2018-07-27 06:17


Two free spirits’ 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 and Richard Sharp don’t anticipate that they’ll 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.


Let's just start off by getting a couple of things out in the open. 

Firstly, I did not know that Adrift was based on a true story and secondly, I did not read the book, written by Tami Oldham Ashcraft – the woman the movie is based on - called Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea

Now that we have established that I went into the cinema completely unaware of what I was about to watch, I was pleasantly surprised.

The storyline of the film does somewhat differ from the true-life occurrence - but if it didn't then it wouldn't be a movie, right?

Nonetheless, Tami and her fiancé Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin) are on the adventure of a lifetime delivering a yacht from Tahiti to San Diego when they are hit with one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history - Hurricane Raymond. What follows is Tami's undying will to keep herself and Richard alive, after an injury keeps him from being able to help at all.

Based on what I have heard about the real-life story, viewers who have read the book may be confused because Richard is killed in the hurricane but seems to survive in the film – in an attempt not to give away a plot twist (yes a major twist for me because I hadn't heard the story before and it was written and filmed in a deceiving but great way) I am putting forward that if viewers are at first confused to stick it out to the end. 

The story of the life-changing and harrowing circumstances Tami lived through is illustrated so intensely through Shailene Woodley's portrayal.

She beautifully and so heart-breakingly captures the frustration, desperation and heartache I would imagine one would experience in her situation. But her strength and will made me feel empowered as a woman - for once a man is not calling the shots and running the show like a total badass in a time of total disaster.

“It’s a woman learning how to work with nature to survive,” Shailene said in a recent interview with AP and she couldn’t have said it better.

From gaining consciousness after a traumatic experience to taking responsibility and figuring things out to making plan after plan to survive I was on this journey with her every step of the way.

The downfall of Adrift however is the actual love story between Shailene and Sam. As the film progresses it flashes between past and present and I will admit I found myself bored watching the duo play a young and free, happy couple. The minute we’re back to reality, watching Shailene deteriorate with every challenge she faces the longer she is stranded I was back on the edge of my seat willing her to survive.

A sailor himself, Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur perfectly painted the dreamlike picture of sailing into the sunset we all have. Better yet he, too, perfectly illustrated the harsh reality of when things go wrong – from the storm, to the wreckage, to the endless view of water, to the toll deprivation takes on the human body.

Adrift is, much like Wolfgang Petersen’s The Perfect Storm (2000), a perfect disaster movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you think twice about going sailing. But it is also an amazing, inspiring true story about a human being’s will to survive in the worst of circumstances.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.