The sheer majesty yet undiluted terror that is the marauding torrent of torrential water known only as Hurricane…….Raymond. It’s another laughably named hurricane that is at the centre of this week’s film, Adrift, and causes all manner of grief for Tami (Shailene Woodley) & Richard (Sam Claflin)in their little sailboat. Quite why these storms aren’t named ‘Hurricane Horror’, ‘Hurricane Heinous’ or ‘Hurricane AAARRRGGGHHHH! Have you seen the size of those waves?’ is anyone’s guess. But from the opening titles where one of the first credits is for the visual effects team you know where this is all heading
Adrift is a true story of Tami a free-wheeling 24 year old traveling the world by manning up sailboats whereas Richard is a 33 year old lone sailor in his home made boat travelling from port to port. The pair meet up when in arrives in a port on his immaculate boat and a burgeoning romance develops and there will soon be seaman stains on his boat (‘Stop it!’- Ed) when the storm hits it. Claflin (Me Before You) is likeable if not slightly creepy with his cheesy chat up lines but is enough of a draw for audiences of teen girls but Adrift is really Shailene Woodley’s film (best known for the Divergent trilogy) because when the storm hits it’s really terrifying and it’s her that has to get them through when he is badly injured. So as he lies there it’s Tami who scrabbles in, on and around the boat and is tossed about like a boy band member stumbling into a paedophile convention.
With the film opening on their wrecked boat you their trip has already gone awry for them both and the film cuts back and forth between the start of their romance and fast forwards to the aftermath of the storm as they try to survive in the decimated boat. It’s a plot device that moves the film along nicely for the 41 days the boat was at sea because there’s little drama to be had as they’re effectively adrift (ahhh, I see what they did there!) in a part of the world’s oceans where there are no shipping lanes, or plane flight paths.
There’s been plenty of these type of films of ocean-as-ogre from ‘A Perfect Storm’ to ‘Life of Pi’ to ‘All is Lost’ and as competently shot as it is there’s nothing new here.
Here’s the Adrift trailer….