When a tropical storm tears her ship apart, inexperienced sailor, Tami, must limp the boat back to shore while caring for Richard, her brutally wounded finance’.
Boring At Best
When people use the word mediocre, this is the movie they have in their head, even if they’ve never seen it. It’s the sort of movie that if someone told me they liked, I would wonder, ‘Have they ever seen another movie?’ It is such a ‘blah,’ nothing, of a movie that I was distracted and found myself playing with the controls of the empty recliner theater seat next to me.
I guess this is a spoiler alert since I have so little regard for this movie that I am not going to even attempt to hide its mediocrity, even its sad attempt at an interesting twist.
Pathetic at Worst
The reason that this movie is so bad is that it apes a good movie. It’s the effort of people who saw good movies like “The Life of Pi,” “All Is Lost,” and “Lifeboat,” but have no clue of how to replicate the positive aspects of those films in their own.
It’s a survival at sea story where the protagonist seems to easily conquer most obstacles within a scene of discovering them. She never seems to lose any weight. The only time Tami seems tired is when she is shifting her weight even though she seems to have no problem swimming underwater and fishing with long held breaths. It’s a survival movie where for more than half of it the protagonist refuses to eat meat because she is a vegetarian.
It’s a romance where the main characters seem to fall in love for almost no reason at all. Cliche’ dialogue like, “you are adventurous like a man,” and “you are sensitive like a woman,” laughably imitate real connection on the lips of terrible actress Shailene Woodley, who can look tired with sunburn make up on but can’t feign happiness any better than a 13 year old boy in braces on school picture day. One would wonder how she landed this role save the front loading of her producer credit rolling by like so much flotsam and jetsam; a warning of the wreckage yet to come into view.
It’s a parallel plot movie where the two plots do nothing to reinforce or link together with the editing. We are tracking simultaneously the plot of the ship post wreck to rescue, and the relationship moving from first look all the way up to the ship wreck, yet when the Tami and Richard are disagreeing on the boat about which way they should proceed, there is no flashback to a couple’s spat with one of them ending up being right. When he relates the story of how they built the boat with his bare hands we don’t flash forward to see the boat in splinters, bashed and drained of color from the salt waves and sun. The editing and storytelling are devoid of any spark of imagination.
Perhaps the worst offense of the film is that it coyly tries to hide a central truth of the film, that the finance’ drowns during the shipwreck and every conversation and moment with him post crash is in her head. This ‘twist’ is so obvious that they should have just made him a tiger. The discovery of this information leads to know self discovery, no revelation of personal strength, and no forward movement of the plot. Tami just wakes up one day, says, “I have to let you go now,” and Richard fades away as she continues doing exactly what she has already been doing the whole movie and eventually gets rescued.
I suppose a 15 year-old might watch this film and think it is clever but only because they have yet to seen films made by master magicians who can weave a tale in such a way to obscure what will truly change a human heart till the moment it is brought to bear in emotional revelatory climax, but any savvy film goer over the age of 19 ought to recognize a film like this for what it is; an excuse for a struggling actress to keep working, and the half effort of everyone involved doing her a solid.
P.S. This film takes place in the 80s and none of the dialogue feels that way. At one point she says, “No worries,” and I’m pretty sure that’s a modern turn of phrase. She also compares some one to Bob Ross in a way that implies ironic hipster respect. Were they not even trying? Did they think that since the whole thing was set at sea they could just not worry about the era of film since you would only see one boat and a few polaroids floating amongst the waves? This film is so insulting.