“Ah, goo!”, I thought to myself when my partner surprised me with a movie-evening: A good bottle of red wine, some snacks, a cozy couch – and a sailing movie. What could be better (well, actually really being on a sailboat by oneself, of course). So I looked forward and I must admit I haven´t noticed this movie when it came out in 2018 and so I looked forward to an amusing evening in front of the screen.
A Sailing Film? Movie „Adrift”
Since “Adrift” is based on the real story of Tami Oldham and her fiancé Richard Sharp I would guess that it´s not a spoiler to say that the movie is all about the power of imagination and love. It´s about the energy that bounds people together and is capable of unleashing superhuman powers. In that sense, “Adrift” is not a sailing film in the strict sense of the term – but that makes this movie even more “wifey-fit”.
Tami – in her twenties I would guess – gets to know Richard somewhere in the Pacific Ocean where she is spending some years working and travelling. They fall in love and get engaged, when Richard is offered a job by a couple to skipper their boat all across the Ocean back to the States. A job that will be good for the bank accounts and so they agree. Of course, the young couple is hit by a severe storm, the boat capsizes and is severely damaged, Richard is kicked overboard.
Tami rescues her fiancé, who is drifting some hundred metres next to the half-sunk dismasted stricken vessel. She pulls him back aboard where she learns that he is severely injured. Now, taking care of her man and single handedly jury-rigging the boat with a makeshift-sail, partially repairing the steering and navigating the hobbling boat by a Sextant the young women sails the two over 1.500 miles to a safe harbor – Hawaii. So far, so good.
A Hallberg-Rassy … or not?
Before I tell you, dearest readers, how I found that film, I want to shortly address the very boat on which this story takes place. What struck me most from the beginning of the movie was the boat HAZANA. In real life this was a 44 feet yacht owned by a well-off American Couple. I couldn´t research the type of the real HAZANA but actual pictures reveal her true style. The boat used in the movie was most certainly much, much bigger than the real boat, which is okay for me as a story tool. But most interesting was the resemblance to a well-known Swedish brand …
The real HAZANA wasn´t a Hallberg-Rassy but I can imagine that the producers and film makers wanted to make her look like one. So I contacted Magnus Rassy and asked. He replied the same day: “Actually we have been approached by the production team. They asked to provide them with a late Seventies Hallberg-Rassy for shooting purposes and another cockpit mock-up for production.” Wow! I knew it! “But given the enormous task of making a boat, the immense invest and the short notice of the request we had to turn this offer down.” Nevertheless, I acknowledge, that the reference to Hallberg-Rassy with the white hull and the blue signature stripe is something the production crew wanted to have incorporated in the movie. And I would say: It works perfectly!
My Verdict: “Adrift” works good.
Now, back to the film. I liked it quite much although I must say that´s because of the relatively accurately portrayed seamanship and scenes on the boat itself. Filmed by movie maker Baltasar Kormákur, who as well made the “extreme” films “Everest” and the series “Trapped”, I enjoyed the boating-related content very much. Much, much better than for example the awful “All is lost”. I also loved the plot-twist near the end, which – I didn´t knew the real story – I didn´t see coming and therefore had been touched by it very, very much.
On the other hand, film-wise, I would say that character-development was poor. The whole love story was very cheesy, very poorly written and consisted of seemingly hasty arranged standard-scenes. That´s sad because to make the audience understand the power of the female character and the immense energy she derives from her love to Richard it would have been even more important to invest some more skills into the exposition and character development. That´s a bit sad because in this the story cannot unfold its power properly and connection between the characters and the audience remains superficial.
My overall rating of this movie is nevertheless a good 7 out of 10 points.
You may also be interested in reading these movie reviews:
Colin Firth as Donald Crowhurst
“The Terror” – probably the best North-West-Passage series
Just as great as TV should be: “Black Sails” ho!