Film Review: “Adrift” (2018) ★★★★


It was a few weeks before its premiere when I heard of “Adrift” starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin based on a true story of survival. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur and adapted from Tami Ashcraft’s book (not going to mention the title to prevent spoiling the film), I knew nothing about the true event, hence, was completely unprepared for what the film had to offer. And I admit, it was a nice surprise, chilling, terrifying and a touching piece of story I would highly recommend to refrain yourself from studying it until you see it.

Tami is in Tahiti, enjoying her life and with one thing in her mind – to explore as much land on this planet as she can. Soon she meets Richard Sharp, a man younger than her and who shares the same passion for the sea and sailing. Having an incredible romantic relationship, they both agree to accept an offer to sail to San Diego, California which promises to deepen Tami and Richard’s feelings for each other. So it did in a remarkably heartwarming way all the way towards the end of a tragic incident that left them to adrift in the open sea for a long forty-one days.

Astounding structure of flashbacks brings the viewer to the opening scene where we find Tami already inside of the boat that had already been severely damaged due to Hurricane Raymond. Then it takes us five months before, the exact time when Richard and Tami begin so the viewer can have an idea of what happened between them before the hurricane abruptly interrupted their journey. As we go back and forth, the switch between the timeline is amazing as it continues building up the tension of Tami and how she tries to help Richard to survive who was already injured.

Being a vegetarian, Tami promises Richard to catch some fish, but fails to do so. But some food they find on the boat helps them to last a bit longer. But the whole problem is that the chance that they will be found by someone is very minimal as nobody except themselves know about their whereabouts. And before the journey, Tami sends a letter to her mother telling her about her new boyfriend Richard, and she even states one fact: “Mom, I feel like he is the one. But I guess, I will find it out when we reach home.” But the thing is, Richard already knew that he was that person with whom Tami would agree to sail till the end of her life and he had no intentions of changing his mind no matter how hard it will be as they drift towards the unforseen end.

In conclusion, “Adrift” is a suspenseful, at times, slow-burning survival drama that drifts towards an emotionally devastating end. Absolutely great chemistry shared between Claflin and Woodley, the film works perfectly well, giving it the right pace that never slowed down throughout. Woodley’s excellent physical readiness and the psycological readiness of Claflin delivers the best gift ever of portraying two lives whose story should have been told only in the way it was in “Adrift”. And in order for you to be in sync with the characters, leave the outside life outside and forget about everything for an hour and half and analyze it after the credits are long gone.

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