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Imagine being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles off course, in a disabled boat with limited food and a boyfriend who is badly wounded. What do you do? What can you do? That is the situation that Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) finds herself in the movie “Adrift,” based on a true story.

Sam Claflin plays Tami’s love interest, Richard Sharp. Although Woodley and Claflin’s names are not widely known, when you see these two actors on the screen, you will recognize them immediately. Claflin is gorgeous and will have young hearts fluttering.

Basically, Woodley carries the movie and shows off her acting talents as their time adrift in the Pacific Ocean lengthens. Very few actors could pull something like this off successfully. I kept thinking of Tom Hanks in “Castaway.” At least, Hanks had an island where there was fresh water and food. Tami, a vegetarian, had to learn to spear and eat raw fish and only had fresh water when it rained. Woodley did an excellent acting job portraying Tami’s angst.

I am afraid of all the dangers that oceans pose: sharks, hurricanes, and other denizens of the deep so, I found “Adrift” terrifying. Although it is classified as action, adventure; for me it is a horror film.

The director, Baltasar Kormakur, uses flash backs successfully showing the couple meeting and falling in love and their decision to sail a friend’s boat 4,000 miles to San Diego with the hurricane that almost destroys them.

The cinematography is astounding. The wide camera shots make you feel the desolation and vast nothingness of being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Kudos to the make-up staff; Woodley’s make-up gradually makes her look the worse for wear the longer the couple is lost on the ocean. Claflin’s wounds look so bad you wonder if the actor didn’t actually break his leg and ribs. The make-up shows how rough being adrift for long periods of time can be on the body.

The hurricane is truly devastating and the animation and visual effects portray just how overwhelming it can be to try to sail through a hurricane. It looked real to me. I hope people who see this movie will think twice before taking a small sailboat out in the Pacific Ocean unless they have a death wish.

This is a tense drama that never lagged. I think that if you see this on the big screen you can better appreciate the dire situation Tami and Richard are in.

“Adrift” can be seen at AMC Eastgate Showplace 6 and AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12.

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