• Chalkbeat

"Adrift" Leaves Viewers Dumbfounded but Longing for More

STX films

What’s worse? Being lost at Sea, having shattered ribs/legs or losing your significant other? How about all three combined. That is Baltasar Kormákur’s 2018 film Adrift in a nutshell. Based on the true story of Tami Oldman, a free-spirited island hopper living pay check to pay check portrayed by The Fault in Our Stars’ Shailene Woodley, Adriftis a 90-minute tribute to the strength of love that will leave you dumbfounded yet longing for more. Tami’s world changes when she meets slightly older Richard, portrayed by Me Before You's Sam Claflin, a British sailor whose smile could cure cancer. Although their first acquaintance was nothing short of cringe worthy they are inseparable from then on.

Their romance flourished on the island of Tahiti in 1983 through trips to the farmer’s market, dinners on Richard's boat and blood pumping adventures. After a short few months Richard lovingly asks Tami to accompany him on a sailing trip around the world; Tami accepts without hesitation. With their sailing trip quickly approaching they are approached by an older wealthy couple who asks them to sail their boat to San Diego, Tami's hometown, in exchange for first class airfare back to Tahiti and $10,000. Richard, aware of the prestige of this opportunity is reluctant to accept as he is aware of Tami's ill feelings towards home. Subsequently, Tami has a change of heart and they set sail to San Diego. Things were smooth sailing (literally) for the couple for the first few weeks one second they were celebrating their engagement and the next Richard was hanging from a dinghy in the middle of the Pacific.

The film opens with a horror-struck Shailene Woodley trying to escape from a flooded boat so even during the happy parts you already knew what fate had in store for the. The back and forth structure of the film from past to present takes away from the element of surprise. While both characters were exquisitely casted, Adrift needed more emotion. There was sense of rawness and grit that the film lacked and it took away from the love story. Perhaps we needed more insight on the character’s pasts, or maybe just a few less corny I can’t live without you moments and some more intense connection. With a sea of romantic dramas out there, Adrift does not stand a chance in shining. It’s not that the film was a total disaster, It was just hard to connect with the characters emotions.

Adrift earns a solid C+. If you are a sucker for rom drams then I would recommend going to see it but trust me don’t expect any The Fault in Our Stars type of ugly crying from this one.