James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
D: Baltasar Kormàkur
STX/Lakeshore/Ingenious/Hauyi Brothers/RVK (Baltasar Kormàkur, Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell, Ralph Winter & Shailene Woodley)
USA 🇺🇸 2018
W: Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell & David Branson Smith [based on the book "Red Sky In Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss & Survival At Sea" by Tami Oldham Ashcraft & Susea McGearhart]
DP: Robert Richardson
Ed: John Gilbert
Mus: Volker Bertelmann
Shailene Woodley (Tami Oldham), Sam Claflin (Richard Sharp)
Adrift is the true story of Tami Oldham & Richard Sharp, a couple whose yacht was left irreparably damaged by a hurricane whilst sailing from Tahiti to California. With the boat stricken and the radio failing to reach anyone, the only hope for survival was to drift towards Hawaii, with only a sextant to use as a navigation aid.
Despite a convincing lead performance from Shailene Woodley and some picturesque cinematography, the film does have some flaws, particularly in the non-linear narrative which serves as a gimmick and to hide the twist (which won't come as a surprise to anyone who reads the opening credits), as it cuts from scenes which mount tension to flashbacks of how the couple met and fell in love. Set in 1983, there really isn't anything shown during the film to suggest this, so you'd be forgiven for thinking this is just Life Of Pi with a pair of hipsters instead of a shipwrecked boy and a tiger.
With better execution, this could have been a better film, but it's still worth watching for some beautiful shots and the central performance.
Not to be confused with Open Water 2, whose subtitle was also called Adrift.