Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur
Based on the Book by: Tami Oldham Ashcraft with Susea McGearhart
Screenplay by: Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell and David Branson Smith
Produced by: Baltasar Kormákur, p.g.a., Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell, Shailene Woodley
Director of Photography: Robert Richardson
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Grace Palmer, Tami Ashcraft.
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”
Adrift is a survival story, the focus on how love conquers all.
Based on the book written by Tami Oldham, “Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea”, Adrift is the true story of how Tami (Shailene Woodley) survived forty-one days lost at sea after the boat she was sailing in with her fiancé and long-time sailor, Richard (Sam Claflin) encountered the most catastrophic hurricane recorded in history, Hurricane Raymond.
We’re taken back and forth in time, from the devastation and aftermath of waking in a wreck, floating on an unforgiving sea, to the time when Tami first met Richard.
Opening in Tahiti in 1983, Tami’s in her early twenties, traveling the world working at each destination until she saves up to travel to the next. She spends her days surfing, immersing herself in the culture and being free.
Then Richard literally sails into her life on a boat he’s made by hand, sharing her passion for freedom and travel.
When asked to sail a friend’s boat back to the States, they decide that thirty days at sea together would be the perfect adventure.
Adrift is a romance including the hesitation, the thought of being stuck together and wondering if it’s really a smart move (Being together, yes. Sailing to the States? Definitely not!). But the couple are shown sailing the seas, living in a blissful love-bubble. Until they sail straight into hurricane Raymond.
I’m not one who usually goes in for the emotional, romantic dramas. And yes, Adrift has all that awkward marriage proposal, cheesy flower-in-the-hair and kisses and general sweetness when two people find, The One. But with admitted tears streaming down my face at the end of this film, there was more to this story than romance.
Growing up on the water in Hawaii, screenwriters, Aaron and Jordan Kandell (Moana (2016)) wanted to write a story with the ocean as the setting.
And director Baltasar Kormákur (The Deep (2012) and more recently, Everest (2015)) being a world-class sailor was able to push the limits of filming to capture the survival story in-camera, working with academy award winner, cinematographer, Robert Richardson (JFK (1991), The Aviator (2004) and Hugo (2011)) to take the audience into the reality of being lost at sea and the devastation of living through starvation, hallucinations, loneliness and fear.
I could feel the sun beating down on cracked lips, the harsh cold ocean heaving the boat, the pain and the thought of what would I do in that situation?
Yet the romance of the love story is sometimes a little hard to take, with the constant woops of travel-mad Tami showing her wild side and independence.
Sam Claflin as Richard plays the English sailor well; here as the injured Richard (and in a previous role of dependence in, Me Before You (2016)) – what can I say, he has that adorable English charm about him.
And Shailene Woodley as Tami with her quiet will a trade-mark of strength that gives way to softness eventually won me over by the end of the film.
So yes, Adrift is a bit cheesy, but there’s more to this romance with a few surprises in the telling of this incredible story of survival.
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