- 18 Jun 18
Sea-survival story sinks without trace
Tami is a free spirit. You can tell because she wears seashell necklaces and responds to immigration officers' inquiries about how long she intends to stay in their country with a carefree shrug that screams, "I AM A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD."
Yes, Tami is white. Imagine a brown person trying to get away with that crap.
Based on a true story, Adrift sees Tami (Shailene Woodley) meet sensitive British sailor Richard (Sam Claflin), whose wanderlust matches her own - and, surrounded by Tahitian paradise, they can't help but fall in love.
When Richard gets offered a high-paying job navigating a boat back to Tami's hometown of San Diego, the two set sail around the world together - despite her reservations about returning to the life she has spent years escaping.
But when a hurricane wrecks their ship, Tami must struggle to keep both herself and a badly wounded Richard alive - no easy feat when endless weeks pass without a hint of land or rescue. But director Baltasar Kormakur's decision to jump between the leaking boat and the couple's initial romance has mixed results.
Though Woodley and Claflin are talented actors, the underwritten Tami never seems particularly interesting. Kormakur also relies on covers of songs like I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You' to create emotion that isn't conveyed in the script. The flashbacks don't achieve the emotional investment intended, and leaving Tami's on-board struggles so often fails to create the necessary sense of growing desperation.
A plot point that is telegraphed with neon-flashing signs early on and then patronisingly over-explained later also points to the clumsiness of the writing.
But the smooth sailing and stormy sea sequences are effective, capturing the siren call of the ocean, which can be both seductive and deadly.
Directed by Baltasar Kormakur. Starring Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin. 120 mins. In cinemas June 29.
Rating: 2.5 / 5