Film Review: ADRIFT (USA 2017)

Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

Adrift Poster
Trailer

Based on the true story of survival, a young couple’s chance encounter leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime as they face one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.

 

ADRIFT is a sea survival romance drama based on the true story of a couple caught in a devastating storm while sailing.  With minimum food and water and relying on each other’s love to survive, ADRIFT is the story, told from Tami (Shailene Woodley), the girl’s point of view.  Woodley shot to fame playing the daughter in Alexander Payne’s THE DESCENDANTS with George Clooney.  Besides having the female lead role, Woodley also has credit as a producer.

An American and Englishman with his boat sailing around the world meet in Tahiti.  Love at first sight, it appears to be after a date night.  The two take on a task of delivering a yacht to San Diego.  

The next scene is the disaster scene where Tami is below a flooded boat screaming and looking for Richard.  It is evident that they have survived a storm that had devastated their boat and Richard must be somewhere overboard.  She finds him and pulls him on board.  But he has a big gaping leg wound and broken ribs.  They spend 40 odd days ADRIFT.  She learns a bit about sailing and the film stresses that it is her love for Richard that saves the two.

At the start of the movie, it is stressed that the film is based on a true story.  This does not mean that what transpires on screen following is all true.  What really happened is revealed at the end during the closing credits.  As this is the major surprise of the film (though it can not be officially considered a plot twist), the fact will not be revealed in the review.  But stay for the closing credits if you watch the film.

ADRIFT is a romance set in a disaster setting  not a disaster movie in a romantic setting.  This results in an awfully saccharine sweet setting, all too good to be believable less true.  For a couple surviving for more than month with hardly any food and water, they only argue once.  Thy are still lovey-dubbey all the way, she clinging on to him half the time despite his broken ribs.  Cans of food and even alcohol pop up from hidden areas below the deck at regular intervals for the couple to survive.  There is even enough beer for the couple, in Tami’s own words “to party.”  Fortunately, the audience is spared from watching any drunken frolicking.  There are no scenes involving both of them having to urinate or taking a number 2.  At least the audience is spared from Woodley having perfect hair and make-up during the storm, as in the awful recent film KAYAK TO KLEMTU, where the lead always shows up with perfect make-up despite its wilderness setting.

The storm scenes with Tami and Richard scrambling around the boat look authentic enough.  CGI effects are so advanced these days it is hard to tell when CGI effects are used or the real thing with real water and a blowing fan.

The couple’s chemistry helps the film’s story.  Both are young, attractive and share the same goal – wanting independence.

One might hate ADRIFT for the Hollywood style romantic storytelling, but for those romantics who love this kind of thing ADRIFT will not disappoint.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdMP4sWc71M

Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

Full Review: JOURNEY’S END (UK 2017) ****

Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

Journey's End Poster
Trailer

Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, as they await their fate.

Director:

Saul Dibb

Writers:

Simon Reade (screenplay), R.C. Sherriff (novel) | 2 more credits »

 

JOURNEY’S END about soldiers (Officers and enlisted men) during an offensive in the trenches during the First World War is a story that is already too familiar to us.  Still, it is a story that needs repeating, to remind the world of the futility of war and that orders coming down from the top brass would ultimately be executed often to the death by the men of lower ranks, who has loved ones and families back home.  JOURNEY’S END is based on the 1928 play and filmed two years later by James Whale which starred Sir Lawrence Olivier as Cpt. Stanhope now played brilliantly convincingly by Sam Catlin.  The updated screenplay be Simon Reade is by no means flawless, (words like a person needing to be sorted’. the word never used at that time; an offbeat change of scenery back to England for the reading of a letter) but serves the fiilm’s purpose.

The film begins like any war film.  There is news of the war and word of fighting in France against the Germans.  Things get real only when the audience can put a face to the goings-on.  The face in this case belongs to green 2LT Laleigh (Asa Butterfeld) who wishes to join the battalion of his old school mate Cpt Stanhope who used to be his house monitor and good friend of him and his sister.   Stanhope is found to be changed due to the strain of war.  In the trenches are Lta Osborne (Paul Bettany)  veteran who is the most stable of the lot and apparentlythe one who keeps everything together.   

When the men are ordered to attack the Germans in two days time in an effort that seems pointless, casualties increase and things come to a boil in this realities tale of men caught in the war apparently to fight in what they believe for their country. It is made clear at one point, that the assault is to take place at 5 pm so that the higher ups can discuss the results over dinner.

Despite the film’s seriousness in tone, Reade’s script is not devoid of needed humour, which is provided by stiff faced Toby Jones as Mason, the men’s cook.  If not describing his cutlets as new in shape or the yellowness of the soup to entice the blandness of his meals, the on running jokes on the meals are nothing short of hilarious.

The narrow trenches emphasizes the claustrophobia of the location complete with mud rats though only one is shown) and worms oozing out from the mud during a meal.  To Dibb’s and the production designer’s credit, the film never feels like a play.

