REVIEW

Adrift

OR (Pi Without a Tiger)

Author

Ankit Ojha




WORDICT

Outstanding!






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BYTE THE BULLET

Don't let this one drift away, folks. It's a gem you don't want to miss.


Ankit Ojha

June 5, 2018

Plot

Two travelers bump into each other and fall into a whirlwind romance within a matter of months. One ambitious decision leads to another and they've set sail, not knowing the storm that's about to hit them.


Shailene Woodley (Divergent, 2014) has range unlike a lot of people you see in film today, and if you haven’t been a fan already, her electrifying turn in Adrift will make you one. But I’m getting ahead of myself here—let’s talk a bit about survival movies and how redundant most newer ones have felt of late. It’s only fair that for studios to have gone with another one, they would have to pick someone who’s walked those tightropes before. If there’s anyone who could have checked these niche boxes, it would have to be Baltasar Kormákur (Everest, 2015).

The Fault in Our Stars 2: It's About to Hit the Fan

(L-R) Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin star in Baltasar Kormákur's Adrift, a STXfilms, Huayi Brothers Pictures, RVK Studios, Ingenious Media, and Lakeshore Entertainment Group release.

The organic evolution of Woodley’s character arc through the film's duration only goes to proves it. Her pain, helplessness, rage, and determination reverberate through the screen to make its viewers empathize. It’s not all shock-value and heartstring-tugs though—there’s enough backstory here to get us up to speed, and surprisingly, it’s told with patience and grace. Then again, most of John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge, 2016) and his stance on emotion-over-story. His understanding of the natural flow of a story's emotional core while knitting films is what makes the frequent back-and-forth arresting enough, despite the cards being already on the table.
[Shailene] Woodley and Sam Claflin's [breathless romance ends up being] surprisingly beneficial [...] to the story’s emotional core.
You can’t get to the end of the game without playing one though, and that’s why we’re served a breathless romance between Woodley and Sam Claflin (Their Finest, 2017), which turns out to be a surprisingly beneficial anchor to the story’s emotional core. Kormákur keeps it simple; a lot of it is quiet and unassuming, but it’s how effortlessly the two play off each others' strengths that cooks up a storm (pun not intended). Theirs is a love that feels almost like an escapist fantasy—until you realize that this may actually have happened.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fish

Shailene Woodley stars in Baltasar Kormákur's Adrift, a STXfilms, Huayi Brothers Pictures, RVK Studios, Ingenious Media, and Lakeshore Entertainment Group release.

Based on the non-fiction book Red Sky in Mourning by Tami Oldham (who Woodley essays here), the film covers its author’s sweeping romance with Richard Sharp (Claflin), and the ill-fated journey they set out across the ocean. Now, sure, the makers would have fictionalized chunks of it—it’s a movie, after all—but there has to have been an inkling of truth to it all. The epilogue only goes to confirm this.
With Adrift, [Shailene Woodley] has given one of her career-best performances.
Adrift is not without its problems— often you’ll find a flashback that doesn’t serve much to take the characters or their journey forward, and the assortment of characters you’ll find interacting with the leads are either vague or straight-up nonexistent. (A conflict building scene when one of the characters makes a crucial decision that will eventually set the wheels in motion is, sadly, a major sore point).

Kitschin' it up like Bob Ross

(L-R) Sam Claflin and Shailene Woodley star in Baltasar Kormákur's Adrift, a STXfilms, Huayi Brothers Pictures, RVK Studios, Ingenious Media, and Lakeshore Entertainment Group release.

Stick around through. Weather those stormy winds, and you’ll find yourself emotionally investing in the universe and its people a lot more than you’d previously bargained. Warts and all, Baltasar Kormákur’s latest is gripping—often heart-wrenching—as a survival drama, but works as effectively as a sweeping romance, thanks to its two exceptionally talented leading actors. And if all else fails, Shailene Woodley won't. With Adrift, she’s given one of her career-best performances since HBO’s Big Little Lies and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, and her fantastic grip on the character she plays is worth every penny of your ticket.

VERDICT

Adrift is slightly rough around the edges, but that doesn't make its plusses any less credible. Shailene Woodley absolutely shines in Baltasar Kormákur's competently directed survival/romance-drama that pushes viewers to emotionally invest in the lives of its characters, giving it the boost it needs to make its way to shore. Recommended.

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

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Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Plot

Two travelers bump into each other and fall into a whirlwind romance within a matter of months. One ambitious decision leads to another and they've set sail, not knowing the storm that's about to hit them.

Release Year

Rated

PG-13

ELITE METER
0
%

Plot

Two travelers bump into each other and fall into a whirlwind romance within a matter of months. One ambitious decision leads to another and they've set sail, not knowing the storm that's about to hit them.

Release Year

Rated

PG-13

ELITE METER
0
%