Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Love story on course through stormy seas

Published:Sunday | June 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Shailene Woodley (right) as Tami Oldham and Sam Claflin as Richard Sharpe in the film ‘Adrift’.

They say love makes us do crazy things. For fiances Tami Oldman and Richard Sharp, the couple at the heart of the film Adrift, that means embarking on a month-long sail across the ocean after having only known each other for five months. Depending on the viewer, that either sounds like insanity or a dream fantasy. For these two, love is the perfect guide through the ocean's treachery. Pity their trip just so happened to coincide with the biggest storm the world had ever seen, and it's right in their path.

Adrift is based on a true story, which makes the film's events all the more astounding. You watch as Shailene Woodley's character, Tami, fights to survive. When her lover is rendered immobile after the shipwreck, the burden of survival rests on her shoulders. Watching her meticulous process was nothing less than captivating. Shailene Woodley delivers a performance that is moving and inspiring. Against all odds, she maintains an ironclad will that inspires awe.




It's a pity, then, that her co-captain on this vessel, Sam Claflin, amounts to little more than the deadweight he eventually embodies. His role in the film is to be as charming as possible - a winning smile, a sense of humour and a deep sensitive soul underneath. The role itself is unrewarding. It's something that's seen in every romance movie. Despite this, Claflin's performance feels flat, even as the two come face-to-face with their potential demise.

Fortunately, half the film is spent on the couple's survival. It's gripping, and exhilarating and feels as though the camera is a simple voyeur to the extraordinary recreation of real-life events. The other half is their courtship, a handful of scenes that struggle to match up to the incredible tension of the survival. At the very least, you get a sense of the couple's love story through and through, making you incredibly invested in their lives and, more importantly, their future.

Rating: Half price