Movie Adrift review: The Survival Drama Based on Real Facts

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Movie Adrift review: The Survival Drama Based on  Real Facts

Photo credit:  - Photo edition: Amber255 via

Greetings!, I must say that I very waited for the movie ADRIFT. I love survival theme movies that give some adrenaline watching them. It was starting to show in our cinemas from the 1st of June, so I was one of the first ones who watched ADRIFT in Lithuania. If you also waited for this movie or have a plan to watch it, read my movie ADRIFT review first in order to know what you can expect. 

Baltasar Kormakur, a well-known author of the crime thriller Contraband, the survival drama Everest based on real facts, and the comedian action movie  2 Guns, an Icelandic film creator again drown into a drama genre, presenting an incredible story of the two people that got lost in the Pacific ocean.


The Survival Drama ADRIFT  -  Photo credit:

ADRIFT - the movie based on real facts, created by the director Baltasar Kormakur with an astonishing couple of Hollywood actors Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, reaffirming that human will and love are stronger than any natural disaster. 41 days in the open ocean, without any help. That is the time term the heroes of the film had to endure and appreciate how the precious and fragile human life is.

Do the infinite love and the will are two qualities that a woman can turn into superheroes? Let's watch!

Movie ADRIFT Trailer, 2018   - Video credit: movieclipsTRAILERS via

The Short Story Of the Movie ADRIFT

Surfboards sports lover Tami and sailor Richard (actors Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin) met in the summer of 1983 on the island of French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean - a haven of water and adventurers lovers in the south of the Pacific. After a brief acquaintance, the young men immediately fell in love with each other and soon decided to go on a life journey - sail to Japan. But before that Richard needs to do one important job, which will bring him a lot of money for which he can fulfill his goal with his beloved. This job is the seemingly simple work of sailing a yacht in California for more than 6,000 kilometers. In October, when the summer skyrocketed in the Southern Hemisphere, lovers lifted the sail.

The beginning of the journey was akin to a fairy tale: a favorable wind, pleasant heat, and no one's unobstructed loneliness in the wide waters. However, Tami and Richard did not even notice that they were heading directly into the emerging hurricane Reimond, which became one of the most powerful hurricanes in the year.


Survival Drama ADRIFT  -  Photo credit:

Experienced the crushing power of nature, the young men survived just miraculously - Richard broke several ribs and legs, and Tami was generally paid off with just a few bruises and beatings. Still, the situation seemed hopeless: the yacht was destroyed almost irreversibly, the radio - as well, the food and water supplies were almost not left, and to the nearest land of Hawaii can be found at least a couple of thousands of kilometers from them. But Tami decided not to give up.

These stories are always important to tell. This movie was important to tell in the ’80s; it was important to tell in the ’90s, and it didn’t get made, and it happened to get made now, and for whatever divine reason, a lot of conversation is surrounding this transition, not only in Hollywood, but in the world in balancing the scales, and any way to support that; I feel honored.  -  Shailene Woodley


While reading  ADRIFT Movie Review, don't forget to check the Querlo Chat: 

The Content of the Movie 

I really enjoy movies about survival in an unusual situation, so I was very pleased to know that director Baltasar Kormakur again started making a film on this topic. Still, his 2015 Everest movie has become one of my best examples of films of this kind. And here is a story based on real facts, whose action moves in a less-than-usual place - the ocean.

However, could this film be attributed to those movies which deeply involve watchers with perfect stories? Is this a tape that keeps the watchers in full tension before the end of the session? Is it a movie that's shocking? Really, not. And now, without any spoilers, I'll explain why I'm thinking so.

Movie ADRIFT Scene  -  Photo credit:

First of all, what needs to be addressed is the structure of the narrative, which plays one of the most important roles here. The director tried to tell us the story of Tami and Richard through the prism of memories, and this was the biggest mistake you can make for a sensible and exciting story about survival. And that's because, from the outset, we have to see their attempts to escape when we do not know anything about them, we should not know if they will stay alive.

I understand that this was an attempt to create an intrigue during which the viewer would think what and why, but in this case, such a way of telling simply damaged the common concept of history. Still, the main engine in the film becomes the characters, and in order to understand their motives and worry about their destinies, in order to sympathize them, we must be well acquainted with them so that later, when some kind of disaster occurs, we could survive it together.

ADRIFT - Drama Based on Real Facts  -  Photo credit:

But that's not the case. Since the beginning of the film, there is a particularly chaotic picture both of the catastrophe and of the heroes, and that does not fascinate. Even the love that they are trying to emphasize here showing the pictures from their past does not create any additional feeling.

The movie does not contain any chemistry between characters, nor is it even the slightest indication of the beginning of their feelings. Therefore, watching this movie, personally for me and for some people with whom I was in the session, it raised up a lot of questions. But I will not reveal too much about the very story of the movie.


