smith (“Red Sky in Mourning: The True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea” by Tami Ashcraft with Susea McGearhart); pr. Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell, Baltasar Kormákur, Shailene Woodley; ph. Robert Richardson (Colour. Digital (Digital Cinema Package DCP). ARRIRAW (3.4K) (source format), Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format). 2.39:1); m. Volker Bertelmann; ed. John Gilbert; pd. Heimir Sverrisson; ad. Andy McLaren; rel. 1 June 2018 (USA), 29 June 2018 (UK); BBFC cert: 12; r/t. 96m.
cast: Shailene Woodley (Tami Oldham), Sam Claflin (Richard Sharp), Jeffrey Thomas (Peter Crompton), Elizabeth Hawthorne (Christine Crompton), Grace Palmer (Deb), Tami Ashcraft (Tami Ashcraft), Siale Tunoka (Customs Agent), Kael Damlamian (Smiley), Lei-Ming Caine (Outrigger Girl), Neil Andrea (Crewman), Apakuki Nalawa (Musician), Tim Solomon (Musician).
Woodley gives an impressive physical performance as Tami Oldham, who with her new boyfriend Richard Sharp (Claflin) sails directly into a hurricane. In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard severely injured and their boat in ruins. Adrift without hope of rescue, Tami must fight for their survival. Kormákur’s film is based on a true story and combines love story elements of the couple’s meeting and growing relationship, told in flashbacks throughout, with their battles on the open sea. The director struggles to find the right balance and structure with the latter elements working best and the less interesting love story increasingly feeling like an interruption. It is Woodley who keeps us hooked as her character adapts to the harsh environment. Technical attributes are good, with vivid photography by Richardson.