Adrift, 7.9/10, shows the sheer brilliance of what the human mind and body can achieve when put to extreme condition. Adrift is based on the true story of two bohemian spirits who, whilst traveling, fall deeply in love with one another. When an offer of a lifetime lands in their lap of sailing across the ocean, Tami Oldham (played by Shailene Woodley) and Richard Sharp (played by Sam Claflin) set sail on their journey to the unknown. The idyllic journey that they had hoped for took a catastrophic turn as they sailed off into the red horizon – the famous sailors’ quote warning an storm brewing imminently. This was not just any storm, oh no, but one of the biggest hurricanes in recorded history. The outcome is as expected and alongside one destroyed boat, Tami is pretty badly beaten up after a blow to the head knocks her unconscious for 27 hours. She awakes to find Richard completely unable to help due to a broken leg and ribs. Their only chance of survival falls into the hands of Tami. Will her resilience be enough to save herself and the only man she has ever loved – even against all odds? Well if you haven’t already heard of this story, I really don’t want to be the person to spoil it for you.
Adrift is one of the best depictions of a true event that I have seen in a long time. The narrative structure throughout the whole film has been executed brilliantly and captivates the audience perfectly. Although watching someone shipwrecked for 41 days could become a bit tedious at time, Baltasar Kormakur (Director) immediately chucks you in at the deep end (excuse the punn) starting with the lovers battling with hurricane Raymond and losing but then cuts back to 5 months prior. As Tami continues to fight for her life, we are introduced to how the two initially met, fell in love and got into the mess they find themselves in.
I fully commend Shailene Woodley on her excellent skill: maintaining an audience’s attention and keeping them hooked. As an audience, we are rooting for her to succeed in her battle against extreme conditions. But that is just what great actors do. They story tell and this tale had me with a lump in my throat, sweaty palmed and forgetting that this actually happened.
There is a moment at the end of the film where it cuts to modern day; the real Tami Oldham is still at sea sailing and for me, that is something that is indescribable. Without divulging any more than I should (because this really is a cinematic experience that should be watched by all), this is a moment in history that displays there are really no bounds to what is humanly possible.