Most people have a fear of something, whether it be acrophobia (the fear of heights) or less common things like trisaidekaphobia (the fear of the number “13”) or chorophobia (the fear of dancing). One that gets to me is being lost at sea, adrift without a boat and only a life jacket like what the survivors of the USS Indianapolis tragedy, where a shark can just come up from below and take you out. There is a bit of irony there sinc I love water sports and am a PADI certified scuba-diver, but just being so helpless and vulnerable, most people can understand why others have phobias and don’t tend to knock someone because of it.
“Adrift” is the new film directed by Baltasar Kormakur (Everest, The Deep) and stars Shailene Woodley (Divergent, Snowden) and Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). Based on true events which is based around Tami Oldham (Woodley), a twenty-something who is traveling the world in 1983 with no real direction who meets and starts dating Richard Sharp (Claflin), a Brit who is kind of doing the same thing by sailing the world. After Richard gets a job offer from friends Peter (Thomas) and Christine (Hawthorne) to sail their boat from Thailand to San Diego, he accepts as long as he can take Tami with him. While on the trip, they get caught up in one of the worst hurricanes in recorded history, and the boat ends up in shambles and a long way off course. Determined to get back to land, this is a tale of survival in some of the most extreme of conditions.
Because most of the film takes place miles away from land, this relies on Woodley and Claflin, and they truly feed off each other and enhance each other’s roles. Woodley truly does incredible work where she has to take the lead and goes through an emotional rollercoaster as her character struggles the longer they are lost, and Claflin does well playing as her injured love who gets worse as time goes on due to infection.
The film starts off right after Tami awakes post-storm with most of the story told in flashback. At about an hour and forty minutes, it seemed to be the right length and did not really drag for me at all, pulling no punches with a high level of realism and intensity. Complimenting this is the cinematography, which is just some of the best I have seen in a long time: beautiful and even a bit different, seeing things of beauty in a time of horror. The way the filming was done, many times I truly felt that I was along on the journey with them. I really was surprised in how much I loved this film due to the look and showing reality in a tough situation, so I will definitely recommend it as the coveted full price in the theaters.