Photo from NPR

Adrift surrounds a couple Tami and Richard played by Shailene Woodley and Sam Clafin. The two are travelers who meet in Tahiti and start up a romance. The two decide to sail the world together, but once they get a job to sail to San Diego a hurricane cuts through their path, wrecks their boat, and both must try to survive until they are able to reach land, which is thousands of miles away.

Adrift pleasantly surprised me. When I saw one of the trailers, I wrote off the film as more of a romance “love conquers all even in the face of death” type. And while there is some of that in here, the survival aspects of the film ended up working much better than I initially thought.

Shailene Woodley is the one who carries this film. I mainly know her from those Divergent movies, which are pretty terrible, and from HBO’s Big Little Lies, though her character never stood out to me in the show. But here, she gets her chance to shine. She also produces the film so it’s safe for me to say that I’m very interested to see where her career goes next. Sam Clafin is also good, but doesn’t get much to do except talk, since the boating accident majorly injured him. He didn’t bring his A game like Woodley did, but you do buy their chemistry as a couple.

The film does a smart thing by starting off with Tami stranded trying to find Richard then flashing back to how the two first met. These flashbacks bring some levity to the film once it starts to veer into more darker territory of how these two people are going to survive, but it also deters from that tension. As said before, the survival aspects of the film work really well and leaves you to question what would you do if you were in the same situation.

I don’t really have much criticisms of the film except a few nitpicks and the CGI of the hurricane hit was pretty shoddy.

Overall, Adrift worked really well as a survival story and I give it a B+

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