I knew very little about the story Adrift is based on when I sat down with the film. I knew to expect a longer time at sea than Gilligan’s “three-hour tour”, and with a lot less humor. I did expect an adventure-laden journey against the elements. But in reality this is a serious romantic struggle for survival, and romance trumps all other elements.
Woodley, who usually seems to elevate everything she does, just meanders through her time on the water. When she has scenes of bubbly personality, she is likable, but much of her screen time is on the boat with Claflin after the storm. Sure it’s the nature of the story, but this film seems to wander without a compass to guide it during the couple’s time lost at sea.
Situations feel slapped together and refuse to give us a more in-depth glimpse into the journey at hand. Instead of enhancing the story that at its core seemed really interesting, this trip seems lost at sea.
I really respect the true tale that is the basis for Adrift, but the story deserves more than just floating along.