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“Adrift”, a flurry of missteps

With this feature Film that reconstructs a maritime accident in 1983, Baltasar Kormákur (“Everest”) misses the marriage between survival story and melody for young adults. The structure of the film and the acting of the actors are, among other bad ideas, involved.

we had better wait for Baltasar Kormákur, who recently made his mark with two excellent stories of survival, one shot in his native Iceland (Survivre, 2012), the other in Hollywood (Everest, 2015). He reconstructs here the accident of a couple of sailors, surprised by a hurricane in the Pacific Ocean, in 1983. Adrift starts off elsewhere under good auspices, by a striking sequence shot inside a flooded pleasure boat, where sets and characters seem to have liquefied.

The film could have been a Hollywood version of Survivre, also inspired by a true story – a fisherman who survived in icy water after a shipwreck. But, probably to satisfy an adolescent audience, Kormákur scuttles his film by adopting a structure in flashbacks: we attend, in parallel, the front and after the storm. First, these flashbacks are extremely insipid: we must hear the conversation of the first date, a succession of clichés on solo navigation. Then, they dilute the effectiveness of the spectacular scenes, including that of the hurricane, supposed to constitute the acme of the film.

This desire to marry survival and melody for young adults can also be seen in the cast, which brings together two heroes of adolescent dystopias: Shailene Woodley of the Divergent saga and Sam Claflin of the Hunger Games franchise. The first has a game too demonstrative, the second is transparent. Too bad … With a better characterization of the characters, Adrift could have become the representation, almost literally, storms crossed by a couple in crisis.

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“Adrift”, a flurry of missteps


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