Tami and Richard in the movie ADRIFT - Photo credit:

So, we came to the actors. The movie is dominated by only two characters - Tami and Richard, who are completely different as a day and night. And although their general interest in traveling and having no plans seems really charming, however, when a serious situation unfolds, neither one nor the other shows a solid survival character. Only later, Tami of a simple surfboard girlfriend turns into a solid woman who can hunt a fish in the ocean. Yes, yes, not catch, but hunting. And Richard, as was in a state of calmness, so stayed until the end of the movie.

And while this tape we watched feeling calm, it did not look too long, what is also a good plus. However, if I already talk about pluses of the movie, I would praise the filmmakers for the end of the movie. This part was the best in the whole movie. And for that, I would add an additional score to the overall assessment.  


The Scene of the Survival Drama ADRIFT  -- Photo credit:

The Technical Side of the Movie ADRIFT

From the technical nuances of the film, I will highlight the excellent work of the operator Robert Richards, three Oscar-winner, which allowed us to admire spectacular landscapes and nature. And all this was presented in such a particularly charming perspective that it seemed that we were displaying "well-painted" postcards on the screen.

The plus also becomes the heroes' make-up. The beautiful actress Shailene Woodley in this film seemed like a homeless alcoholic. Richard's actor, Sam Claflin, was also slightly changed in certain moments. Especially those disgusting scenes with his foot perfectly demonstrated the complicated and realistic work done by the specialists in the field of make-up.

The music in the movie does not leave much of an impression, as does the sound editing itself, which, even in the most important scenes, does not create any tense moment in the cinema hall. The video editing is not perfect for my eyes either, because the whole story is too chaotic, and the jumping from one-time zone to another is even more annoying.

ADRIFT: Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin Interview  -  Video credit: jakethemovieguy via

The Collective Work of Actors

Only two actors dominated the whole film, so let's talk about them. The lead role in the film was performed by very talented and admirable Shailene Woodley, whose role seemed to be too difficult for her. Her commitment to her role was also noticeable, but in most of the scenes, she seemed to be living only for herself and not paying attention to her partner at all. Therefore, the chemistry between her and Sam Claflin was completely absent.

There are very few, if any, films that are women against nature. It’s mostly men and wolves — men with beards, rolling in the snow. So I had an opportunity to make a movie about a female superhero, and who didn’t need a cape. - - Baltasar Kormaku



Shailene Woodley  -   Photo credit:

In order, the actors easier would into roles, scenes in the ocean were decided to shoot in the real environment in the ocean on the shores of Fiji. Therefore, it was necessary to wait for both storms and waves.

It feels like both of these actors have played one for herself, another for himself. And this can easily be seen in all the past scenes in which they tried to show the beginning of the love story of the actors. As for Sam Claflin, the actor did not make any efforts. His role was not as active as his colleagues, but it was possible to squeeze a little more, not to walk with the same mimic during the entire band. 


Sam Claflin  -  Photo credit: https:

On the Final Note: Verdict 

ADRIFT - the story of courage, sacrifice, and love.

Summary, it's a one-time movie that goes down to compare with many similar projects. Even this year, the cinema showed other movies that had more drama and tension than this work by Baltasar Kormakur, to which I was looking forward with impatience.

Verdict: A  bit monotonous storytelling style, too chaotic in its presentation, not the intriguing overall story, and does not create any real tension, although it is a drama of the survival theme based on the real facts. The ultimate advantage of the movie is the ending presented from an interesting perspective and the efforts of actress Shailene Woodley trying to embody the Tami Oldham.

And still, in the unenviable situation, the couple reminds the audience that, even when it seems that there is no longer any way left, there is a hope that can become a major salvation. It's the perfect movie for those who quickly forgot how fragile the life is and how we should cherish it. In extreme conditions, we can understand a lot.


The Team of ADRIFT: Baltasar Kormakur, Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin  -  Photo credit:

Watching this survival game and the viewer himself should think: what and how I would do if I fell into a storm, searching for a lost loved one, caring for a loved one, suffering from hunger and doubts about the opportunity to once again see the earth in the horizon, and will it be possible, in the end, to be saved in this immerse ocean?

ADRIFT tells a true story of a woman who has survived a terrible storm and experienced the loss of a loved one. And after such challenges of the fate, she found the forces to stay engaged in sailing to these days.  She reminds us that everything can be overcome, just keep on believing. And no matter how big the waves catch you in this movie, it's likely that it will cause a storm of feelings, but will not drown the faith in a better life.

The ocean is a difficult beast to tame, and truthfully, we had to resign ourselves to Mother Nature. As cheesy as it sounds, it was nice to become one with nature and use it to our advantage. - Baltasar Kormaku


Have a fun watching!

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You can check my other blogs with movie review:

1. Movie ANON Review: the movie causing a moral dilemma

2. Movie A QUIET PLACE review: the terrifying silence works on your nerves

3. TRUTH OR DARE movie review: a movie that failed to take full advantage of its enormous potential 

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