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review by Drusilla Blakey

Starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, Adrift is based on the inspiring true story of two free spirits whose chance encounter leads them first to love, and then to the adventure of a lifetime. As the two avid sailors set out on a journey across the ocean, Tami Oldham (Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Claflin) couldn't anticipate they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved. Adrift is the unforgettable story about the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendent power of love. 


I was on the fence about this movie ever since seeing the first trailers.  I honestly didn’t feel an overwhelming sense to rush out and see this one. But, I am always drawn to anything that is “based on a true story” so, I decided to give it a chance - And, I’m so glad I did!


I thought this was an amazing story!  How had I not heard about this?!  Where have I been?!  Right away, the movie drops us straight into the action which I think sets a great pace for a film that is mostly story driven. I liked the way the story is told with flashbacks because it’s purposely engineered to create drama and to keep us interested in these two people.  I feel that if the story had been told from beginning to end, it would have lacked dramatic impact; so I hope that others who see it will also enjoy the way the story is laid out. 


The flashbacks tell a very sweet and endearing love story.  This couple had not known each other very long before heading out on this big adventure.  But it’s important to understand their love for one another when we come back to the present timeline where Tami is fighting to save Richard.  And I feel that this would not have come together if we hadn’t had a pair of people who actually have good enough acting skills to show they care for one another.  Sam Claflin is very good in romantic movies, as we saw in the 2016 film, ‘Me Before You’.  Shailene Woodley is probably most know from the ‘Divergent’ series, but hopefully some will remember her from the sweet movie ‘The Fault in our Stars’, so we know she can pull off a heartfelt love as well.


So many times we have a good story, but actors with no chemistry, however I feel that this time we have a young couple who actually seem to mesh.  Claflin gives a very sweet and charming performance, but after the storm, he is pretty much just lying there.  It’s Woodley who truly delivers a great performance throughout.  After the storm, she is the one taking care of everything in their fight to survive and find land.  We see her go through so many emotions, highs/lows, moments of brilliance and insanity and I felt that she did it all so well (and I’m not really a huge fan or hers…so I don’t think I’m being overly biased).


There are some twists and turns along the way, so if you know nothing about the story – keep it that way!  Go in without any thoughts and just enjoy. I promise it will have some sort of an impact on you.  For me, I don’t think I’ll be getting back on a boat anytime soon.

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