07th Jul2018

‘Adrift’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Sam Claflin, Shailene Woodley, Grace Palmer, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Kael Damlamian, Luna Campbell, Siale Tunoka | Written by Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell, David Branson Smith | Directed by Baltasar Kormákur


Setting off on the journey of a lifetime across the Pacific Ocean, Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin) are pushed to their limits as they sail directly into one of the most catastrophic storms in recorded history. In the aftermath, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved. Adrift is an unforgettable story about the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable power of love.

Everest director Baltasar Kormákur’s Adrift is a competent and thrilling adventure that both satisfies with high-velocity tension and accentuates the horrors at sea, in this “based on a true story” tale based on the novel by the real-life Tami Oldham…

Shailene Woodley channels the force of a wrecking ball as Tami Oldham. She conveys a powerful one women show with a traumatising performance with exemplary emotional range. In the shadow of longtime contemporary Jennifer Lawrence no more. Holding what is essentially 90% of the film on her back with expert maturity, throwing herself fully into an uncompromising arc and a heartfelt, charismatic and truly flourishing relationship with on-screen love interest Sam Claflin, who also impresses but thankfully takes a step back and does not overshadow.

The cinematography by Tarantino alumni Robert Richardson is outstanding with beautiful framing and composition that almost deviates into a commercial for GoPro but thankfully abstains. The score by Volker Bertelmann flourishes and peaks perfectly in terrific set pieces and keeps itself controlled to a minimum in times of building.

Certain editing decisions will surprise some and be found moderately frustrating by others. It’s executed with structural flair, although repeated far too often and the momentum of considerable impact with each editorial cut-back is lost with slow pacing.

Adrift is in UK cinemas now.


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