Adrift is the true story of a young couple, Tami and Richard, and their journey sailing across the Pacific Ocean in 1983... right into Hurricane Raymond. The story is cleverly told through two timelines alternating from flashbacks of how these two met and the love story that led them on the fateful journey and back again to the aftermath of the storm which set them adrift. The movie manages to showcase Tami's strength and survival post shipwreck so well that the lackluster flashback romance scenes are tolerable.
Shailene Woodley (Tami) carries this movie, no doubt about it. It narrowly avoids becoming "Cast Away" by having Sam Claflin (Richard) bring a real, albeit somewhat surface-level, relationship to the story. He is charming as usual, and although I appreciated the attempt at making me care about the love story, their chemistry fell a little flat. Regardless, I found myself amazed at the resourcefulness of Tami and wondered how she was ever going to get to safety as the days ticked by. Without getting too spoilery, you know she does succeed because this is based on a true story and adapted for screen from a book written by Tami Oldham.. someone had to tell the story!
The shifts from before and after the storm all build to what it felt like we were all waiting to see, the storm itself, and it does not disappoint. It's superbly done which honestly made it difficult to watch. It was all very chaotic and was exactly what it needed to be. I know one thing- I didn't have a desire to sail around the world before this movie, and I certainly don't now.
Overall, the movie does a good job of balancing the budding romance storyline with the badassery and survival instincts of Tami. I went into this movie thinking it was going to be a dramatic love story with the two characters leaning on each other to survive, but came out realizing it is really about the strength of a woman overcoming a terrible tragedy and not only surviving, but coming out the other side a stronger person. That is something I, for one, can get behind.
Brit's pro tip: Have a drink with you while watching this movie. I found myself parched watching them dehydrate on a boat and baking in the sun.