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  • Grace PalmerSam Claflin...
  • Action & AdventureDrama
  • Baltasar Kormákur
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Cairo 360
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Adrift: Starring the Ocean

Survival movies have a very appealing aspect to them, and this is their plausibility; the reality that this situation can happen to anyone. Adding romance to that equation can be a good idea, if the love story can measure up to the ordeal that needs to be survived, in Adrift this is not the case.

Adrift is about two lovers, Tami (Shailene Woodley) and Richard (Sam Claflin) stranded somewhere in the Pacific Ocean after facing a vicious storm, which leaves them with a damaged boat and few supplies. On their journey of attempted survival, we learn about their love story, what it takes to survive, and how love affects survival.

The love story is neither convincing nor compelling for several reasons. Firstly, the couple have only known each other for a few months for things to be this serious. A romantic would argue that one of the best love stories in film, Titanic (1997), took place over only a couple of days. Yes, but the filmmakers and cast managed to create background and romance to make the love story very compelling. Romance in Adrift, on the other hand, mainly relied on the couple hanging out in romantic looking/honeymoon type scenery and cliché dialogue.

Speaking of clichés, the second reason why this love story is not convincing, is that it is full of them. The lines of the characters are filled with statements like “you can do anything you put your mind to.” The romantic scenes utilised the oldest tricks in the book; Tami jumping from a high cliff into the water and Richard jumping in after to save her, Richard buying Tami a dress in a box that she then wears when they go out and talks about it all night, and so on and so forth. Even the character of Richard himself is cliché beyond belief; he is rich, sensitive, loves to travel, and British. Seriously?

The best thing about the entire film has to be the ocean scenes; underwater scenes, storm shots, flipped boats and more. The film was shot very well, making the ocean the best character in the film.

As for the actors, Shailene Woodley did an amazing job at playing the independent, travel loving, strong woman. Woodley was not sidelined in the survival journey and took a vital role throughout the film, showing charisma, lovability and honesty. On the other hand, Sam Claflin’s performance was very thin; there was basically one romantic facial expression that wasn’t even that convincing and another “we are in trouble” facial expression that just seemed bland.

Adrift turned into a survival film, with the love story getting in the way and dragging it down. The ocean definitely wins.

Like This? Try

Titanic (1997), The Perfect Storm (2000), Jaws (1975), Open Water (2004). 

360 Tip

Over 90% of the movie was filmed at sea. Some days began at 4 a.m., with a two-hour boat ride from land. A daily shoot could last up to 12 hours, with no land in sight.

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