Though one might wonder at the film’s aim, it is clear that Dibb’s message is that one is never to forget that human beings are the ones fighting the war, and there are casualties on both sides as the end credits remind both sides of the millions that have died in WWI.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPX-kajacyc

Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: JOURNEY’S END (UK 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Journey's End Poster RC Sherriff’s Journey’s End is the seminal British play about WW1. Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, variously awaiting their fate.

Director:

Saul Dibb

Writers:

Simon Reade (screenplay), R.C. Sherriff

Stars:

Sam ClaflinPaul BettanyAsa Butterfield

JOURNEY’S END about soldiers (Officers and enlisted men) during an offensive in the trenches during the First World War is a story that is already too familiar to us.

Still, it is a story that needs repeating, to remind the world of the futility of war and that orders coming down from the top brass would ultimately be executed often to the death by the men of lower ranks, who has loved ones and families back home.

JOURNEY’S END is based on the 1928 play and filmed two years later by James Whale which starred Sir Lawrence Olivier as Cpt. Stanhope now played brilliantly convincingly by Sam Catlin.

Things get real only when the audience can put a face to the goings-on. The face in this case belongs to green 2LT Laleigh (Asa Butterfeld) who wishes to join the battalion of his old school mate Cpt Stanhope who used to be his house monitor and good friend of him and his sister.

The narrow trenches emphasizes the claustrophobia of the location complete with mud rats though only one is shown) and worms oozing out from the mud during a meal. To Dibb’s and the production designer’s credit, the film never feels like a play.

The message is clear that that human beings are the ones fighting the war, and there are casualties on both sides as the end credits remind both sides of the millions that have dies in WWI.

JOURNEY_S ENd

Film Review: THEIR FINEST (UK 2016) ****

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

their_finest.jpgDirector: Lone Scherfig
Writers: Gaby Chiappe (screenplay), Lissa Evans (novel)
Stars: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy

Review by Gilbert Seah

 Danish director Lorne Scherfig broke into the international film scene with his first film ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS and has continued to impress both audiences and critics alike with films like THE RIOT CLUB and AN EDUCATION, these two films demonstrating his flexibility in his subjects. His latest is again a grand piece of fine filmmaking, a period piece that celebrates the role of women (seldom seen in the war genre) during the Second World War.

The film based on the novel Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans and written by Gaby Chiappe puts the female into the picture. The main protagonist is Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton star of films like ORPHAN and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS), a “slop” scriptwriter, charged with bringing a female perspective to war films produced by the British Ministry of Information’s Film Division. Slop is the degrading term given for ‘women’s talk’. Her current project is a feature inspired by stories of British civilians rescuing soldiers after the retreat at Dunkirk. Catrin’s artist husband (Jack Huston) looks down on her job, despite the fact that it is paying the rent. At least lead scenarist Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin), who at first pokes fun at the female effort appreciates her contribution.

There is one great dialogue in the film that celebrates the romanticism of movies. “In war, some do not come back home at all. Some come back heroes and some do not come back as heroes. The film that is to be made must make it worth the audience’s time to sit through it.” These are the words that are used to inspire the making of this otherwise propaganda film that would eventually turn the lives of many a British citizen. The film is used to create patriotism to send the men to fight in battle and the women to work in the factories manufacturing ammunition and weapons.

Performances are all impressive all round, led by both Bill Nighy as a pompous past his prime actor who is never afraid of showing off and Gemma Arteton in the title role. Jeremy Irons in a cameo (praising the power of the dramatic arts) deserves mention in one of the film’s funniest segments.
Besides the lovely period detail of the costumes and sets, the look of war-torn Britain is also magnificently created – reminiscent of the best of war films like John Boorman’s HOPE AND GLORY and Guy Hamilton’s BATTLE OF BRITAIN. The film in a film is to be shot in Devon, Devon standing in for Dunkirk where the film in the film is set.

One great and memorable British propaganda films is Alberto Cavalcanti’s 1942 effort WENT THE DAY WELL? (one of my favourite films of all time) where British housewives discover their village invaded by German paratroopers posing as English soldiers. The Brits must have put in quite the effort in their propaganda films. THEIR FINEST is also really funny in may parts, making the drama totally entertaining for both sexes despite the female slant.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id0HEelDIuk

_________

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Happy Birthday: Sam Claflin

samclaflin.jpgHappy Birthday actor Sam Claflin

Born: June 27, 1986 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK

Married to: Laura Haddock (30 July 2013 – present) (1 child)

 

 

 

 

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
dir. Rupert Sanders
Stars:
Kristen Stewart
Chris Hemsworth

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
dir. Rob Marshall
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Pen�lope Cruz
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
2013
dir. Francis Lawrence
Stars:
Jennifer Lawrence
Josh Hutcherson
MOVIE POSTERTHE QUIET ONES
2014
dir. John Pogue
Stars:
Jared Harris
Sam Clafin